Shaping Love after Emotional Derailment. Can a Heart be Restored?
Updated: Nov 28, 2022
Ah....Falling in love. Three simple words. It makes it seem so easy, doesn't it? And sometimes it is! That perfect
person enters your life and pretty soon, your heart is bursting with joy, looking forward to spending as much time as you can with this significant other. You two laugh together, always seeking fun things to do. You may
even find yourself having a permanent smile plastered on your face, when you don't even realize your smiling until someone curiously points it out. You read, and re-read their texts. Just the sound of their voice brings a smile and makes your heart beat a little faster. In fact, it's very possible you are thinking of that specific person as you read this. (With a smile on your face).
What if it's not that easy though? What if that love train derails? What if it starts off perfect, but then something goes wrong, or it's not going as planned, or not as you thought it would be? What if you (or your significant other) are still recovering from a past broken heart and they weren't ready to start another relationship? Or even more so, you think you are ready and when you are actually in the relationship, you realize you aren't. Is that even fair to the other person? Your wounds are still raw and emotional damage is still rearing it's ugly head. Fear takes over and that fear of being hurt again holds you back from ever entering that danger zone of love again. How do you let go of past hurts? You want to be in a relationship but are not sure how....
I have good news for you! Step back and take a look at the bigger picture. Realize that what you went through in the past is a big part of you today. There's something important you need to remember. It takes sorrow to know true joy. It takes turbulence to appreciate silence. It takes being absent to value presence. So how do you move on? How do you trust again?
Simple..... in a complex way. You have to ask yourself, how does this person make you feel? Do they lift you up with encouragement, or tear you down with belittling words? Do they put your interests first, or do they demand that their interests be most important? Do they have an "it's all about me" attitude, or do they have a "how can I make you feel better" attitude? And what happens when there is a disagreement? Do they throw a fit if they don't get their way, or do they calmly discuss it with you with an open mind, listening to your concerns? Lastly, do their actions speak louder than their words? It's easy to fall in love with someone who says the right things, but it should also be someone who does the right things. Integrity is vital.
There are two factors that are most important here.
How does the other person make you feel about yourself?
How do you feel about the other person?
This person. How does he/she make you feel about yourself? It's a clear cut answer. When you are with him/her, you should be receiving a clear affirmation of yourself as a person. What does that mean? There are several people in your life who can try to give you this message. It could be from people that have been around you forever, or maybe even new people that entered your life who can try to give you this message, but for some reason, it just doesn't work with these other people. You try to give them chances, to let them prove themselves. When in reality, you just keep getting hurt over and over.
But ah!.... Then there's that one person again. That person who is an anchor for you. A rock. That person who will do everything they can to protect you and shelter you from your storm. Now THAT is the person that is does work with. They prove to you during your time together that he/she really understands who you are. That someone was able to plunge your depths and has seen the worst (and the best) of you. That someone who has experienced both worlds of you still finds you to be an amazing and unique individual. This is the person who can offer you that level of validation. There may even be other people you dated in the past who thought they might love you, but deep down you know they really didn't, because they didn't truly know you. If they don't know you (both the good you, as well as the "challenging" you), then it will be impossible for him/her to actually fill that sense of validation within you.
Genuinely knowing the other person is the cornerstone of a relationship. They, in turn, will open up to you, just as much as you open up to them. Validation goes both ways.
So there you have it. You've allowed that one person into your world. You feel understood each step of the way.
The great thing is that even after knowing all of you, he/she is still intrigued with the process of you and want's more. Is there anything better than that? THAT is what I mean by "how they make you feel about yourself".
They make you want to be a better version of yourself. To improve where improvement is needed, but to also be able to be yourself, unconditional, around them. To know that it's okay to make mistakes and grow and learn from them. To be able to laugh, be silly, be serious, be angry, be concerned, be sad, be creative. They want all of it. They want all of you. You'll feel exhilarated because you've let this person in and they will appreciate you giving them the wonderful gift of you. <3
The next question, "How do you feel about the other person", actually stems from the first question.
You see, as you let them in, they are also letting you in. So your in! What are you finding in their heart and soul? I'll tell you what you should find and it's something you'll least expect. You'll find a soul very similar to yours. Now, if I want to be cliché, I'll tell you that opposites attract. Which in a sense can be true much of the time. But do you want just an "attraction", or do you want something more? Something deeper? Significant, deep-down endearment or attraction comes from a reflection of yourself. Does he/she share with your central beliefs, the core of who you are? That would be yet another validation, because now you realize this person shares the same heart as you. Now please keep in mind that this heart and soul connection is not apparent from the beginning. You can't skim the surface of someone to find this, as the surface will include many differences. One likes spicy, the other doesn't. One likes the beach, the other doesn't. One likes crowds, the other likes quite moments. However, it's when total submergence happens... that you'll find true connection.
If you are still uncertain, still feeling guarded, there a a couple of things you can do.
First, the other person needs to acquire the skill of being patient. Not many people have that skill, especially now-a-days. 2. You must be patient too. With your significant other and with yourself. He/she needs to realize that you have been hurt in a relationship and that you need time to heal. Allow yourself time to heal from past hurts. This is a process that time does not heal, therefor it cannot be rushed. 3. Be aware of the growth! Your guard is up meaning your antenna is picking up on everything! You see that something great is on the horizon, but you are letting yourself overthink it. Examine your relationship with this person. Is there gentleness? Sensitivity? Generosity of time and effort? Respect? Communication? From these things, trust begins to grow. It's crucial to allow these steps the time they need to unfold because when trust grows, it allows you to open up more. You won't even have to force it, as it will be part of the natural process. Then you will realize new things about yourself. The same self that experienced all the pain. Except now, there is healing and a newfound respect. This will be a talking point between you and your significant other. Because you will open up the door to a deeper relationship when you realize that he/she has actually heard you. It created a new vulnerability and it allows you to open up more and more to each other, which in turn, brings more understanding, which opens up the door for falling in love again. 4. This last one is so important. If you can see yourself with this person, how will they raise your children? Will they teach them honor, integrity, and how to love others? Will they teach them to love Jesus? Or will they teach them like the world does, with social media, material things and selfishness? These are things to think about!
So, what is the reward for this difficult process? It's so much more than simply falling in love and even more than just improving a relationship. It's something that brings richness and maturity. Something you didn't feel the first time around. Or even the second, for that matter. It's a deep understanding of who this other person really is to you and a confidence and security to trust him/her to protect your heart and love you with an unconditional love. Not THAT is something to celebrate and pursue.