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76 of 89 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2010
poignantly written, has some helpful exercises, but is limited in scope towards heartbreak resolution...ultimately it's about honouring one's grief, accepting it, in the body and working with it to release it... but not much else in terms of a more proactive comprehensive package.

despite the author's good intentions this approach to heartache resolution only succeeds so far.. you'll continue to get caught up in prolonged heartache and carry your baggage (which we all have)into your next relationship unless you also question your belief systems/experiences of closure from the past...ie what of codependency, or lack of closure, or addiction, or abandonment, or abuse, or 'victim' mentality?...using mindfulness only goes so far to resolving these greater themes of baggage and hurt that can be mixed in with heartache...'feel the feelings and drop the story' to quote pema chodron, is fine to allow us to process the feelings, get out of the mind chatter and ultimately to help with the healing, to be sure, but there IS a story to be confronted and worked upon, too....sure piver suggests journalling (as most breakup recovery books do also) but there must be more.

where is the 'wisdom' of a broken heart, for example, if you haven't ''completed'' your previous relationships properly, thus mixing so much current grief with old grief, thereby lengthening your emotional heartache? (russell & friedman's 'Moving on..' book at bottom discusses this at great length with many practical & useful exercises)...their take, and I agree is: if you haven't healed and understood better your heart's baggage you'll only revisit these themes onto your next romantic relationship, most likely once more encountering disappointment.

i've used mindfulness at times when feeling overwhelmed emotionally to get out of my head chatter and allow my body to process my pain more efficiently...yet at other times I also took time out to question my thoughts' validity, too (in the katie byron venue) ie using mindfulness to stay in the mind but watch/observe where my thoughts lead...both have succeeded to varying levels of success...at one time I was listening to a song that triggered me going down the 'sadness/missing her' loop...so i just mindfully followed my thoughts and to where they led...but then I started to question how true they actually were (an approach by cbt or mbct (mindfulness based cognitive therapy) ...so I didn't move into my body...yet I was perfectly able to come back to being emotionally balanced and present....like so much in life often the approach to healing is multivaried...mindfulness thus is but one tool...actually I find the approaches of mbct (mindfulness based cognitive therapy/mbct) even more encouraging for heartache resolution than just mindfulness alone (see 'the mindful way through depression')

to me the approach to heartbreak resolution is three pronged: 1/allowing and exploring the grieving process in an effective/strategic manner to explore and question the origins of one's heartache and arrive at more 'completion' to lesson the baggage (we all have) along with 2/cogntive exercises to question your emotions/thoughts' validity and background when they start to spin out of control (inner emotions don't always equate with outer reality afterall)... and also finally with 3//mindfulness work to move into the body and allow for healing and being gentle towards oneself ...these all should all go hand in hand towards heartbreak resolution at different times.

on this note, i admire Piver's poignantly written work which one can consider as another tool to combat and overcome heartache, but on its own it's incomplete (as are most heartbreak helper books)...if you do read buy it i'd also check out both Susan Elliot's ''Getting past your breakup''(the author also has a kick ass website 'getting past your past'... do a google search as there is tons of useful and practical info there, too') and John Russell/John Friedman's ''Moving on: dump your relationship baggage and make room for the love of your life''(founders of the
Grief Recovery Institute and authors of the 'Grief Recovery Handbook')...also Bruce Fisher's classic 'Rebuilding' is well written, too...lastly even Susie and Otto Collins' website and works on overcoming a broken heart offer a combined approach to using mindfulness and cognitive and psychodynamic work through grief more effectively.

