Beware the Advice Books
There are basically two kinds of books offering standard advice for working with heartbreak—and neither seems particularly helpful.
The first kind is what I call the “You go, girl!” category. (The great majority of breakup books are aimed at women….) The general idea behind these is something like:You need to forget about him or her. He/she simply couldn’t deal with your overwhelming awesomeness. Go out with your friends, get some cocktails in you, maybe go for a cute new haircut and Move On!!
Actually, this isn’t terrible advice. It might not get at the deep well of real grief that one experiences during a breakup, but still, it can be good to remember that you are an amazing person, to hang out with your friends, and generally pay attention to yourself in a good way.
The second kind is pretty terrible, though. This is the kind of book that says: There is something wrong with you. That is why this happened in the first place. You carry unhealed childhood wounds and/or thought the wrong thoughts and will keep “attracting” the same heartbreak until change. If you can think only the right thoughts, you can avoid ever having your heart broken again.
I think this is harmful advice. It assumes that sadness isn’t supposed to be a part of life. It is. It assumes that you can control love. You can’t. It also assumes that you know what’s best for you. I don’t know about you, but experience has shown me over and over again that what I think will be good or bad for me often turns out to the opposite. Plus the possibilities and wisdom you find in life from looking at it rather than pre-scripting it are so much huger than you can ever imagine.