As I sit here writing this article I am in deep thought about my little brother’s current heartbreak over a girl he was with for over a year. He (like most during this difficult time) looks for ways that this shouldn’t have happened. Ways that he could make it better, and right…anything to take the pain away. I have been there. I found myself counseling him with words of encouragement. Saying things that helped me get through my own inner agony when I went through heartache years ago. Although nothing can really solve the problem there are ways to approach this very common dilemma. It isn’t in going back. It isn’t in reaching for things that keep you holding onto the person that is now gone from your life. It is changing your perspective to things that help you move forward. These perspectives can help lighten the load and take the burden from the immediate crisis away.

I found incredible comfort in knowing that the right person was still out there waiting for me, and him, to find each other. I believe that everything happens for a reason so the relationship that failed before I met the love of my life was in fact, meant to be. I approached this breakup as though I needed to take something positive away from it. There was a gift I was getting in the sense that I knew when this was all over… I would learn from it and NEVER have to go through this again. I also believed that what I had learned would only help me relate better with the next relationship I was in. I knew somehow that this person was a stepping-stone putting me in the right mindset and place for the RIGHT one to come along. As much as it hurt at the time, I felt that the joy I would eventually feel with the right person would make all of this lost time and pain worthwhile.

The phrase “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is one of the worst things to hear when you are in a crisis. There doesn’t seem to be a right time to say this to anyone going through a breakup but as long as you do not remained closed because of this heartbreak you will be stronger. You will be more available and you will come out the other end whole. It all boils down to how you look at life’s curve balls. If you approach life feeling that every experience you have will make you a better person, then it will. If life just beats you down and you become a victim then healing and moving forward will become stunted. Life gives us multiple opportunities to learn and grow. If you don’t get it right the first time, life will give you another opportunity to learn it again so that eventually you never have to be in the same exact place.

Another very important part of the process of healing is dealing with the pain. That means understanding where the pain is really coming from. Is it rejection? Is it fear of being alone? Is it that you feel like you failed? The more you understand about your inner most pain the more likely you are to help it pass. A therapist once said to me (while I was dealing with my own divorce) “the only way past something is to go through it.” He advised me to allow myself to feel and understand my hurt. If you deny these feelings they will come back and bubble up with some other disappointment. The idea that I could possibly be this upset AGAIN because of another trigger was enough for me to allow myself to feel the pain. I had a lot of pain and fear when I divorced but once I understood where the pain and fear came from I felt that I could grasp it, and handle it.

Take some comfort that there is an incredible amount of literature on heartbreak because this is a very common crisis across the world. Every person, in any culture, on any side or corner of the earth has dealt with this very painful issue. You are not alone. Read. Read articles and stories about how we (the human race) have handled and overcome these events, healing from the trauma. There are a million different ways and there are even more potential solutions that have been born from people going through exactly the same pain. At the end of the day, you are left to process and heal alone. No one can do it for you, which only means that no one can take the credit for your triumph when you succeed. It is an extremely powerful and empowering process. Embrace it and know you have what it takes to get through it and be stronger for it.

I took enormous comfort in knowing that this man that broke my heart before I met my husband was just a very important key step in having what it takes to be available for the real love of my life. I met my husband when I least expected it and I know very deep down that the opportunity to be with him would not have happened if I didn’t go through the pain of the breakup before him.

We married January 8, 2011 and these were my vows to him:

My darling Enrique,

I have waited for you my entire life. It seems as though every thing that I have been through was to lead me to you.

I want to share all that I am and all that I will become. I offer you not only my life as a devoted wife and mother; I also offer you my most precious gifts…my two little ladies. Together we promise to love and honor you as a man and father.

All that we are and all that we have, we offer to you in love, peacefulness and in joy.
From this day forward I will love and comfort you, hold you close, I will honor and support your endeavors and always be your greatest fan. I promise to be your soft place to fall and give you strength to be you. I will prize you above all others, and remain faithful to you all the days of our lives.

Author's Bio: 

Sarah was born in Boston, MA, raised in New York City and graduated from the University of Connecticut with two degrees. She obtained her degrees in Communications and Psychology. Through her own personal tragedies and struggles Sarah married young and had two beautiful girls. Even though her marriage failed, her devotion to her graduate education and her girls was unsurpassed. With her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in analyzing foreign markets, and a new career opportunity in MD, she moved to MD where she met and fell in love with Enrique. Today, Sarah lives in Maryland with her husband and their children, researching, writing and publishing articles and books.