The scars of a broken heart can leave us severely wounded. Who hasn't experienced or witnessed a close friend literally agonize over a breakup? But a recent study by the University of Arizona and Northwestern University shows there is an effective path to recovery.
Researchers demonstrated that the trial group that spent time assessing their romantic misfortunes recuperated far more quickly than the group that didn't reflect on their breakups. This confirms our own theory that people need to unpack what caused a relationship to fail if they wish to move forward on the path to romantic recovery. To put it bluntly: Don't look for new love until you've looked hard at yourself. Otherwise, you're likely to repeat the same painful patterns.
We firmly believe it's possible to find love again after experiencing a major heartbreak, but be forewarned: "possible" doesn't mean "easy." The first obstacle to surmount is fear. This is the most critical roadblock to moving forward and finding love again. Fear is often so dominant that it can crush any new budding relationship before it takes bloom.
Anyone oppressed by the weight of fear -- whether it's fear of failure, fear of being alone, fear of rejection, or something else -- needs to first acknowledge that fear is just a state of mind. Think of it as an acronym for "false evidence appearing real." It's important to acknowledge and accept this fact. Otherwise, fear morphs into a delusion that can keep you from starting any promising new relationship.
Follow these three tips to take charge of common fears that preclude you from loving and being loved again.
Focus on your "worthiness"
We are all familiar with the fear of rejection. Many specialists link that fear to childhood. If you once experienced rejection as a child, you're very likely to avoid it at all costs in your adult relationships. It's one of our deepest human fears. But if you've lived through rejection in a love affair, your scar tissue certainly runs deep.
Instead of falling victim to the fear of rejection by giving up on finding a lifelong mate, take stock of your self-worth. Build a foundation of self-respect based on what makes you your unique self -- your life experiences, your successes and disappointments, your personality and your passions. Who you are as an individual makes up your self-worth, and self-worth increases "love-worth."
Fly below the radar at first
Another fear that gets in the way of finding love is an irrational fear of failure or defeat. Whenever those with this phobia confront any scenario in which they sense the possibility of failure, their brain automatically signals a fight or flight reaction and they run for the bushes. But here's our recommendation: ease in slowly to any new relationship. It's better to befriend a romantic interest first. Take the time to show who you are and to truly discover the other person before the stakes become too high. Then, if the chemistry isn't there or your values don't align, there's no crash-and-burn defeat to recover from.
Become better acquainted with yourself
The fear of being alone forever is another juggernaut. But, when you set out to dissect this fear, you find that it has no substance to it. The fear of being alone is nothing more than a lack of confidence in one's self. Make a point of remaining single for a while. See this as an opportunity to challenge, examine and evaluate yourself and your previous relationships. Take time to really assess what makes you grateful, as well as your beliefs, your values and your priorities -- what we refer to as your "GBVPs." Confront your relationship patterns by asking: What am I really attracted to in a man/woman? What do I value most in a relationship? Listen to your inner voice to decipher what really is best for you. Then, stop compromising. You should never settle because of the fear of being alone.
We believe the bottom line to truly overcoming fear is faith. Faith is being sure that what we hope for, what we desire, is on its way. Put your faith in God or your Higher Power and you will conquer any fear that gets in your way.
Authors and relationship coaches Diane and Mario Cloutier found each other in 1998 after they both had experienced unfulfilling relationships. Their new book, Relovenship™ - Look Within to Love Again! (Xclamat!on Media, 2015) gives inspiration, hope and a step-by-step methodology to people who have had romantic disappointments and are still looking to find "the one." Mario Cloutier is founder and chief creative officer of Xclamat!ion Marketing. Diane Sawaya Cloutier enjoyed a successful career in managerial roles with Fortune 500 organizations before focusing fulltime on the couple's ReLovenship™ book and seminars. Learn more at www.ReLovenship.com.
This article was originally published on ThirdAge.com
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