Heartbreak comes to us in different forms, and for different reasons. We’re all familiar with heartbreak. With it, comes a variety of emotions that are completely overwhelming, and if you’re not careful, it can swallow you whole.
I suffered with heartbreak when I unfairly lost my job in 2007, which eventually lead to the foreclosure of my condo in 2008. I suffered through it when my 2 year old cat died of FIV, and I battled with it on and off during my time in a long lasting abusive relationship.
All of these heartbreaks effected me differently, and each one seemed to chip away at my soul. With each heartbreak I experienced, the loss seemed to be greater and greater. Fortunately, during my last and most devastating heartbreak, I had great friends and great mentors to help me through it.
My friends offered me support and a shoulder to cry on. However, my mentors couldn’t do that for me because they came to me in the form of books and TED talks. Although I didn’t know these mentors in person, they played a very valuable role in helping me to find the courage and understanding that I needed to get through my heartbreak.
I won’t say that they made the process easy, but I can say that they made it easier. I also think that they allowed me to heal from it much faster than I would have if I hadn’t received their insight.
These are the 7 books that helped me with my heartbreak.
1. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead – This book was written by Brené Brown, and it came across my radar when I was browsing through some TED Talks. I can’t remember why I decided to watch it, but I’m so glad that I did. In this book, Brené talks about the importance of vulnerability and leading a life of wholeheartedness. She validated so many things that I had suspected and felt, but could never quite articulate.
In short, she explains that if you are experiencing heartbreak, it’s because you are someone who dared to go out on a ledge and open your heart. You decided to love someone, or to go after a dream. You went for that job, or that nice house. You took action. You dared greatly. This book will provide you with fascinating stories of people who have dared greatly, and will also give you the tools you need to continue to dare greatly in your own life.
Here is the amazing TED Talk which encouraged me to purchase her book.
2. Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind To Yourself
Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind To Yourself by Kristin Neff is a very powerful read, and I’ve recommended it to several of my friends and clients.
When we go through a break up, divorce, financial difficulty or health crisis, he have a tendency to blame ourselves. We beat ourselves up in our minds, and we blame ourselves for things that are not our fault. We might even call ourselves names, and we point out all of the things that we did wrong. We point out all of our wrong choices.
Thoughts like this are not helpful. In fact, they prevent us from facing heartbreak head on, because these thoughts keep us scared, and make us feel so small. Negative thoughts make us feel worthless, and keep us in victim mode. True, you may have been a victim of a terrible situation, and acknowledging this can be very healing for you.
This book will teach you how to be your own best friend, instead of your own personal bully. If you speak down to yourself often, then you are preventing your own personal growth, and you are not giving yourself the encouragement and support you need to move forward in your life.
Here is a wonderful lecture that Kristin gave on self-esteem versus self compassion.
Heartbreak Volumes 1 & 2 by Ginette Paris, Ph.D. – Everyone experiencing heartbreak through a breakup should read these two books. In the first volume Detach or Die, Ginette explores the emotional trauma of heartbreak and the impact it has on our lives. She talks about the heartbreak archetype and why heartbreak is a Universal experience. She also gives tools and advice that will help you to understand and overcome your own personal heartbreak.
4. Heartbreak: The Brain in Love
The second volume of this book: The Brain In Love, she examines the physiological reasons that cause us to fall in love, and what happens in our brain when we experience heartbreak. It’s a fascinating read, and in it, you will learn how deeply effected all of us are when it comes to our emotional life. From a neurological stand point, she validates what so many of us already know. Heartbreak is torture. Rejection is torture. Ginette Paris is a psychologist and a neuroscientist who has focused a lot of her time and energy on the area of heartbreak. In the second book, she tells us about her own personal experience with heartbreak, and shares how it turned her life upside down, and how she overcame it.
5. Rising Strong
Rising Strong – Yup, Brené Brown made it to the list again which kind of serves as a part two of Daring Greatly. In this book, Brené talks about how to get back up after we’ve been knocked down. She encourages to get up, despite how broken we feel. She talks about recognizing our pain and heartbreak, and owning our stories, because it is in owning our stories of tragedy, loss and despair that we are able to rise from the ashes and reinvent ourselves.
6. Life Strategies, Doing What Works, Doing What Matters
Life Strategies is written by Dr. Phil, and even if you’re not a fan of this guy, I still suggest you read this book. I read it over 15 years ago, and it helped me through my first breakup, and my first job loss. In this book, you will explore 10 Life Strategies meant to empower you, and give you the courage to take charge of your own life.
The Life Strategies covered in this book are:
Life Law #1: You either get it, or you don’t.
Strategy: Become one of those who gets it.
Life Law #2: You create your own experience.
Strategy: Acknowledge and accept accountability for your life.
Life Law #3: People do what works.
Strategy: Identify the payoffs that drive your behavior and that of others.
Life Law #4: You cannot change what you do not acknowledge.
Strategy: Get real with yourself about your life and everybody in it.
Life Law #5: Life rewards action.
Strategy: Make careful decisions and then pull the trigger.
Life Law #6: There is no reality; only perception.
Strategy: Identify the filters through which you view the world.
Life Law #7: Life is managed; it is not cured.
Strategy: Learn to take charge of your life.
Life Law #8: We teach people how to treat us.
Strategy: Own, rather than complain about, how people treat you.
Life Law #9: There is power in forgiveness.
Strategy: Open your eyes to what anger and resentment are doing to you.
Life Law #10: You have to name it before you can claim it.
Strategy: Get clear about what you want and take your turn.
7. Radical Forgiveness
Radical Forgiveness by Colin Tipping is a powerful book that helps you to see all pain from a spiritual point of view. What if all of us, good guys and bad guys, were here to help one another evolve? What if, on a soul level, no one really hurts us, they simply provide us with valuable lessons? Radical Forgiveness helps us to find meaning within the pain, so that we can move on with more clarity and awareness than ever before.
In addition to these books, the Healing for the Broken Heart Guidance Cards will gently and compassionately help you to navigate through the troubled waters of your own heartbreak. These cards act as special friends who are there to validate your experience, offer you advice, and help you through your journey.
The cards offer different activities and suggestions that will help you to move out of despair and into wellbeing. You can read through the cards as if they are a self-help book. They will walk you through the mourning process, and gently take you from a place of pain to a place of power, from hurting to healing.
You will also be able to use these cards as an oracle deck. You’ll be able to shuffle them and ask any question you’d like. The cards will reveal the true nature of the problem you are facing, and possible steps you can take to overcome them.
Nicole Guillaume is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Nicole is also an affiliate member Hay House, Inc.
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