A spiritual (yet, scientifically explained) guide for mending a broken heart.
At some point in your life, you’ll have your heart broken. And not just once, but several times. You may go through the loss of a significant relationship, the death of someone you love, or perhaps, you’ll fail in your career. Whichever the reason, do you know how to mend a broken heart? And perhaps, not only mend it. More important yet, do you know how to gain wisdom and growth out of wretchedness?
Healing comes in all shapes and sizes. Simply said, there’s no one-fits-all approach. The best way to mend a broken heart is by integrating several approaches. Or perhaps only one or two of these approaches will suffice for you. Either way, here we go:
Approach #1 on how to mend a broken heart
Self-awareness plays a very important role in emotional intelligence. It’s also pivotal for resilience and self-love. It’s simply the main ingredient for inner growth.
So what is self-awareness?
As its name says, it’s about being aware of your own Self. It’s understanding every emotion, where it comes from, and its purpose. Every emotion tells us important information about our Self. It tells us what we need to hear in order to heal.
Ready for the self-awareness journey?
When conducting a healing journey, be ready to remove your blindfold. We all, at a certain time, cope with denial as a self-defense mechanism to protect us from pain. Our psyche is pretty mysterious that way.
Try to observe your pain as if you’re a third person in the equation. Allow yourself to see things as they really are and not as you really wish them to be. Denial hinders inner-growth.
Second, try to detect patterns within yourself. Try to connect your emotions with similar circumstances from your past. When did you feel this specific way? Sometimes current pain is much more amplified because you haven’t healed wounds from the past. Going to the root and healing the specific cause of our pain makes you resilient; it makes you whole.
Let’s take Jonathan as an example.
Jonathan has a hard time letting go of Rebecca. Every time Rebecca walks away from the relationship, Jonathan feels like knives pierce his heart over and over again. He has a very strong attachment with Rebecca, and he can’t quite understand why!
The thing with Jonathan is that his mother walked away when he was merely a child. He could never understand the reason why, and much less process this pain appropriately. Rebecca would constantly remind him of this sense of abandonment and therefore he would simply crumble down every time she left. Understanding the root and healing from that pain can make John process the rupture of the relationship and eventually move on from it.
Some of our pain though may be a new whole level of newness. Like the loss of someone because of death. How can you overcome the loss of someone?
Approach #2 on how to mend a broken heart
There’s a lot of skepticism concerning spirituality, simply because it can’t be empirically proven. It’s been a widely known construct that science and spirituality can’t go together. For some, spirituality and science are like water and oil. Fundamentally incompatible.
There is no denying, however, the benefits of having a spiritual life. Even well-known atheist Sigmund Freud understood that having faith —believing in the unknown —gives you certain openness to understand the invisible aspects of the psyche. According to Freud, believing in an unseen God gives way to intense introspection.
On the other hand, Carl Jung was a firm believer that having introspection, or in other words, understanding our unconscious, or our Self, was a numinous (or spiritual) experience. By understanding what archetypes are we can easily understand why. So:
What are archetypes?
For Jung, the archetypes are the “unconscious organizers of our ideas”. All of our psyches are built the same way, and as so, we all have instinctual and similar ways of organizing certain ideas. This makes part of our unconscious collective, or in other words identical to everyone’s. It is this connection between all human beings that makes archetypes spiritual (or religious) in nature. It means that every one of us is connected by something a lot deeper than we could possibly grasp as we have many archetypes within our psyche.
Let’s take the Self archetype as an example.
Getting in touch with the Self is should be everyone’s life goal. It was referred to by Jung as the “Archetype of wholeness”. Because to “dig deep” into the Self is a process that makes us whole. This is called individuation which is entirely natural and completely inherent to human nature. It is the constant search for an equilibrium between all parts (conscious and unconscious) of the psyche. It is the integration between these parts.
So, how can you reach individuation?
Individuation is about becoming sensitive and open towards the parts of your unconscious that are not exactly welcome to your conscious side. Difficultd and painful situations in life may lead you into an individuation process. Pain forces you to have immediate inner transformation and growth.
