Breakups > Letting Go > How Do You Live With a Broken Heart? With Hope and Faith

How Do You Live With a Broken Heart? With Hope and Faith

Every heart breaks in big and little ways. Most of us learn how to live with broken hearts. Some of us love more deeply because of heartbreak.

Living with a heart broken by loss, a breakup, or an accident is easier if you remember two things: 1) This is the way life and love is supposed to be; and 2) You don’t have to believe everything you think and believe. Learning how to live with a broken heart is about accepting what is (the “isness” of this moment) and allowing your thoughts and emotions to pass through you.

My sister disappeared from my life eight years ago, which I mentioned in How to Be Strong in Your 40s After a Breakup. I used to think I’d get over it because time heals all wounds, right? Wrong. Now I know that a broken heart never fully heals. But I also know that I can’t keep anyone or anything in my life for longer than is supposed to be. And, I no longer allow my thoughts and emotions to control how I live in this moment.

“Letting go is a behavior we can practice each day, whatever the circumstances in our lives,” writes Melodie Beattie in More Language of Letting Go. “It’s a behavior that benefits relationships we want to work. It’s a helpful behavior in insane relationships, too. It’s a useful tool to use when we really want to bring something or someone into our lives, and in accomplishing our goals.”

Learning how to live with a broken heart is about letting go. Not just of the person you loved and lost, but of your own hopes and dreams. Even more important is to make space for the idea that you won’t always feel like you’re living with a heart broken by loss, rejection, or abandonment.

You won’t always feel this way. If you truly want to heal, you will get through the worst of this…and you will learn that this, too, shall pass.

4 Ways to Fill Your Broken Heart With Hope and Faith

How Do You Live With a Broken Heart?
Not Living Brokenhearted

Earlier today I wrote an article about healing your heart without relationship closure. In my research I learned that when we are attached to people, our identity gets wrapped up in them. I was so attached to my sister, she became part of my identity. I also identified myself as a sister and an orphan with no other close family members. That was not an easy identity to release.

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When my sister told me she didn’t want me in her life anymore, my self-identity was completely destroyed. Later I realized that my identity was the reason it was so hard for me to heal my broken heart. I didn’t know who I was anymore; my identity was shattered.

How is your broken heart wrapped up in an identity you had, and lost?

1. Make room in your life for a new identity

This is the hardest thing for me to accept, because I truly thought I’d always have my sister in my life. I loved her more than anyone. Even though we had grown further apart and I knew our relationship wasn’t great, I still thought she was the most important relationship in my life.

I was wrong.

Now I know that I don’t have to live with a broken heart! I grieved my sister’s decision to leave me, and I created a new self-identity. It took years – it wasn’t easy or fast – but it was so good for me. We can’t learn how to stop loving people, but we can make room for ourselves to grow and become different people. Our lives are different, our hearts are different, why can’t we be different?

2. Accept life with joy, peace, and a humble heart

I don’t live with a broken heart anymore. That was part of my identity; I am not that girl anymore. I’m still sad that I lost her, but I don’t even wish things were different. It is what it is. I learned what I had to learn.

Accepting reality – the “isness” of this moment – brings so much emotional freedom and energy! When I accept that fact that she is not here with me – that she has chosen to leave me – then I feel light and free. When I resist reality, I feel heavy and anxious. If you want to learn how to live with a broken heart, keep doing what you’ve been doing. But if you want to be free and light, pay attention to how you feel when you accept and when you resist.

3. Savor the sprinkle of rain and rays of sunshine

If you live fully in the moment when you’re savoring something delicious – a strawberry, a sweaty run, a nose-to-nose rub with a baby or a dog, a beautiful flower, a bubble bath – then the pain of the breakup will be gone! In that moment of sweet surrender to your experience you will find nothing but taste, scent, touch, or sound. At that moment you’re not living with a broken heart. You’re just living.

Are you an extrovert? Maybe you need to spend more time with someone who is so alive it makes your teeth hurt. Someone who is loud, happy, exuberant, and who laughs freely and easily. If you’re an introvert, maybe you need to spend more time in quiet contemplation, forest walks with God, writing or painting.

4. Question your thoughts on living with a broken heart

“A thought is harmless unless we believe it,” writes Byron Katie in I Need Your Love – Is That True? How to Stop Seeking Love, Approval, and Appreciation and Start Finding Them Instead. “It’s not our thoughts, but the attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering. Attaching to a thought means believing that it’s true, without inquiring. A belief is a thought that we’ve been attaching to, often for years.”

Believing that you need to learn how to live with a heart that is broken is a thought. It’s a belief that may not be true. The only way to find out is to question it. Instead of learning how to live in brokenheartedness, explore different ways to heal and and open your heart.

I need your love Is that true?

Will time help your heart heal? Perhaps. Read 5 Ways Time Heals a Broken Heart.


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3 thoughts on “How Do You Live With a Broken Heart? With Hope and Faith”

  1. Leona, this is wonderful advice – thank you! Volunteering is an excellent way to take our minds off our broken hearts and losses. I’m a Big Sister, and I love spending time with my Little :-)

    My mom is still alive, but it’s not the same with her. I love her very much, but her mental illness (schizophrenia) is an obstacle. It’s like a barrier to our relationship, to us being really close. It’s sad, but…it is what it is. I hope I can use my experience to be a light to others, to offer hope and inspiration.

    In peace and passion,

  2. Thank you so much for this wonderful article, Laurie. I’m so sorry that you’re sister is not in your life, it’s definitely a loss for you but she is missing out too, on her relationship with you, and that’s too bad. But, I think you’re totally correct in accepting that the loss of your sister is a part of your life, and that it’s ok to feel a sense of emptiness when you think of her, instead of trying to resist the feeling.

    My dear Mom passed away four years ago, and she and I were very close. I miss her a lot but of course, the pain of her not being with me is not quite as intense now as it was the first year after her death. However, I’ve accepted that I will always miss her, and I won’t see her again until I cross over to the other side, when it’s my time to go. But, until then, I’m going to live my life to the fullest, which is what she wanted me to do.

    Volunteering is one of the best ways I can think of to not focus on my loss and to focus on someone else who really needs my help and time. In fact, I’m starting to volunteer at a local wildlife rehabilitation center where I live in San Diego, and I’m really looking forward to helping as many injured and sick wildlife as possible, and meeting new friends and connecting on a new level with Mother Nature. I know my Mom would approve, as she loved all creatures, great and small.

    So, I encourage anyone who is hurting with a loss to try to reach out to those in need in your local community…you’ll do a lot of good and meet some wonderful, like-minded people too! This will help take your mind off of your loss and give you joy and a sense of accomplishment. :-)

  3. My live in partner not with me anymore he cheated me I found only in fb..for 11 yrs we’ve been together after I need to accept he is not the right guy. I’m learning how to live with a broken heart.