February problems: How to mend a broken heart

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‘Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds

Or bends with the remover to remove.

Oh, no! It is an ever fixed mark

That looks on tempests, and is never shaken.’

(Sonnet CXV1, William Shakespeare)

Shakespeare’s sonnet above; equally moving and triumphant and magnificent words capturing the essence of true love, on which we can indulge and reflect, given that it is Valentine’s Day. How sublime it would be were this always to be the case and love was never ‘shaken.’  Realistically however, we all know of someone who has been devastated following the break-up of a romantic relationship, and whose life appeared to be in ruins; for this reason specific homeopathic remedies for a broken heart will be discussed, in the hope that the carefully selected remedy will ease the way forward, and the victim of heartache can begin to emerge from their darkness into the light.

Yes, all love is beautiful, by definition, but conversely it can wound, scar and devastate; often the greater the love, the harder the fall, significantly validated by many great love stories which are also tragedies: Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde, Cleopatra and Marc Antony, Layla and Manjun, the list goes on. Herein lies the paradox, great love, often great pain.

Without going into any deep history, which would take too long, Valentine’s Day signifies a day where people can confess their feelings of undying love to their often ‘would be’ lovers, wives, husbands or partners.  As with any commercial opportunity, gifts adorn the shops months before and people get excited about the possibility of expressing their inner most thoughts and desires, through various mediums, often the more public, the better; it is like having carte blanche to be ‘real.’ Sacred intimacy, appears now to be a rare and special thing, with lovers actively seeking external validation for their ‘love.’ Vague cynicism aside, it is potentially wonderful to have a day devoted to love in this often cruel world, where it can be celebrated and applauded and where love-struck couples can revel and wallow in their ‘special day.’

For many people however, Valentine’s Day can be a source of personal turmoil, with those confronted with their own lost love and a broken heart.  At the start of any romantic relationship one can feel indestructible, superhuman; ‘we are different, our love is insurmountable, everlasting, we are special and will not be a statistic on the side of relationship breakdowns.’ Shakespeare reflects this joy and hope in the sonnet above. This of course, may be the case at the time, one is not unique in thinking this; I would go as far as to say it is all of us. Philosophically however, nothing lasts forever.  We can pledge love to eternity, although, by definition, eternity cannot have a conclusion. Any reticence shown here in believing in everlasting romantic love for all, comes from professional experience and being witness to great emotional suffering. I have taken many homeopathic chronic cases, and it is rare that a broken relationship is not cited as being a huge aetiology (cause) of despair, grief, depression, anxiety. Consider the opposite to the definitions of the love synonyms: ‘affection, appreciation, devotion, emotion, fondness, infatuation, lust, and passion.’ Strong beautiful, positive words, engendering warmth and safety.  Now absorb the negative power of the antonyms: ‘dislike, hate, indifference, apathy, misery, sorrow, treachery.’  Basically, should the beautiful bonds once created within a relationship break, and sadly statistics show this is frequently the case, many people are left feeling hurt and angry at best, which can have a huge effect on their overall health and wellbeing. In homeopathy, we see the mind symptoms as being top of the hierarchy to be treated, in other words our emotional state can have a huge influence on physical health.

James Tyler Kent, in ‘Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy’ states: ‘Man consists in what he thinks and what he loves and there is nothing else in man.’ Wise words and reflective of the mind symptoms always being at the top of the hierarchy of symptoms to be treated. On this basis, several key homeopathic remedies can help to address emotional trauma as a result of lost love, hopefully balancing the entire body and lessening a fragile state:

Aconite (Aconitum Napellus)

To be considered when:

  • First shock at hearing of break-up of their relationship
  • Feel they might die without their lover
  • Fear, anger
  • Anxiety and restlessness

Ignatia (Ignatia Amara)

To be considered when:

  • Inconsolable
  • Love sick, from disappointed love
  • Sighing is apparent and involuntary
  • Can change quickly from laughing to weeping
  • Often unable to cope and hysterical

Natrum Muriaticum

To be considered when:

  • Grief at the loss of the relationship is private, often melancholy people
  • Worse for consolation
  • Key physical symptoms appear at the same time or soon after, like migraines, palpitations and skin conditions

Staphysagria

To be considered when:

  • Subject is generally acutely sensitive
  • Sometimes prone to violence in the face of love that has disappointed
  • Can suppress their emotions
  • Feel wounded
  • Pride Hurt
  • Feel slighted
  • Inner seething, to point of ‘boiling over.’

Hyoscymus (Hyosymus Niger)

To be considered when:

  • Jealous
  • Hysterical, irritable, nervous
  • Spitefulness
  • Suspicious and angry
  • Often physically violent, incoherent speech, or inclination to laugh at everything, sometimes resulting in fits
  • Destroys all reminders of lover

Aurum Metallicum

To be considered when:

  • Subject is profoundly melancholic
  • Great depression evident
  • Possible self-harm
  • Tired of life, gloomy and taciturn
  • Talks about suicide

Causticum

To be considered when:

  • Very sensitive people
  • Subject is passionate about helping others and puts them before himself
  • Ailments often follow disappointed love
  • Intense sympathy for the suffering of others

Phosphoric Acid (Phosphoric Acidum)

To be considered when:

  • Feeling of indifference despite disappointed love
  • Lack of reaction
  • Weakness, apathy
  • Feelings of loss and grief
  • Withdrawal
  • Lack of interest in life, doesn’t want to live
  • Others rudeness affects her

Apis (Apis Mellifica)

To be considered when:

  • Jealousy is a large part of the emotional picture
  • Fear of losing a partner, to the point where they are tormented by it
  • Weeping, discouraged, despondent

Antimonium Crudum

To be considered when:

  • Subject is very idealistic, romantic in love
  • Bad effects of disappointed affection
  • Continuous state of enthusiastic love and ecstasy
  • Sentimentality a key trait

There are many more remedies that could be added to the list above, however many of the key reactions to devastating loss of romantic love are covered. As ever, I advise you to consult a homeopath: www.findahomeopath.org to see the symptoms in their totality.

My often unrealistic wish would be for everyone to practice unconditional love with respect for another’s delicate heart, the phrase ‘do unto others’ comes to mind and would ultimately soften any heart breaking blows. Other advice on self-care is given throughout the homeopathic consultation, but this is one incidence in particular where I recommend reading and absorbing the beautiful words of Derek Walcott in the poem ‘Love after Love’ which is a brilliant expression of the need to care for and love yourself, in all your rawness and vulnerability.

‘The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart 

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.’ 

I hope you enjoy February, and all that it brings, and if necessary, follow the heartfelt advice given here.

Gill Graham, BSc (Hons), BA (Hons) RSHom, DHMHS

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