You Gave Your Heart
These are the questions people ask in the aftermath of something they never thought would happen. When you fall head-over-heels in love you invest yourself fully, without reservation. You don’t think of pulling out. You abandon yourself and make seemingly endless statements of devotion. These statements may be verbal and physical, but they are also implicit in gestures such as gifts, playful frolicking, doing things together, or simply spending time together. They may also include the sentiments you expressed in songs, poems or love letters.
You invested yourself in the relationship through these activities. They were the means by which you “gave your heart” to the other person. You also made forays into their territory – through these devotional overtures you beckoned to their heart and invited them to make devotional overtures toward you. You invited them to make commitments of allegiance and loyalty.
Words such as “allegiance,” “loyalty,” “investment” and “commitment” are words that speak of permanence. They are, in fact, defined by permanence. Without permanence they lose their meaning and can even suggest falseness, scamming or leading someone on. If you have been truthful, then what you have expressed is something permanent. But if that is the case, you have given your heart to the other person. How are you to reclaim your heart when the romantic relationship ends?
You Cannot Move On While Ignoring What has Happened
You cannot ignore the fact that you have given your heart. It doesn’t work to ignore this and the fact that this doesn’t work points us to a real key. It shows us that what is happening is very like the process of grieving. We cannot grieve properly when we do not acknowledge what has happened. In a misguided attempt to spare our emotions, we may not fully take stock of what has happened. We do not give weight to it and we try to cordon off a part of our thoughts and attention. But such grieving is incomplete and results in an inability to “move on,” for we find that there is something that continues to bother us.
Trying to “move on” in this way is like trying to go about your daily routines or pleasures while aware that there is a tension looming. It is like having a noise in the background or an unresolved matter that you know you need to deal with, but are putting off. The weightiness of the matter won’t just go away and needs to be attended to.
How Do You Reclaim Your Heart?
What I have described here is true of grief and it is also true of an ended love. You can only reclaim your heart by fully honoring your heart. And you do not honor your heart by undermining the expressions of love that you made or by seeing them as superfluous. To do so will only create shallowness in your future relationships. By giving full weight to those commitments of allegiance and loyalty, you restore your ability to make such commitments in the future.
Instead of denying that you made these commitments, recognize that you are the same person today who made them back then. Recognize how fully you made them and recognize the full depth and genuineness of your devotional statements, whether verbal otherwise. Spend some time engaging those thoughts. That is true grieving and this is what can truly reclaim your heart, enabling you to be fully alive in your relationships.
Christian Counseling Can Help You to Recover from a Broken Relationship
In this article I have explained what happens when a romantic relationship ends, and some of the challenges you will face in moving on with your life. But there may also be specific factors in your relationship that you need to work through in order to be able to move on with your life. An experienced Christian counselor can be a helpful guide as you seek to acknowledge the weight of the past and truly honor the importance of the commitments you made in a past relationship.
Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net; Loving Couple, Woman on Focus In the Park; Girl Going To Kiss Her Lover