What Becomes of the Brokenhearted?

Image of heart

Did you start singing or humming Jim Ruffin’s classic? Those haunting lyrics strike a melancholy chord that goes straight to the heart. “What becomes of the brokenhearted? Who had love that is now departed…

I thought about this a lot when I was a little girl. I remember listening to the Beatles album Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. I couldn’t help wondering, is there really a Lonely Hearts Club—especially one that is so well-attended they have their own band!—and what horrible misfortune has to happen for me to become a member?

I wasn’t too worried at the time because my dad always sent me flowers on Valentine’s Day. Every year a dozen or more beautiful long stem red roses would arrive for my mom, along with two bouquets of yellow roses for my sister and me. Phew. I was loved and not a candidate for the Club. Well, until I got divorced.

It’s no big secret that if you’re single, widowed, or healing from a love affair, the holidays can be particularly lonely. And no holiday is tougher than Valentine’s Day.

Why does it hit us so hard? It’s pretty simple. Ultimately—and more than anything else—we all want to be loved and cherished, unconditionally, warts and all. And once a year on February 14th we (think we) get a “love report card” that indicates whether we’re someone special or destined to be alone.

This sh*t can really mess with your head, unless you’re my sister, who believes Valentine’s Day is a made up holiday—aka conspiracy—to get you to buy cards and candy.

Well take heart, because my tried and true Valentine’s Survival Kit is here:

* Adopt my sister’s attitude. Participation is optional and meaningless. Don’t go over to the dark side (unless it’s really good organic dark chocolate).

* Take to your bed with “the vapors.” This term was used in Victorian times for a mysterious lady’s ailment—anything from lightheadedness to stress and overwhelm to “cramps.” Sometimes I just have to channel my inner Southern Belle, grab a novel that takes me away, and worry about “it” tomorrow. A little healthy escape is just that!

* Do NOT listen to “love songs and dedications after dark” or watch The Notebook. No good can come of this.

* Give in to that chocolate craving. Chocolate releases serotonin, a feel good hormone that helps you feel connected. Plus it has magnesium, which lessens anxiety.

Yes, this is a blatant attempt to get you to buy my products. But these bars have 12 grams of protein, and because they are so rich and satisfying, it’s nearly impossible to eat too many.

All kidding aside, the best way to survive Valentines Day is to get out of your head and into your heart.

* Do for someone else what you wish someone would do for you. Trust me, you’re not the only one who feels lonely. You’re also not the only one who wants to feel appreciated or accepted—or anything else! And while we’re all very much the same, there is always someone who is in a much worse situation than you.

Who do you know who would like flowers or a card or phone call? Where can you volunteer and show others you care? It’s hard to feel sorry for yourself when you are helping someone less fortunate.

* Remember there are all kinds of love and each one is special, so let others know you love them.

* Look inside for love. Expecting someone or something to validate your love-ability is a short-term boost at best. Would you like flowers? A decadent bottle of wine? Chocolate? A massage? An escape in nature?

Be your own valentine and pamper yourself! Spend the day loving yourself unconditionally or at least take a break from being hard on yourself.

Armed with these tips, even the loneliest heart is safe on February 14th. How will you show love on Valentine’s Day?