My broken heart.

my tears my pain‘I see the tracks of ev’ry tear that ran right down your face.                         I see the hurt, I see the pain, I see the human race.’ ~ Annie Lennox, Universal Child

Is the person you love hurting you? They express remorse, promise to change, declare their love for you, but then it happens again. The let down. The lies. And all you have is the pain. The tears. And the broken heart.

When I look back now it is hard to imagine why I stayed in a loveless and destructive relationship for so long.  I was devoted yet received so little in return. I gave my all and forgave all in the mistaken belief that I was being compassionate and supportive.  Yet tolerating isn’t loving and existing isn’t living.

I poured out my unconditional love because even though my head kept telling me it wasn’t worth it, my heart disagreed. Because you reap what you sow. Right?

Not necessarily. Just as to reap good crops you have to sow your seed in good soil, you have to sow your love into a good relationship. That is, a shared partnership of mutual affection, trust, commitment and respect. My relationship was void of all of those.

‘You either teach people to treat you with dignity and respect, or you don’t.’ ~ Dr Phil McGraw

The problem was that I should never have got involved in the first place. The abuse I had encountered in my younger years had destroyed my sense of self-esteem and self-worth. Consequently, I didn’t require anyone to treat me any better than I thought I deserved.

Additionally the rejection issues I had experienced as a child had left me with a fear of attaching to anyone, so that even when I did form a bond I never expected it to last.

Little surprise then that my relationships were at best short-lived and superficial, at worst destructive and detrimental to my well-being on every level. One thing I knew for certain though and that was the result would be a broken heart. Usually mine.

If like me you have been hurt or are hurting still, it’s time to heal. If you thought that your love would be good enough for them, it was. But their love was not good enough for you. Not then and not now.

Remember that the more you invest in a relationship, the greater the harm to your soul if the commitment is not reciprocated. And when the love you have given is exploited, it strips your spirit of joy and dims the light of your inner-being.

‘He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.’     ~ Psalm 147:3

Faith taught me that just as love hurts, so does it heal. In the rawness of an ending of a something you believed to be special, it can feel that your heart is broken beyond repair. But it is possible to recover and to discover a love so infinite and so complete that the pain of the past is but a wisp of a memory.

That same love you gave away you must now be used in abundance to nurture your mind, body and soul. Stop telling yourself that you will never love anyone again. You will. But only when you completely and unconditionally immerse yourself with the love that lies within.

‘The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.’ ~ Steve Maraboli

Your new life, your new love awaits. But you can’t embrace either if your heart and mind hold on to what’s gone before. As devastating as it feels, the ending also signifies a beginning.  And forgiveness is the key to unlock your wonderful new start.

All that resentment, anger, fear and loneliness can only be overcome through a willingness to forgive. Forgiveness isn’t condoning what someone else had done or said.  It is empowering yourself by replacing the negativity of the past with compassion, happiness, truth and peace.

Forgiving yourself is equally as important. Release yourself from the blame and shame that keeps you captive for by doing so you will find the freedom to live your life with the love of your life.

Help your heart to heal by accepting that love is accountable. You can’t make anyone change but you can take responsibility for your own life. It’s time to stop living your life through someone else and start taking your love to a new level by putting yourself first. Because if loving someone else means you have to stop loving yourself that is too high a price to pay.

‘He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.’ ~ Epictetus

Finally, in those times when the pain is ripping you apart, dig deep into your soul and search for those things for which you can still be grateful.  When your wounded heart is screaming for attention, focus on what you have and what you will have. Whatever your circumstances you can always find something or someone who gives you a speck of hope.

broken heartIn my own journey of recovery, I found it was my moments of despair that the light of my faith shined the brightest. It provided me with the strength, comfort and gratitude that I needed to affirm my worthiness. And it reminded me that as broken as I was, I was lovable and precious. And that I could be restored.

Join me by resolving to be stronger than the pain of yesterday, find peace for today and pursue your dreams for tomorrow.

For my broken heart has healed. So can yours.

‘You have within you more love than you can ever understand.’ ~ Rumi




50 thoughts on “My broken heart.

    • You make a really important point Gaurab. Sometimes you’re just not ready to move on because you are still working through the process of letting go. And that can’t be rushed. I have every confidence that when you are ready, you will know in your heart and your healing will be complete.

  1. What if the person that was hurting changed tremendously? I honestly regretted treating her that way. Then I stopped, I love her back unconditionally now. But she say “the past still haunts her”. Is there a way to remove the past negative thoughts she had of me to the new ones? After all I am just a human, I make mistakes too, but I completely chnaged.

    • Kudos to you Alex for admitting your failures and making the decision to change. Showing regret and remorse will help to heal the wounds, as will your continued love for her. Of course the past will never be forgotten, but the pain for her can and will ease as long as you are being open, trustworthy and are demonstrating that the way you treated her previously will never again feature in your relationship.
      She also has a part to play in moving on. The past will still ‘haunt’ her if she chooses to allow it to. But when she makes this choice, she holds on to the hurt. Or she can make the choice to forgive you, (which doesn’t mean she condones your actions or forgets what happened) and in doing so set herself onto the path of restoration and freedom. Forgiving means letting go of the bitterness, resentment, anger and fear. It then allows you to embrace courage, strength, peace and happiness.
      Don’t be discouraged by her times of reversal to the past, use them as a stage to acknowledge mistakes and show how you have learned from them. Everyone has the potential to change for the better, but you only get to do it a day at a time. So it will take time for the wounds to heal. But they can and they will. Keeping being kind to her and be kind to yourself too.

      • Thank you. I really needed affirmation to go on. There are times I feel hopeless. But I know if I keep trying, I’ll make it someday. Thank you once again for replying.

      • Thank you for replying. I know have the affirmation and strength to go on and continue loving her despite it all. Thanks a million

      • You have both been through such a lot, yet you are still together. That shows commitment, strength, and lots of love. Wishing you both much happiness.

  2. Pingback: My broken heart. By The Hurt Healer | Women Who Think Too Much by Jeanne Marie

  3. Good post. I worked in Domestic Violence for over twenty years. I helped to start the shelter back in the seventies. There are several of us who blog on Violence against women and children. I am glad you found my blog and I will be back to see yours. Hugs, Barbara

      • It is a pleasure to connect with you. Unfortunately, we are not getting ahead of the violence. I look forward to getting to know you better and sharing ideas. Hugs, Barbara

  4. After 30 years of an abusive marriage, he kicked me out. That turned out to be the best day of my life, although it took me a couple of years to realize it. Now I have found myself, after a life time of being ignored, unloved, and abused. I am a strong woman, and I have learned I have much to offer as well as much to love about myself.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your strength and courage here Angela. You turned one of the worst days of your life into one of the best. That is so inspiring and I am sure will help many others. So wonderful to connect with you.

  5. My heart is shattered into pieces . After being married for 16 years and to an alcoholic , my husband is on the road to sobriety and filed for divorce last week.

    • My dear Devona, I am so sorry to read of your heartbreak. It’s clear that you weren’t expecting your husband to divorce you, especially after you have stood by him through 16 years. It’s a bittersweet situation when the person you love decides to sober up, but then decides that they no longer want to be part of your life. I’m sure there have been many times that you have wished for his drinking to stop and thought that if he did it would be the answer to so many problems. Yet now he has decided to quit and once again he is doing everything that he wants to do.
      I appreciate that you must love him terribly to have stayed for so long, but now is the time for you to start to take control of your life. No doubt you are emotionally shattered, and it will take time to grieve the loss of your relationship. But you will be grieving more the loss of what you could have had. Because if he was abusing alcohol during the whole of those 16 years, you never really had the love you deserved and the amount of love you invested would never have been returned.
      You may not feel strong at the moment, but to have survived an alcoholic marriage means you have inner-strength and courage. To have supported and cared means you have a beautiful, loving and kind soul. You deserve so much more than you have had, and that you have at the moment. Surround yourself with people who will lift you up, support you and be there for you through the difficult times ahead. And make it a priority to look after yourself. Be your own best friend.
      It is possible to heal. And to heal completely. That is my wish for you. And make that journey to wholeness begin today.

  6. We’ve all stood in that place where we wondered, “What the heck was I thinking?” But that was in the head-space moments, not the heart-space ones. Dr. Phil is right: we set the standard for what we expect … and will accept. The hard part, for any who have not been nurtured and loved as needed, is to define and believe in what to expect … and accept. As always, Carolyn, your eloquence shines … and touches.

    • You have hit the nail on the head Sharon, in that it is so hard to expect good things if you have never been encouraged to do so. Thank you as always for you kind and wise comments. x

  7. This is so true, Carolyn: “Remember that the more you invest in a relationship, the greater the harm to your soul if the commitment is not reciprocated. And when the love you have given is exploited, it strips your spirit of joy and dims the light of your inner-being.”

    I once asked God where all the love I had for my abuser was going to go. Love is a River and it must keep flowing, but you can’t love in the same way you have, when it’s an abusive relationship. Love has to keep flowing, and sometimes that means moving on … and loving yourself, in the process. It is possible to recover, even from the worst situations, and your story shines with Hope so brightly! I love coming here to hear more of your story, for it’s so full of Hope!

  8. Thank you once again, Carolyn for sharing this. The story speaks the heart of so many women and most especially in the church….”Shhhh, don’t say ” are words heard too often. The healing starts the moment we are true to ourselves – that enough is enough.
    Thank you Carloyn.

  9. Carolyn, this is was so empowering to read. I am reminded of my own time of severe brokenness and the challenge to claim and reclaim again God’s place in my life. Our journey, while unique to each of us shares a familiar storyline of death and resurrection. Peace and continued blessings to you.

  10. This is just wonderful, Carolyn. One of my favourites, in fact. What you speak clearly comes from living through this, and until one moves through (and not stays stuck in) the pain and loneliness and hurt…well, there is no other way of describing it. To love is to also accept the things that may come with it, and that’s not all about the wind-swept romance or mother’s love that we romanticize.

    I know that from the other side of things, I was incapable of real love because I loathed myself. I was incapable of loving myself in any way, shape or form. It’s still hard to actually say the words “I love myself”, but I know deep down that the actions I take in my life reflect it – getting sober is a big one. Returning love to others, opening up finally and taking in what the Creator has always had in store for me, helping others…all these things were verboten and unknown to me in my drinking days.

    What you describe here is a journey. One that is hard, but is nonetheless taken on many levels. Your wisdom and gentleness exude from this, and for that, I thank you. It’s always inspiring to know someone who has gone through heartache, at a deep, deep level, and has come out of it much stronger and wiser…and gentler to herself.


    • It’s always wonderful to read your comments Paul, because you remind that I am not alone in my journey of recovery. Being able to connect with others who have also gone through the pain is part of the healing process. Thank you for sharing your own story in such an open and honest way. It too is inspiring and I’m sure that it will give hope to others who are hurting. Blessings to you too!

  11. Beautiful and wise, as always, Carolyn. As you pointed out, so well, the most important aspect of loving others is loving ourselves. And forgiveness is a key component in healing our wounded hearts. Thank you for being You and for sharing your loving wisdom. Many Blessings, Sloan

  12. Reading this, I felt as if you were writing my story. Thank you.
    It is very difficult to learn to forgive yourself – and the one who has hurt you so much but it can be done.

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