He (or she) dumped you for a reason. It may not be a good reason, but it never happens randomly unless this is a grammar school fling. Sometimes that reason has absolutely nothing at all to do with you, or your role in the breakup is several layers from the top of the sticky stack of rationale – the departing one has found someone else, you’ve grown in different directions, you’re too good for him/her… blah blah blah. But don’t buy it. It’s easy to hear those excuses and look in the mirror and decide that you’re in the clear, that your suddenly ex-lover is a deluded ass, and then use that little rational-ization as an emotional crutch, or perhaps a body cast.
Fact is, if you were Ms. or Mr. Right, this wouldn’t have happened, no matter what the current beef might be. You just got cut from the roster, and before you crawl back onto the playing field for a free agent tryout to renew your contract, take a moment to assess the situation and see if there’s an opportunity lurking beneath all this drama.
When Lance Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer, he faced the darkest and most frightening days of his life. In the midst of it all, while enduring radiation therapy that would debilitate the average person, he continued to compete and won several more Tour de’France races right in the middle of it all. Later he was quoted as saying the cancer was the best thing that ever happened to him. Context is important here, because what he meant is that he was forced to face the truth about himself, define himself without the addictive pull of impending stardom and the judgment of the public, and make some decisions about his life going forward.
When your heart has been broken, you have the same opportunity to reinvent yourself. It doesn’t matter if the breakup is because of you or not. Because every ending is a new beginning, and given the context of that fact that you weren’t The One for your lover, now is the time to make a course change and see what happens.
A new you is the best medicine for a broken heart. But here’s the trick: you’re not trying to make yourself into his ideal, you’re revising yourself into a better version of you. Keep that one front and center, and then go for it. This might just win your lover back, because there had to have been something about you that worked to have generated enough initial heat to even have a relationship, so imagine the possibilities if you turned up the gas a bit.
Of course, he has to see or experience the new you in some way, and that might take some careful positioning, because you don’t want to come off as obvious. And it will take some time – real changes don’t happen in the time it takes to repair the window you broke as you stormed out – and you can use that time to get clear on what it is about you that you love, and then show it to the world. Your lover will see it, too, and when this becomes the fuel for a newly stoked fire, it’ll be hotter than ever.