How to Heal After Being Dumped
There are so many articles here on Bravester about having a broken heart. I should have named this the Broken Hearts Club. Who knew that part of living a brave life is walking into the vulnerability that allows your heart to get broken? That that is the brave thing. Even more importantly that heartache is a signal to you that you’ve stumbled upon something or someone that makes your heart beat. That this is who you are. A broken heart is always a beginning.
How beautifully true but you still identify yourself as The One Who Was Dumped. This is a beginning you never wanted. And for many real reasons you are stuck and unable to move on with your life. It’s like being The One Who Was Dumped is now your identity. Even seven years later. Ahem.
You are more than The One Who Was Dumped so I’m glad you found this blog. It is time to change your identity.
You are loveable.
You are desirable.
You are worthy of a good match.
God has you and your future is in His care.
It is not too late.
You are not damaged goods.
You are on the path to your love for a lifetime.
This is all true but how do you get to the place where you believe this is true about you. Be brave. Read on. I am going to bring you some truth so you can change your identity. Having the identity of being The One Who Was Dumped just sucks. I believe you already know that but we are starting with this truth. It sucks and it doesn’t look good on you. You are more than this sad story.
I’m sure you’ve got friends in your life who know this about you now. These friends have been with you through the dumping and/or have come to love you after the dumping. They see you as this whole person you can be and desire that for you. Ask them. Ask them how they see you. Maybe write these words down and post them on your bathroom mirror so you can remind yourself of this truth.
Stop the self-depracating talk. Bring those words inside your head into the light of God’s word. What is really true about those words? Find out by getting them from outside of your head and into the view of God’s word. Also compare those words to those words written on your bathroom mirror from people who love you. And use your God-given authority to lead your brain.
Stop comparing The One Who Dumped You to everyone new you are meeting. Do you even realize you are doing this? You can do this in two opposite ways. Maybe you are comparing who you are meeting and wondering if he/she has the possibility to measure up to this great love you used to have. Or maybe you are comparing these new possibilities wondering already if he/she is going to be as horrible to break your heart like The One Who Dumped You did. Do you see how you are protecting your vulnerability in both ways? But also—are you ready to hear this—you are allowing The One Who Dumped You to still have power in your life.
And that fool dumped you. That person is the fool. You don’t want to have that fool to still have power in your life.
Get out of the fool’s life, especially the stalking on social media. Maybe in the real world you can’t truly move him/her out of your life but on social media you have the controls to do this. You don’t really need to see how things are going for him at work. Don’t lie to yourself that your posts on social media are showing her that you have moved on. You don’t need to stay connected to his family through social media. Why do you want to stay connected to this fool? This is in your control. Block. Delete. These words are a part of your healing.
Bury those words that The One Who Dumped You said to you. Such words as “We are going to be together forever.” “I can’t live without you.” “You are who I prayed to God for.” These words have probably echoed through your mind for a long time. You can easily remember the setting when you first heard these words and when these words pierced your heart with pure joy. These words have been haunting you ever since.
These words have been turning your prayers into “Why God…I believed this to be true.” The truth is a fool said these words to you. Why does a fool’s words have so much power over your life? Proverbs 10:20 mic drops this for you, The words of the godly are like sterling silver; the heart of a fool is worthless. Don’t keep letting the heart of a fool play through your mind. Bury those words.
Because you did fall in love with a fool, bring to the light how you contorted yourself to be in this relationship. What lie did you tell yourself early on that led you into staying connected with someone who was not your match? Dig on this one. You are going to learn a lot about yourself as you dig. And this is important. How did you contort yourself to keep this relationship as long as you did? As you are painfully digging—and this will be painful and full of regrets—remember this, mistakes are experiences.
Keep shame out of this! You were dumped but that does not make you shameful. You are still loveable and worthy of love. A fool can’t define that for you.
You may have some regrets which you need to ask forgiveness for. Asking for forgiveness stops this process of regrets creating shame messages that define you. This certainly needs to be stopped. So in those areas where you contorted yourself, lost yourself, compromised yourself stop and ask God to forgive you. Just as He has forgiven me of much He promises to forgive you. You are not the exception. Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins. Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin. Psalm 51:1-2.
You also need to forgive The One Who Dumped You. I know you feel justified in not extending forgiveness to the fool but this will be that one hard step that will actually change your identity the most. Before you still say “no way,” please read our series on this and reconsider that this is a possibility for you.
You probably also need to forgive God because when you really think about it, you are angry with God too because this “supposed to” didn’t happen. You prayed about this relationship. You trusted God about this relationship. And you’ve been praying and seeking and praying and crying to God to help you move on. All of this has led to disappointment in God. Anger in God.
God still extends His hope for you. As we’ve written about here quite a bit, hope isn’t an emotion, it’s a way of thinking. When I can make the decision (and this is a me thing not a God thing) to make a Plan B I have found hope. Plan A crushed me but Plan B when mixed with my bravery means I have chosen to set new goals, my tenacity gives me room to change and revise those goals because deep down I know I’m worthy of having something good happen to me.
Forgive God so you can continue to grow and understand that you are worthy of having something good happen to you. You are. This fool doesn’t define you anymore. Your broken Plan A isn’t worth defining you anymore. God holds you through it all. This becomes easier to remember when you aren’t angry with Him.
If you haven’t before it is never too late to grieve well. The steps of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These are not necessarily linear. In the six months or the seven years since you’ve been dumped, have you gone through these stages? If not, you can grieve now. It is healing. It is time.
After reading and applying all of these steps I now bluntly say to you, stop letting the fool control your feelings. So what if he has moved on. So what if she got to keep the Bible study group. So what if he takes the kids to the cabin for the weekend. You have a separate life now and your life is a worthy one. The fool has his/her life and you have yours.
And maybe over time you will be able to stop referring to him/her as a fool anymore. Maybe through the healing power of time you will be able to see how you were spared this bad match. Maybe through the healing power of time you will become so grateful to God that your life is now living in a different and better direction. Maybe through the healing power of time you will be able to look at that fool and see how God loves that fool more than you ever did and that fool is worthy to God and so also has worth in your life.
That worth comes from a story that has ended and broken your heart but which led you to a much greater story where you are truly loved.
Welcome to becoming one of us, the broken beautiful.
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