If you have had your heart broken in the past then you know that there are times that you have a really hard time trusting yourself. You tend to analyze those around you and scrutinize their body language/actions as a potential threat to your well being and mental state. This may be due to the fact that you hate the time you have invested in your previous significant other and are vowing to never do that again.
This is no way to live. Not at all.
You could potentially be unable to trust yourself to make the correct decisions. You may think that this failed relationship may be due to your inability to see a person’s true intentions. This is not the case.
In his book The Body Keeps the Score, Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk goes into great detail about the effects of trauma on the body. Although most will say romantic heartbreaks are not “traumatic,” it does sometimes yield the same effects.
Without getting too scienty in this article, I do want to help you start to trust yourself again. I also want to express my deepest apologies for the situation that caused you to be untrusting of yourself. I understand this pain deeply and would like to encourage you to take some time to reflect on the information written in this article.
1. Be Kind to Yourself & Accept What Has Happened
If you have read some previous articles on this blog then you know that I am a big fan of accepting the past before going forward with the present and future.
I have and will continue to promote that we can never change any previous events. The point is to recognize what has happened. And to let yourself grieve for the person that once was and can never be.
Be kind to yourself. During this time, you will be going through the grieving process: depression, anger, bargaining, denial, and acceptance. Each stage of the grieving process has no set time limit, nor does it go in a linear pattern. I’m sorry to ruin your day if you thought I would say that it would be quick and easy.
2. Let the past live in the past
You should look at past events without blaming or deprecating yourself. Viewing the past objectively without anger or fear allows you to see your former self and forgive her for what has happened. You were in love or blindsided. You were deceived or taken for granted. However, under no circumstance were you able to see what would’ve happened. Trying to do so will leave you going around in circles, attempting to see clues where there were none, and reliving the pain over and over again.
That is unless you are Dr. Strange and have the time stone. If you, are then use it to give me the winning lottery numbers please :)
Okay seriously, once you let the past go, you literally unstick yourself from the fear that kept you in place. You will never feel more free than at the very moment when you leave your past behind you. Doing so will free you to more meaningful life events and connections.
We by nature are social creatures. We need to feel like we belong and are accepted for who we are. Being unable to trust yourself will sever that connection with others.
3. Learn from your mistakes
When you make a mistake and realize it was made, what is your first reaction? Do you sit and sulk or do you get excited because you know you will learn from it? If your reaction is the latter, then you are on your way to self improvement.
Trust that any mistake you make will indeed build you in character. Even if a mistake or any misstep was made, isn’t it better to think of it as a learning opportunity that your future self will love you for?
Understand that mistakes are made for the simple purpose of teaching you a significant life lesson. Don’t be afraid to make them or go against any opposition. In doing so, you will gain invaluable experiences that you can give to others.
4. Remind yourself that you are safe
Have you ever been in a social setting and had the uneasy feeling that you were judged by everything you said?
Or do you always find yourself on guard whenever you are approached by someone who may just want to ask a question?
These are definitely signs that you cannot trust yourself (or anyone else).
Sometimes, before we are even ready to, we try to seek others in order to heal ourselves. This can never work because we are not comfortable with our own selves and therefore will project the pain and hurt we feel onto others. This is why we begin to analyze others and perceive hurtful actions before they even begin.
I challenge you to find a quiet area for yourself and really allow yourself to feel safe. Try to reconnect yourself with your body. Find a yoga blog, or YouTube channel to begin focusing on your breathing. Examine the thoughts that flow into your mind and allow yourself to feel them, knowing that you will let them go. If you become overwhelmed at any point, remind yourself that you are safe, and this is part of the healing process.
5. Maintain an open mind
During the time that you are examining your thoughts and feelings, maintain an open mind to the possibilities of actually healing from your past. Most of us don’t even think about it, but if you are closed off to healing, then healing will not occur. The potential to move on will never come, and you will feel as though you failed (yet again) at something else.
I challenge you to ask yourself if you are ready to proceed. Do you really want to be able to make deep and meaningful connections with others? Why? Why not? Why do you fear pain when you have already felt it and know what it’s like? You have survived! You have succeeded in being here. Yes, you carry scars, but so do others.
Your past may be the greatest origin story of success the world has ever heard. Why keep it to yourself? Share with the world how amazing it is that you have lived, and continued to do so despite ugly circumstances.
Who are we, in turn, to judge what is and what is not traumatic to one another? Each person suffers in their own way. Each person has a very unique perception of what is traumatic to them. No one person has the right to judge you, or what you have gone through.
Moreover, there is not one person that can judge what you did when you were in pain. Understand that pain can make people do things that they would normally never do. As long as you did not infringe on another human’s rights while seeking healing, then judgment should never be passed.
Trusting yourself after heartache or any other traumatic experience will take time, as healing always does. The fact that you are here indicates that you are willing to take some time to care for yourself. Be proud of taking this first step to self awareness.
Please feel free to share your life experiences in the comments below. I love to interact with my readers and look forward to hearing from you.
How did you handle a tough situation in which you needed to heal? Did you seek professional counseling? Did you self medicate? What was your breaking point? How are you doing now?
Yaritza Ellison has been an nurse since 2010. She has been essential to the healing process of many and seeks to continue to do so. Her passion for mental health and self help literature has lead her to launch justyari.org, where she aspires to coach young ladies navigating through work-life balance.