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Lions Roar : March 2015
WHEN MY BOYFRIEND fell in love with someone else, my world went to pieces. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I could barely leave the house. For two years, heartbreak carved my life down to the bone. Of course, there are many ways to get your heart broken, but through this expe- rience I learned that romantic heartbreak has three particular attributes. The first one I like to call “insane obsessive thinking.” It’s like your own mind attacking you: They are probably laughing at me right now. I hate her/ him. No, I love her/him. I have unhealed wounds from childhood that made this happen. I am such a loser. No, s/he is. F*#k her/him. The second quality is shame—mind- numbing, soul-destroying shame. A colleague walks by without saying hello and you think, “I deserved that. I am nothing.” You miss your bus and think, “I will always be left in the dust.” The third quality of romantic heart- break is doubt, complete and obliterat- ing. You no longer trust yourself, or any- one at all, or even love itself, and cannot imagine ever feeling otherwise. Living without love will bring loneliness; open- ing to love again will bring terror. No other choices seem possible. But there is a healthy way to relate to these very difficult inner states. That is to stop running, turn around, and look HEART & MIND After the Breakup What becomes of the broken-hearted? SUSAN PIVER explains how to cultivate positive qualities when you’re feeling anything but. ©CAROLYNLAGATTUTA/STOCKSYUNITED SUSAN PIVER’s new book, Start Here Now, will be published in 2015. She is founder of The Open Heart Project. SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2015 21 CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE