THIS ARTICLE ENTITLED “SURVIVING HEARTACHE” IS BY DR.SHANNI DOVER
Hello again, Dear Reader. Today I will discuss surviving heartache. This is something we all must face in life – whether young, old, sick, healthy, rich or poor. But do not fear. You are strong enough to get through to the other side of your pain.
Acceptance can be a key factor. Even though you may have lovely plans, some of these dreams could actually lead to heartache. Do you still dream? The answer is Absolutely Yes. Let’s take a deeper look.
Finding the Good:
Heartache is a part of life; the trick is to find the good. Always look for the good; look for the helpers. In the midst of anxiety, sadness, loneliness and despair, they will be your strength!
Fred Rogers, one of my personal heroes, wrote:
“I was spared from any great disasters when I was little, but there was plenty of news of them in newspapers and on the radio, and there were graphic images of them in newsreels.
For me, as for all children, the world could have come to seem a scary place to live. But I felt secure with my parents, and they let me know that we were safely together whenever I showed concern about accounts of alarming events in the world.
There was something else my mother did that I’ve always remembered: “Always look for the helpers,” she’d tell me. “There’s always someone who is trying to help.” I did, and I came to see that the world is full of doctors and nurses, police and firemen, volunteers, neighbors and friends who are ready to jump in to help when things go wrong.”
Fred Rogers often told this story about when he was a boy and would see scary things on the news: “My mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.”
Realizing that heartache can be managed, and simultaneously become a source of growth, is a huge step towards our self awareness.
Defeating the Fear:
I often say to those deep in heartache, “Keep your head up…” For me, this means to hold your head high no matter what troubles may challenge you. You are bigger than your fears, your trials, or your hurts.
I believe that fear can be a large part of heartache. Typically it can appear to be free-floating fear, with no particular attachment. However, upon deeper reflection the fear can often be traced to an irrational thought.
Albert Ellis (RET, 1959) researched the notion that our fears are based upon irrational belief systems. These beliefs create anxiety. Ellis advocated the importance of accepting yourself because you are alive, human and unique. He posited that being influenced by what others think of you can lead to pain and fear. Ellis urged people to discard the “shoulds, oughts, and musts”. He wrote:
“There are three musts that hold us back: I must do well. You must treat me well. And the world must be easy. By not caring too much about what people think, I’m able to think for myself and propagate ideas which are very often unpopular. And I succeed.
I had a great many…cases where people were absolutely devastated when somebody with whom they were compulsively in love didn’t love them back. They were killing themselves with anxiety and depression.
The emotionally mature individual should completely accept the fact that we live in a world of probability and chance, where there are not, nor probably ever will be, any absolute certainties, and should realize that it is not at all horrible, indeed—such a probabilistic, uncertain world.”
When we identify, face and defeat our irrational fears, we are better able to successfully survive heartache. By not falling victim to alarmists or our own illogical fears, we move closer to our true nature. When we change our mindset, our strengths can become more apparent. A wise man once said, “What we put our attention on, we enliven.” Simply put, if we focus on our strengths they take a position in the forefront of our thoughts. This allows us to respond from a more grounded position rather than from the heartache.
Amid heartache and fear you must nurture yourselves. Simply put, be good to yourselves. I’ve found we are often hard on ourselves when we are enveloped in sadness…we blame ourselves. But again, heartache is part of life. These challenges needn’t be our downfall but can serve to teach us.
All of life is here to teach us. Life is constantly teaching us to be gentle, to be loving and giving, and to care for our lost and shipwrecked brothers and sisters.
However, this is easier said than done. Yet, when we rise from our heartache to help another, we free ourselves from pain… we can fly above it and beyond it. Thus, we learn that the pain is only temporary, and that happiness can wait around the next corner.
You mustn’t think that your actions are inconsequential. Just the opposite is true. Every action you take has a ripple effect, like dropping a pebble into water. Every act of kindness… a smile, a hand held out, a hug, a word to console… these things are priceless. Although heartache will still be a part of your life, your perception of the heartache can be altered.
Life is like a roller coaster ride… there will be highs and lows; possible heartbreak waits, but the trick is to hold on, breathe, and enjoy the gifts of life. Be courageous when you start down those hills.
Given that heartbreak is indeed a part of this life, your hearts can endure, as will you. Your dreams will change throughout your lives; your attitudes towards your dreams and your life will also change. Change is an inevitable part of life. This is something we can indeed count on, so we must roll with these changes whether we view them as good or bad.
When we are struggling with uncertainty, loss and anxiety, looking for “helpers” as Fred Rogers suggests can help to alleviate our fears and pain.
When battling with heartache, we also have to put away our indoctrinated belief systems. As Ellis pointed out many years ago, it is our “shoulds, oughts and musts” that lead to a great deal of human heartache.
And lastly, please remember to be good to yourself. Focus on your innate strength and fortitude. This is a salient weapon against your heartache. By nurturing yourself, you will find that your strengths become more apparent to you. Further, you are better able to reach out to others who are in the midst of heartache.
Being good to yourself means that if you’re tired, you rest; if you need a hug, hug yourself if necessary. Furthermore, you must forgive yourself for your mistakes. Telling yourself good things such as, I am worthy; I am a good person; I deserve love; I can solve problems; I am a winner; I am talented; I am loving and giving…this is also your weapon against heartache. You must remember these affirmations as this is a fundamental truth of life: You Are Beautiful!
Please feel free to comment with regards to the value of this article to you, and what you would want to see more of in these posts. I will be available to answer questions and respond to comments. Dear Reader, I remain your friend.
THIS ARTICLE ENTITLED, “SURVIVING HEARTACHE” IS BY DR.SHANNI DOVER