It’s quite challenging to admit you’re heartbroken over your birth experience or how you feel or changed postpartum when you simultaneously feel so much love and joy for your child.
In fact, many times we feel guilty to even have these feelings at all. But we can have all of these feelings at once and honor them without diminishing the feelings of love for our children.
Remember when you first found out you were pregnant? Maybe you felt both excited and nervous. Holding two or more feelings at once may feel strange, but it’s completely normal. You are wired this way and so is every other woman out there. It just may be the first time you’re feeling overwhelmed by these feelings because it is not so easy to push them down or ignore them since everything is so raw and you’re left vulnerable more than ever.
It’s okay to feel sadness over an experience that didn’t quite turn out how you expected. And your physical body may be tugging at you to acknowledge your broken heart if you’re experiencing tension in your chest or numbness down your arms or fingers. If you just sit with your physical sensations and tune in, you can begin to acknowledge your true feelings and finally release the stuck energy here that may be keeping you sad.
PRACTICE: Mending Your Broken Heart
- Find a quiet place to sit. Maybe it’s your couch, the rocker, or even laying on the floor will work when the baby is sleeping or in your car when you have a sitter.
- Place one or both hands over the center of your chest. Tune in to see if the center is the right spot or if you should move your hands more to the left where the physical heart is located. Maybe you have a strong sensation in a particular area of your chest, so you can put your hands where they are called.
- Close your eyes or let them gently soften and begin to notice your breath. Notice your breath in your heart center (your chest area). As you begin to tune into your breath and heart center, you may notice your shoulders relax.Take at least five deep breaths here.
- Move your attention deep into the area beneath your hands. Listen. What is your heart ready to tell you? If this practice is new to you, you may not notice anything. And, that’s okay. Keep practicing. This is how you begin to connect the mind and the body.
- Ask your heart a question. Here are some examples: Why are you hurting so much? What are you trying to tell me? Sit with your heart center and give some time and space for the answers to reveal themselves. You may find yourself burst into tears out of nowhere. It’s okay. Tears are a way to release the energy and the sadness you carry.
- Talk with your heart. Possibly, by now you may find some answers. You can say out loud what you’re feeling. You can say something like how sad you are about how all of your experience made you. You can say how guilty you feel for being heartbroken when you think you should feel nothing but pure joy and gratitude for having a child. You can admit how overwhelmed you feel, how motherhood is not what you expected, and so on.
- Thank your heart. At some point you will feel that the release is over and more relaxed. Time a moment to tune back into the area beneath your hands and thank your heart for loving you and its ability to expand into the great love you have for your child. If you feel like your heart isn’t fully open, just tell your heart that you will continue to work together to open more widely and embrace the life you have more fully.