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“We cannot learn without pain” Aristotle

Whenever the 3 of Swords appears in someone’s reading I wince. The card of heartbreak, sorrow and betrayal symbolizes deep emotional pain in the querent’s life. And as all of us know pain is hard enough to experience but sometimes even harder to hear about.

Recently I met a woman who’s fiancée decided to break the engagement after 2 years of courtship. Shocked by his decision and deeply angered about discovering the other woman who had taken his place she was determined to find her answers with the help of the Tarot.

“How can I heal from heartbreak?”

I winced a little more as over the years I’d learnt that some forms of grief just have to be lived through, and there was no pill that would take away her pain. This would take time and she would need to be patient.

Her cards revealed a time for absolute self honesty. For a start, it would help to admit feelings of hurt to herself. Hiding behind feelings of anger, calling him repeatedly demanding explanations was simply aggravating the situation. What would help would be time out for herself, to cry and process the grief.

Further cards indicated a time of confusion, blame and resentment but it would pass.

“How long will it take?”

“As long as it needs”. Different people respond to heartbreak differently. Some move on after a few weeks, others hold on to the pain for weeks, months and years. Clearly what was required was a willingness to go through this painful process one day at a time and some day wake up and realize that the hurt no longer exists. Patience reveals her lessons in different ways and she would need to learn. Just like there is no magical cure for a virus, it would help to accept whatever happened and allow the heartbreak to run its course.

She began to cry again and we sat together in silence. Her tears would flow repeatedly over the following weeks and somewhere she was learning that heartbreak is a part of growing up.
Her final question was to find out if she would meet someone else. And the cards revealed a fresh start, another young man who’d shower her with love and affection and success in her job.

Her tears didn’t stop at that point but there was a glimmer of a smile. Hopefully I prayed silently, she has found a reason to move on.

Her story is not a rare one. All of us have faced heartbreak at some point in time in our lives and though there is no perfect way to heal nor an escape from pain, here are a few suggestions which I pray help.

1.        Ultimately we all have to move on from the ending of a painful relationship. And it’s different for all of us. Some of us heal faster and some take time. Be patient with yourself if you’ve just broken up, and if a friend of yours is recovering, be patient with him or her.
2.        Don’t start about thinking about being friends with your ex immediately. Your first relationship has to be one with yourself. Be your own best friend, pick up the pieces and slowly build back your sense of self.
3.        Express your pain and anger. Bottling it up only makes it worse, talk to loved ones or a counselor and simply let it out. Crying helps.
4.        Learn to trust again. All relationships involve risks and the expression of Free will. Don’t let one bad experience make you believe all men/women will hurt you again.
5.        Work on building back your self esteem. Surround yourself by people who love and appreciate you.
6.        Rose Quartz, Rose Incense and Himalayan Salt Lamps are excellent soothers and aids in the process of healing.

Mita Bhan