Sunday, May 4, 2014

How to Heal a Broken Heart

Last week we remembered the victims and honored the survivors of the Holocaust.  Those who made it through and started over to create a new life for themselves are incredibly inspiring to me.  After all, if they can do it then how can I not?!  It's a long journey back to being whole, but no one is ever too broken to start again.

I find myself being "reinvented" as of late.  I rather like the new Shayna, though sometimes she catches me off-guard.  Trying to stay positive and make it through the legal battles and material struggles, the late nights alone and mountains of housework, the exhaustion and occasional despair.  I've become more aware of how many people experience these same conditions and wanted to share a few things that have helped me...

Stop and smell the flowers.  Not just roses, but all flowers: the jasmine growing over that fence, the geranium climbing up the rocks, the lemon blossoms bursting on your neighbor's tree, the rosemary by the bus stop. Stop for two seconds, close your eyes, and take a deep breath in...now get back to whatever you were doing and notice how big your smile has become.

Drive with your windows down.  Sing at the top of your lungs.  Watch out for flies.

Every once in a while, just give in to the hurt.  Curl into a ball in a dark corner, lock yourself in the car and scream as loud as you can, climb to the highest peak, spread your arms to the heavens and bawl "why G-d, why?!"  Then dry your tears, get some sleep, and start the next day with a new determination to count your blessings and be truly grateful for the good left in your life.  It could always be worse.

Go to the cistern of the ancient crusader fortress in Tzfat, or sit in a bathtub, or find some other acoustically amazing spot.  Sing the saddest heart-break songs you can think of for at least a good two hours, then sing as many love songs as you can remember.

Meditate for five minutes every day, and if you don't have time for five minutes then meditate for an hour.

Grow a garden, learn an instrument, try something new...try ten new somethings!  Don't stop until you've acquired a new hobby that you wonder how you ever lived without.

Wear mascara.  Put on your nicest clothes.  Yes, your baby might wipe her nose on them, but that's just a risk you've got to take.  Dress for the job you want, not the one you have...and don't we all want to be princesses?

Gather up all the candles you've ever been gifted and burn them at once.

Find out where the local tourist attractions are for your area and visit them.  Pretend you're from out of town, wear khakis and a funky sun hat, take lots of pictures.

Go through your Facebook chat list and randomly send nice messages to friends who are online.  You just might make someone's day amazing.  You could even save someone's life.

Turn off technology for a day.  Have real face-to-face conversations.  Take your kids or dog, or your neighbor's kids or dog to the park.  Run and sweat like there's no tomorrow.

Get an ice cream cone, sit on a wall, swing your feet and hum while enjoying the sweet, creamy goodness.

Compliment someone you meet today.  Compliment yourself, out loud.

Run outside barefooted.  Watch out for glass.  Wiggle your toes in the dirt and pretend that you're a kid again.  Where is the best spot for a tree house?  Could you make a good pretend salad with those weeds?

Stuff yourself silly one day with cake and cappuccinos.  Juice the next day.

Sit outside at night and get comfy.  Now watch the sky until you see a shooting star.  It could take a while.

Purge.  Forgive but don't forget; shake out the pain and anger to make room for new love to grow.  Hold onto the memories only enough to keep lessons learned the hard way, so that you don't have to learn them all over again.  Let go of things that don't fit you anymore, whether feelings or music or clothes.

Write a poem, paint a picture, sew something new. Whatever your preferred medium is, just create.

Volunteer.  'Cause the more that you give, the more you've got to give.

Take a hundred selfies one day in the widest variety of poses, but don't share them with anyone on any platform.

Lock the doors and make sure your blinds are shut tight, then dance naked in your living room.  Laugh plenty.

How do you get through the tough times?  Share your best remedies in the comments below: