Falling in love is one of the most extraordinary feelings in the world. Conversely, when it doesn’t last as long as expected (forever, right?), it can give way to some of the saddest emotions—such as distress, disappointment, loss, loneliness, hopelessness and more—you’ve ever had. What happens to humans during this difficult time isn’t all bad. In fact, it can be an incredible opportunity for personal growth, as author Lodro Rinzler discovered when interviewing dozens of people about their heartbreaks for his new book, Love Hurts.
In the book, the best-selling author, Buddhist teacher, and meditation advisor for Sonima.com shares his observations from these intimate conversations, weaving in his own personal experiences with mending a broken heart. The bottom line: There’s no escaping getting hurt by a loved one, but you do have a choice in how you chose to proceed. “The only way we can get through our heartbreak is to sit in the middle of that terrible, devastating, world-changing experience,” writes Rinzler, who knows firsthand the benefits of meditating on a feeling. In November 2015, he co-founded MNDFL, a popular drop-in meditation studio in NYC.
A willingness to face your discomfort (rather than repress it with a pint of ice cream) can lead to living a more present and authentic life. It can teach you to see things for what they are, which in turn, can help you shift your mindset from one of anger and despair to hope and openness. To be able to love again, first learn to heal your heart—and your head—with these wise words from Rinzler.
1. Love needs space
After a third date, you may find yourself fantasizing about a life with this person—the courtship, the house, the kids, the vacations—only to get dumped two weeks later. If this happens to you often, consider this: “We need to give our love room to grow,” Rinzler says. In other words, the more we can allow people, including ourselves, and relationships to develop organically over time, the better off we’ll be. “If we box it in with our notions of how things should be, then we’re dooming ourselves to a death by a thousand heartbreaks,” he writes. Save yourself from all that pain by being open to how things really are rather than how you wish they could be.