So while I enoyed this book and its personal poignantly written style, it's not the only tool to use in one's arsenal towards overcoming heartbreak and moving forward more proactively.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2009
I read this as soon as I could because I've been a fan of Susan Piver's work for years. I'm glad I did. The Wisdom of a Broken Heart doesn't just offer solace and guidance to those whose hearts have been broken because of a romantic relationship, but also to those of us whose hearts have just been broken by Life. As usual her writing is engaging, clear, empathic and real, not to mention, warm and funny. I'll be keeping an extra copy on hand to loan out. I want mine to stay in my house, where it belongs.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2010
This is an excellent book for those whose hearts are newly broken or still suffering from old wounds. It is soundly written with loving, practical ways to recognize signs of a broken heart and how to gently but effectively begin to heal. Well worth reading!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2012
I bought this book the LAST time I was heartbroken, and found it incredibly helpful, and now, once again, I'm reading it while in the throes of a broken heart. The thing I like about this book is that the author is one of the only ones (besides Pema Chodron) I've read who writes about heartbreak the way it really IS, without implying that you shouldn't be in so much pain. Most self-help writers say "Yeah, it hurts, but you'll get over it." In this book, the author has humor and compassion for the pain, shares her own experience of heartbreak, doesn't tell us we shouldn't be feeling it, but also makes sure we see the options for walking out of it. That's a pretty fine line to walk: not too coddling, not too stern, not to blaming, and not too sentimental. I also like that the author shares her own stories and others' stories about how it actually FEELS and how we THINK when we're heartbroken, which makes the reader feel not so alone, not so crazy or out of whack. I loved the cornbread example, about how minor things can seem to trigger intense pain after loss. The exercises are profound, usually pretty simple, and unique, getting us to the somatic and soul levels rather than staying in the head, the way many self-help and therapeutic techniques often do. I'm very grateful for this book right now!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2011
I happened to pick this book up at the library yesterday and I have read it and am re-reading it! I have read at least 15 self-help books in the last year, including Women Who Love Too Much, The New Codependency, How to Survive the Loss of a Love, and these are all good, but this book is what I have been looking for! I have some familiarity with Buddhism and it's teachings as she references this often, so it might be helpful to review that before you read it, but it is not necessary. She gives wonderful instructions. I am pretty sure I could underline the entire first section. I cried my way through it. I have a long way to go, and I will be using her program to get past the pain. I recommend this book for anyone who's emotions are still terribly raw after a breakup. I am going to keep this in my must have library! Thank you, Susan Piver!!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2009
I'm not usually at a loss for words when moved, I usually have something to say but I've been struggling over what to say about Susan Piver's new book. I am a long time fan and have been waiting anxiously for this book to come out. The Wisdom of a Broken Heart goes above and beyond just romantic heartbreak, but really any heart in need of healing will benefit from this book. Having struggled with several heartbreaks, romantic and otherwise, this book was a timely guide for how to be open to what my own heart can teach me, it's an excellent guide for how to keep the scarring to a minimum and still retain your dignity, openness and your very self.
I can't even begin to put into words what a helpful guide this book is, and will continue to be. I can't explain how it cracked some tiny part of me to allow the sun to shine in again, even if it's just for a moment, I know that there will be other moments as I continue to heal.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2011
I can say without exaggeration that this book saved my life. I found it immediately after a devastating breakup when I was at the edge of a dangerous abyss of severe depression, the kind I may not have been able to climb out of. This book isn't about shallow things like man-bashing or get a pedicure to feel pretty again! Instead Susan gives you tools to take a horrible experience and grow from it, to come out the other side a wiser, stronger person. Read this book, and read it with an open mind and no judgments. Best of luck to you all, I hope this book helps you as much as it helped me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2010
I was immediately hooked by the author's personal story of heartbreak. It is told in such a thoughtful and funny manner that I had the sense she is truly writing this book out of her own hard won experience. That tone of insight and humor characterizes the feel of the entire book particularly the exercises which make this more than just an enjoyable read, but a source book to return to whenever I am experiencing sadness.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I am in the middle of the break up long term relationship. This book has kept me sane through the deep, traumatic pain. The author realistically shares her own journey in heart-break: pain, hope, healing, and more. And she also offers activities that help with getting through the process and help with moving on.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2012
My heart has indeed been broken -- my husband passed away.

I've been to a lot of support groups and talked to counselors, but this book is excellent when you can focus enough to actually read and the tears are not interfering with your vision. It is a good one for, "what now?" to keep yourself from becoming hardened and embittered, lonely and distracted.

Some things really spoke to me and gave me courage to continue to face my broken heart much after I would have gladly placed it in a box for storage in the basement. One, she persuades you that feeling what you're feeling will not kill you. Two, meditation will help. Three, it is ok to allow things to unfold naturally without knowing exactly where you're going.
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