Allowing yourself to become in touch with the darkest sides of your psyche requires a lot of courage, for not everyone is willing to accept themselves entirely. Its results, however, can truly change you deeply and help you establish stronger and lasting relationships with yourself and others.
But how is the individuation process a religious (or spiritual) process?
The God archetype and the Self Archetype are actually one and only. Getting to know your Self is a process that makes you closer to God. Because according to Jung,
The God-archetype and the archetype of the Self cannot be empirically distinguished from one another.carl jung
How could Jung “empirically” prove archetypes at all?
Archetypes cannot be shown in their ‘form’, as it’s impossible to empirically prove the way the mind organizes and processes information. Archetypes are manifested by their ‘contents’ which are portrayed in dreams and/or visions. For example, the contents within the archetypes of the Self are seen as figures of power and prestige, such as Budha, Christ, or perhaps a king or the sun. In this sense, Jung was able to demonstrate that symbols of divinity are also the same for those of the Self.
Jung could prove his theory on the collective unconscious by using a method called amplification. This method consists of using information on the person’s history, as well as anthropological, historical, archeological, literary findings, and myths to analyze dreams or visions. He found patterns in people’s way of producing the same, or similar ideas.
That said, Jung compared an atom to an archetype, in a way that both have never been seen, yet this doesn’t invalidate their existence. Archetypes provide numinous (or spiritual) experiences, whereas atoms are responsible for explosions.
Does this prove the existence of God?
The existence of an imprinted God as an archetype within our psyches doesn’t necessarily prove the existence of an actual God. Unlike Freud’s fruitless obsession to prove that God did not exist, Jung’s purpose was simply to prove its archetype as a strong presence within our psyche. As a psychic reality.
But one thing’s certain: He was a strong advocate of accepting the psychic nature. Because you can’t deny your inherent nature. This is why for Jung, religion (or spirituality) is necessary for human psychic development. Au contraire to Jung’s beliefs, Freud believed that as we mature, we must grow out of our “infantile need” to feel reassured by an oedipal figure. But it is the embracing of spirituality that actually makes us whole, because God’s symbols and the Self’s symbols are actual symbols of unity. They are symbols of psychic wholeness.
So how can we be more in touch with our Self?
This leads us straight to:
Approach #3 on how to mend a broken heart
Meditation and mindfulness
Practicing meditation can ground you. It helps you be in touch with your Self, which later translates into having a better connection with the exterior world. Meditation helps you truly live at the present moment as it quiets your mind and teaches you to be less distracted. Because the truth is, that the mind never stop. It’s always thinking about the past, and sometimes, the future. Absolutely everything except the current moment.
Being present at the present moment is what gives you the ability to be self-aware or self-conscious. It teaches you to live and to stop to smell the roses. Meditation truly awakens you. As in the words of Pema Chodron,
We sit in meditation so that we’ll be more awake in our lives.Pema chodron
It’s not about changing the mind or controlling it. It’s about sitting there watching your thoughts and emotions unravel —until they begin to wear themselves out. But wearing out is not the same as going away. Instead, a much wider and enlightened perspective emerges.
This means that Meditation helps see things clearly.
It teaches you to view your thoughts and emotions with perspective. The calmness that surges from this practice leads to mental wellness, which consequently has an impact on physical wellness. It has been scientifically proven that meditation lowers your heart rate, blood pressure, stress levels, and has a strong impact on the structure of the brain.
But the real benefits of meditation are found when you take that quality of mind into your everyday life and your relationships. You learn to experience mindfulness. And because of this, you may lead a much more significant and fulfilling life.
If you liked our article, How to Mend a Broken Heart, you will sure like our article, Emotional Pain.
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How to reference this article
Pelaez.S (2021). How to mend a broken heart PsycheSpot https://www.psychespot.com/emotional-awareness/how-to-mend-a-broken-heart/
APA style references
Chodron, P. (2000). When things fall apart: Heart advice for difficult times. Shambhala Publications.
Edmundson, M. (2007, September 5). Religion and Faith – Sigmund Freud – Atheism. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/09/magazine/09wwln-lede-t.html
Horowitz, S. (2010). Health benefits of meditation: What the newest research shows. Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 16(4), 223-228.
Palmer, M. (2003). Freud and Jung on religion. Routledge.