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Reverend Laurie Sue Brockway, The Romance Reverend

Soulful Love
August 2002

A Goddess is a Girl's Best Friend by Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway
Rev. Laurie Sue's Newest Book:
"A Goddess is a Girl's Best Friend"

by Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway

Every month, our Soulful Singles "Romance Reverend" shares her sage insights on relationships and getting ready for soulful love!  Send your questions to RomanceRev@SoulfulLiving.com.

How To Mourn A Broken Heart and Lost Love

Dear Romance Reverend,

I just broke up with my boyfriend of two years and I don’t know what to do with myself. Even though it was time for us to part, I feel so empty. It feels as if there has been a death in my family. What can I do to move on? Should I look for someone new? -- Debra, Sun Valley, Idaho

*  *  *  *  *  *

Dear Debra:

Ending a significant relationship is like a death in the family. If you allow the feelings to run their natural course, you will heal faster and recover more completely. It is a process so very similar to any loss through death. I think it is important to grieve, to mourn, to express all your feelings and fears. This will allow you to move on when the time is right.

A break up of a love relationship – or a friendship, a business partnership or even separation from familiar people and places due to loss of a job – stimulates all the feelings that the death of a loved one can bring on. These feelings may not be as intense, or long lasting, but they are as real. And sometimes, in the case of a devastating and unexpected break up, the feelings of loss are even more profound. Somehow, when a loved one passes away, we often can learn to forgive them for their indiscretions, the things they may have done to harm us, whether intentional or not – because they are dead. But when a loved one leaves, and is still very much alive, we must confront the feelings of betrayal, unworthiness, deep and penetrating sorrow, and a sense of doom. It can be even more difficult to forgive and forget – initially – than if the person had died.

We can all find great wisdom in the expression "this too shall pass," for it shall, in its own time. Your first mission is to go into mourning for the relationship lost, the love that is no longer there, and the person who is no longer at your side. This will help you accept your new reality – soulfully single life – and over time you will gain back your strength and desire for a new relationship.

Try seven days of mourning: People of the Jewish faith have a custom of "Sitting Shiva" for a deceased loved one or member of the community. It is seven days of intensive, uninterrupted mourning (except for the Sabbath and holy days). In that time, relatives and loved ones gather in community and grieve together. It is a way to focus entirely on the loss and the pain of loss, and to remember the departed, as it allows everyone healthy access to feelings and as well as expression of their grief in a totally acceptable and supported manner. You can adapt this practice in a non-denominational way and apply it to a relationship that has gone awry by taking at least seven days to mourn your loss --intensively.

Saying good bye to love lost. I would advise that you keep a picture of this person, along with a picture of the two of you if you have one, on a special altar or table for seven days. Sit down for a half hour each day and stare at the images. Light a white candle to set the healing mood, and incense if you like. See what comes to mind during this time, let the thoughts (and tears!) flow … and you may find by the second or third day you have a desire to speak out loud. Talk to the pictures – as if you are speaking to the loved one who is no longer in your life and to the person you were when you were with that person. Think: What do I need to say in order to move on – and say it. Or just reminisce about the good times you miss. Don’t worry about feeling wacky talking to pictures. There is a method of therapy called Gestalt in which people talk to pillows to get things out of their system. Talking to pictures is a spiritual step toward energetic healing.

During that 7 days of mourning, cry your heart out. It’s never gets easy to lose in love, or lose the one we have loved. Romantic break ups often leave us as numb, and almost comatose, at first, as if there has been a death in the family. There will be many times, as you are out in the world, that you will have to "hold it together" and pretend you are fine. Make sure you set aside time every day to cry like a baby. Cry in the shower, take salt baths and cry in the bath. Rent movies that help you release through tears, and listen to music that stirs your emotions.

Know when to bring mourning of a relationship to a close. After seven days, or whenever you feel personally ready, put the pictures away and pack up the memorabilia from the relationship. It is a Native American custom to put away the items belonging to, or reminiscent of, the dead, so that the living can go on. This idea can easily be applied to divorce and relationships that have ended. You may not feel ready in seven days (in fact, it is unlikely if you have been through an intensive divorce or the ending of a long term relationship) … Seven days gives you a focal point for intensive grief, but it could be seven weeks or seven months that you need to grieve and honor the sadness and loss you feel inside. Feelings of grief may turn on and off, and create a sense of highs and lows in your life for a while. That’s normal. Honor yourself by giving yourself permission to simply go with it. There is no formula for overcoming loss of love, just many little things you can do to move yourself through spiritually. Your main focus should be comfort and release during times of despair, and then, a slow progression toward healing that includes doing things that bring you joy – like dancing, singing in the shower instead of crying, seeing movies that make you laugh and listening to music that warms your heart and inspires you.

