How to Survive a Shattered Heart

shattered heartsHas life shattered your heart? Here are five tips on how to survive with half a heart, inspired by a girl who survived six heart attacks by the time she was nine years old.

These tips on healing after heartbreak are inspired by a literal broken heart, but they apply to anyone who is in pain for any reason.

Bethan Edwards was born with half a heart, and suffered her first heart attack when she was just three days old. “Because she only has half a heart, we don’t know whether she will have to have more operations or if she will need a heart transplant one day,” says her mother, Mandy Edwards. “But we take each day as it comes, and Bethan is so strong and brave. She’s a real inspiration to us all. Not many people can say they have survived six heart attacks.”

Surviving a shattered heart requires energy, courage, and inspiration.

5 Tips on How to Survive a Shattered Heart

What circumstance are you facing? Maybe your heart is broken because of a failed relationship, argument with a loved one, or death of someone you care about. Maybe you’re exhausted and tired of fighting to move forward. These tips on surviving a shattered heart are based on Bethan’s courage and energy. May you find comfort and healing here.

Take it one heart attack at a time. Mandy and Bethan don’t know what the future holds, or how many more heart operations or heart attacks are in store. They are literally living in the moment, and holding on to each day as it unfolds. They aren’t borrowing problems that aren’t theirs, and they aren’t preparing for disasters that haven’t occurred. One of the best tips on how to survive with half a heart is to take it one moment at a time.

Accept your wounded heart. The pain of a shattered heart will never leave you completely. I still carry the pain of losing my sister, nieces, and grandmother – and I lost them years ago. I’m still sad about losing various cats and dogs I’ve loved over the years…and I still ache when I think about how I’ve been hurt in the past by people. I don’t believe we ever completely heal from a shattered heart…it’s part of living in this world.

Find your source of strength and energy. In How Music Therapy Helps People Heal, I write about the benefits of playing and listening to music. In 8 Ways to Pamper Yourself After a Bad Day at Work, I describe practical and spiritual tips on how to survive with half a heart. In Healing Emotional Pain with Radical Acceptance, Gini describes how acceptance helps you embrace your life no matter what is breaking you down. What have you gained strength and energy from in the past? What makes you feel whole, connected, vibrant, and peaceful? To survive a shattered heart, plug in every day.

Find ways to break your patterns. “Perhaps the biggest tragedy of our lives is that freedom is possible, yet we can pass our years trapped in the same old patterns,” says Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance. “We may want to love other people without holding back, to feel authentic, to breathe in the beauty around us, to dance and sing. Yet each day we listen to inner voices that keep our life small.” Is your shattered heart keeping your life small? What patterns are you responsible for – how can you break free?

Learn on your spiritual connection to God. My most solid tip on how to survive a shattered heart – if you have a personal relationship with God – is to trust that He cares for and loves you. This isn’t how Bethan survived her literal “half a heart” birth, heart attacks, and heart operations (at least not that I’m aware of) – it’s how I accept and survive all my brokenness.

How will you survive your shattered heart? Are you a spiritual person? Knowing you have a Supreme Being who loves you unconditionally and only wants the best for you can change how you feel about yourself, your life, and the people around you. And, it can change how you survive when it feels like your heart has been torn into pieces.

What do you wish would change in your life…and do you have power over it? I welcome your thoughts below.

Source of Mandy’s comments and Bethan’s story of surviving with half a heart: Bravery of schoolgirl, nine, born with half a heart who has survived SIX cardiac arrests by Lucy Laing.

I’m always looking for stories of hope and healing, survival and growth. If you have anything to share, please comment below! If you want to share how you’re surviving a shattered heart, feel free to express yourself here.