How to Apply the 12 Steps to Heal your Broken Heart

How to Apply the 12 Steps to Heal your Broken Heart


The journey of healing from heartbreak is a spiritual process. Even if you are not religious or reject a faith background, the fact is that any radical act of transformation is spiritual in nature.

What I mean is that, healing requires letting go of the things we can’t control. And in so doing, we are necessarily trusting in something else outside of us. If we don’t, we suffer from anxiety, depression, and lack of well-being.

As Quantum physics has shown–whether you call it the Field, the Universe, God, or the unseen forces–we are literally part of a much bigger show.

Acceptance of this truth is a large component of 12 step programs that support recovery from addictions. Those with addictions are able to recover when they let go and turn their struggle over to a higher/deeper power, even if that is their community of peers.

I have found that the 12 steps also support healing from heartbreak. For each step there is a  parallel process as it applies to the pain of a broken heart. Below I have revised the 12 steps accordingly:

12 Steps to Recovering from a Broken Heart

  1. We admitted we were powerless over, self-pity anger and resentment—that our lives had become unmanageable.

  2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves (for me Green Tara and Medicine Buddha) could restore us to sanity.

  3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him or Her.

  4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. We ask ourselves, “What role did I play in this heartbreak?”

  5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs to a friend, coach, or therapist.

  6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character, to change ourselves before trying to change others.

  7. We humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings of revenge, jealousy, despair, anger, depression, or non-acceptance.

  8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all, especially to people who caused heartbreak and more importantly to ourselves.

  9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

  10. We continued to take a personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. Especially when triggered or haunted by past images.

  11. We sought through prayer and meditation and service to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to our brokenhearted brothers and sisters, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Take some time to apply these steps to the pain of your broken heart, and you will be amazed how much solace you can find.

Have faith and take it one day at a time…

Much love,
Rajiv

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