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How to Cure a Broken Heart: A Recipe

by Will DonnellyJanuary 26, 2015
Heal

“What is the cure for a broken heart?” someone asked.

“You want a cure for a broken heart?” I replied. “And you think I can come up with it?”

Well, I guess I should know it, shouldn’t I? I mean, it’s been 4 1/2 years since the Great Loss, and I have survived thus far, and not just survived, but at times also thrived. So I guess I can come from somewhere other than intellectual curiosity. But do I know what has “cured” me? Not exactly, so let’s explore it a bit.

First, this cure requires a recipe. For this recipe, we will need to start with the most bitter ingredient right up front (but have faith, sweeter ingredients will be added later.)

Start with one part acceptance.

I would accept that a broken heart is a broken heart, and that it’s essence will be with me forever. I’d feel it entirely, learn what it feels like, where I can feel it in my body, and what it does to my mind. I’d let the feeling move through me like a river - sometimes a torrent and sometimes slow, like an eddy swirling around and around and around, making you feel like you might go under. “Swim out, to the current,” I’d say, “and get into the real flow of acceptance.”

Next, I’d add more than a pinch of trust.

Trust that the current is going somewhere and that we don’t really need to know exactly where that is. There’s a saying, If you want to make God belly laugh, just explain to him your plans for your life. Note: If you are broken hearted, trust is like stepping out onto a ledge overlooking a deep, unknowable canyon, with a blindfold. You’re not quite sure how far to go with it. So add Trust wisely.

Then, to round out the recipe a bit more, add several tablespoons of raucous laughter.

Laughter, like baking soda, really helps to lighten things up. Laughter can seem hard to find these days, but don’t be fooled. It’s really closer to you than you might imagine. You’ll need laughter because chemically, in your body, it helps. It sends all sorts of fantastic hormones surging through your body so you feel lighter, happier. When I laugh really, really hard, it’s like I took a pain-numbing drug, or a drug that might be called ecstasy (and this one has only positive side effects!) Don’t skimp with the laugher.

For a firm foundation to the recipe, mix in a cup of gritty courage.

Courage isn’t about being fearless, it’s about feeling your fears and moving through them. So Acceptance and Trust mix well with this ingredient of courage. On many days, after your heart has been broken, just getting out of bed feels like an epic journey and commitment, so you’ll definitely need this is the mix. Shopping tip: I’ve found courage often on the pages of books —so you may want to look there for this ingredient.

To create a better emulsion, generously pour in free-flowing tears, as needed.

Somehow, tears seem to water the fertile elements of release. They don’t really wash away the pain, as some might suggest. but rather they seem to be a blessing of water onto dry soil, soil that has forgotten Who It Really Is, in it’s natural ability to be fecund, fertile and constantly providing the perfect environment for more growth. Tip: These tears can come from laughter, too!

In my grandmother’s day, I am aware they discouraged adding tears into this recipe, which I am also aware makes the recipe very dry and bitter tasting. Tears are alchemical in nature, and they mix really well with the above-mentioned elements, so let it flow, baby!

Finally, it is said that there can be no cure without this next, mercurial ingredient: Love.

This is the trickiest, most exotic ingredient in the entire recipe. And yet, it is the most simple and sweetest, so I know you’ll love adding it. You may be tempted to skimp on this one because it can seem so hard to find, or it seems to cost so much. But don’t be fooled. It is readily available absolutely everywhere. It’s not where you look, but how you look that will help you find it. Hint: to find the best quality, start looking from within first.

But how much love must be in the recipe? Once you are able to love others’ as much as or more than you loved the person you lost, you will have found the perfect amount for this recipe. (But you really can’t add too much!)

Well, there may be more to this recipe, but this is a start. Oh, I almost forgot! You must use a specific container to hold all the special ingredients for this elixir: Time.

The best part about this container is that it works naturally to allow you to see all the ingredients - how they mix together and dance endlessly in swirling, beautiful patterns.

As you look at these mystical ingredients though the container of time, much like a soufflé rising, you’ll notice that within this recipe, Wisdom is a natural by-product, too. There are some who use this container for their recipe but fail to see the wisdom rise.I think they shake it too much. I don’t recommend this oversight, as wisdom is the icing on the cake, so to speak, and makes for a heaven on Earth, a recipe for which we all are very hungry.


Will Donnelly

Will Donnelly is a nationally recognized, certified yoga teacher and writer, and is the author of “Practical Yoga’s Wisdom for Everyday People: Essays & Inspiration for Life" (2017), a compilation of his most popular online essays now available at amazon.com. Will has been a pioneer in the field of yoga, developing Practical Yoga, and co-creating a yoga–reality series for fitTV (Discovery Communications, 2004). As a writer and teacher, Will encourages all students to trust their impulses and find their true voice. Will currently lives in Hawaii, where he leads weekly yoga and writing classes at Kalani retreat center. He also leads several popular Practical Yoga adventure and healing retreats throughout the year. Information on retreats, his book, DVDs and other inspiration to be found at WillsPracticalYoga.com

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