You will heal. You will move on. When the day comes to see the light through the darkness, you will know it. It may seem sudden but it is really the result of a process of letting go of grief and letting in new possibilities for living. It will be as if the sun is peeking through the clouds, or as if you have been in a tunnel of grief and suddenly the light at the other end has grown clearer and stronger.

As far as seeking out new love, that too will come in its proper time and season. It is always a good idea to take time to grieve before starting new relationships. Jumping into a new relationship before you’ve had a chance to truly heal the pain of the last, as a way to get over or avoid feeling the pain, is not recommended. However, some people are further along in the mourning, or more ready for the end of the mourning period, sooner than others. If you find yourself blessed with the fortunate grace of a new partner who can be by your side and love you unconditionally through the difficult times, then follow your heart. Just stay conscious and always know your motivation.

There are two books I highly recommend. These are my favorite relationship break up bibles: Spiritual Divorce: Divorce As A Catalyst For An Extraordinary Life (HarperSanFrancisco, 2001) by Debbie Ford and Coming Apart: Why Relationships End and How To Get Through The Ending of Yours (Red Wheeler/Weiser, February 2000), by Daphne Rose Kingma. Both offer amazing insights that will help you heal. Also, in my new book, A Goddess Is A Girl’s Best Friend: A Divine Guide To Finding Love, Success and Happiness (Perigee Books, December 2002) there is a very helpful chapter on "Overcoming The Loss of A Loved One with Mary Magdelene" that offers some highly helpful rituals to assist your through loss of all kinds.

© Copyright 2002 Reverend Laurie Sue Brockway  All Rights Reserved. 


Read Reverend Laurie Sue's Current Column


Read Reverend Laurie Sue's Past Columns:

July 2002 - "Relationships That Nurture and Inspire Growth of the Soul

June 2002 - "Finding Peace in a Turbulent World"

May 2002 - "Sacred Sexuality For Modern Men and Women"

April 2002 - "When Someone You Love Pushes Your Buttons"

March 2002 - "When Life Has You Down, Remember You Are Loved"

February 2002 - "Plan a Valentine's Day Team Date"

January 2002 - "Do I Hear Him Knocking … From the Other Side?"

December 2001 - "How Do We Make Our Love Dreams Come True?"

November 2001 - "What is the Future of Love?"

October 2001 - "Getting to Know 'Lakshmi' the Goddess of Good Fortune"

September 2001 - "Can't Hurry Love... It Will Happen in Its Right Moment"

August 2001 - "Family Rituals Help Us Grow Into Loving Beings"

July 2001 - "Dreams Warn It’s Time To Own Your Power"

June 2001 - "A Fun Visual of Your Favorite Romance"

May 2001 - "Someday Your Mystical Soul Mate Will Come"

April 2001 - "Enjoy the Merriment and Fun of An Ancient Love Holiday"

March 2001 - "Nourish Yourself On a Date for One"

February 2001 - "Get Ready for Soulful Love"

Reverend Laurie Sue Brockway is an author, teacher and contemporary clergy person who specializes in matters of the heart and soul. As an ordained interfaith minister and non-denominational wedding officiant, it is her honor to regularly marry couples in love.

Prior to becoming a minister she enjoyed a successful and colorful 20 years in media as a widely published journalist, editor and author of several books on relationships and romance—as well as being a noted spokesperson on those topics. She was editor-in-chief of two national magazines and several regional publications, and her articles have been published around the world and in many newspapers and national magazines, such as the NY Daily News, The Washington Post, Women’s News, New Woman, Ladies’ Home Journal and Child. She evolved years of specialized reporting in the field of male-female relationship dynamics into a more spiritual pursuit that led her to train to be an interfaith minister, and then establish her wedding ministry along with a number of popular relationship enhancement programs. Her wedding ministry is based in New York.

She is also dedicated to bringing about a deeper awareness and understanding of the Divine Feminine. As a graduate of The New Seminary in NYC, the world’s premier seminary for interfaith ministers, she was educated and trained in the tenants, spiritual practice and worship of many faiths. She became a specialist in the feminine aspects of God in all the world’s religions. Today, she is widely recognized as a minister, teacher and scribe specializing in women’s spirituality and The Divine Feminine from an interfaith and all-inclusive perspective. She is on the board of directors of World Light Fellowship, heading up their Feminine Faces of God programs, and is Founder of Our Mother’s House, a cyber ministry at www.OurMothersHouse.org.

Long devoted to helping women access the "Goddess Within," she is currently working on two books that bring the wisdom of ancient archetypes to modern women. Her newest book, A Goddess Is a Girl's Best Friend, is due out from Perigee Books in December 2002.

To be placed on a mailing list for information about A Goddess Is A Girl’s Best Friend: OurMothersHouse@aol.com


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