By Kaye Stone  |  Photo by Sarah Katherine Davis Photography

Breakups hurt. But they can also be the start of something new and better for you. Writer Kaye Stone guides us through what it takes to survive the loss of a love.

The heart, an organ with the strength to carry the entire weight of keeping a body alive, is strong, yet so very fragile. We depend on its beat for life. We know if the heart is still working, it’s a sign life is left inside of us — a sign of hope. Although when broken, it can feel like death is looming with each rhythmic breath we take. Why is it that when a heart endures an emotional break, we’re left breathing without a rhythm of hope?

There’s so much focus on healing our mind, body and soul in an effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Not often do we shift our focus to healing the health of our own heart after it’s been broken. It’s familiar to settle in with the emotions of hopelessness, sadness, anger, and resentment. We may even fill the emptiness with another relationship or bad habit that’s likely destined for the same fate.

If not healed properly, a broken heart has the potential to lead us down a continued path of destruction. The complexity of our emotions when it comes to relationships is one that we may never understand. That’s why it’s more important to work on the relationship we’ve been in the longest: the relationship with self. 

There was a time I believed heartbreak was just a way of life. It felt like disappointment, and let down waited around every corner. It took a while before catching on to the idea that heartbreak was simply acting as my teacher. The lessons that rose from the pain eventually became the pathway to freedom and restoration of hope.

I would love to say that my divorce was the jolt to this discovery. It wasn’t. It was the journey through a lengthy timeline of heartbreaking events that was my saving grace. Facing new challenges like taking on the role as a single mother was at best, terrifying. Knowing that my resume reflected many years of an absence in the workforce proved my theory. It was hard getting a job outside of an entry-level position and pay grade. Then, to find employment that offered flexibility during the day to be there for the kids — next to impossible.

The overwhelming understanding that the necessities of life are better supported with a two-income household was also disheartening. The daily question of, “How does anyone make it on their own?” ran through my mind almost every minute of the day. Fear becomes the companion. After being stripped of everything I knew, my wounds were left violently open. It was in this place of vulnerability where I began working on healing the missing beats one by one.

Therapy paired with energy healing sessions aided in reframing my thoughts after ending a toxic relationship and empowered the walk forward. I focused my attention on building a foundation. My priority was to stabilize both my financial and emotional needs. The journals by my bedside table held the answers to a calling I might have missed otherwise. I began writing through heartbreak, using the experiences as an example to inspire others to heal. By the end of it, I didn’t just have stories to share, I had an entire manuscript.

I found the more I stayed at home by myself and avoided unhealthy distractions, the gates began to open. Embracing singleness took the pressure off someone else picking up the pieces to a heart that needed no one else’s attention but my own. The fear of being alone wasn’t one that crossed my mind, although so many have a fear of being alone in a world that makes it feel like we can’t do it on our own.

The good news is you’re not alone. You can do it and you will. Many have walked the same path and survived, somehow. For me, it was the quiet and stillness of those moments alone that offered peace. It created a space for clarity and answers. Rather than continuing to follow a wounded heart, which inevitably left me feeling broken, I decided to try something different.

Amidst the chaos of trying to comprehend it all, a guiding light was calling my name — my north star. The more I followed it and listened to my inner guidance, the more my heart fell in love with the person it was beating for. When we learn the rhythms of our own missing beats, the stronger our connection becomes to our personal guide. The light within ourselves. Sometimes the heart deserves a different kind of break — a moment at rest to heal.

During this season of love, instead of focusing on everything supporting a reservation for two, show some love to the person who knows you best. If you’re not sure who that might be, that’s the gift of the break. It’s an opportunity to get to know and begin loving your authentic self.

While you’re at it, make a reservation for one, loud and proud! Celebrate knowing you can do it on your own.