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My Name is Catherine Hickland, and I am the Heartbreak Kid
By Catherine Hickland, Star of ABC’s “One Life To Live” - March 06, 2009

Catherine Hickland
Catherine Hickland
I’m not a bitch. I just play one on TV. For 29 years I’ve made quite a career out of playing bitches on soap operas, most recently as Lindsay Rappaport on ABC’s One Life To Live. In real life I am a pussycat. Oh, I’m tough when I need to be, but a pussycat nonetheless. In my old life I felt that my niceness was taken advantage of in relationships which would leave me exhausted, angry, confused, and sad. One day I “woke up.” It hit me like a thunderbolt that I had been sleepwalking through my life. I had been living in co-dependent hell.

I realized that I had allowed this. I often said “yes” when I wanted to say “no,” or at the very least I would give a “let me think about it.” Eventually I realized I had the power to decide when a game would end. I cashed in my chips, took my losses and made them gains. I became a girl on a mission. I wanted to understand behavior patterns (mine and others) and how changing my mind could literally change my life. I had had a successful career, and now I wanted a successful life. Since relating is a big part of life, I wanted to figure out how to heal a hurting heart and be better than I was before. I wanted to learn how to know myself so well that relationships would become a sure bet instead of a roll of the dice.

Ever since I was sixteen and had snuck into a nightclub to see Pat Collins, the “Hip Hypnotist,” I wanted to learn hypnosis. However, from the time I was five I knew I was going to be an actress and that was that. And so it was, manifesting at age five, and I didn’t even know it. Proof that we create what we focus on the most. Twenty-seven years later I went back to school, worked my tail off, and in three and a half years I made my dream a reality.

I began to evaluate my life with laser beam-like focus. I wanted to know what would turn me on. At forty-eight I realized that I had no unmet dreams as an actress, but had plenty of dreams I had forgotten about. I wanted to write about the things I had learned in my walk of being a woman, “the art of the heart.” Not only that, but how to re-invent every area of one’s life. I had done it, and I was so excited about it that I wanted to tell everyone who wanted to know.

Being a hypnotist, I now understand how the mind works, mine and everyone else’s. I am often asked why I chose this profession after a long and successful career as an actress. The answer is simple. I absolutely love assisting people in how to use their God-given gift of a perfectly good mind in the process of healing and goal-setting. No matter what you want to change or heal, the power to do this is already within you. My job as a writer, and as a professional hypnotist, is to simply guide you towards your very own super powers.

Our hearts aren’t broken just by lovers, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends and wives. They are often shattered by friends, siblings, parents, and the big daddy of them all, bosses.

My book, The 30 Day Heartbreak Cure: Getting Over Him And Back Out There One Month From Today, is so much more than a “how-to” manual for love. It is also a “how not to” for your future. It is a guide to really understanding who you are. You will learn how to hear what people are really saying, even when they don’t speak a word. It will make you the smartest, happiest, chick on the block. Most importantly, it will show you how to get out of someone else’s head and back into your own. And hallelujah for that! Thirty days is a small amount of time to devote for all of this, wouldn’t you say?

So what is the secret to moving on when any relationship has outgrown its usefulness in your life? Goal setting; making up your mind. More literally it is changing your mind. That is where I come in. Most people that come to me for hypnosis or life/relationship coaching tell me they can’t seem to get past something, even if it happened months or years before. I hear it all the time. Here is what I have come to believe and how I approach my work. They have hypnotized themselves into believing that they can’t. That’s right. You heard me. What we believe becomes.

My job is to snap them out of their trance, assist them in getting back into their right mind, back into their power, headed towards their dreams again and on the road to a life that is working for them rather than against them. How does this work? How do we go from “Oh God, am I ever going to find someone who will love me again?” to, “Wow, Thanks for the information, buddy! I’m worth so much more than this. I’m free! I’m excited about my life!”

The 30-Day Heartbreak Cure: Getting Over Him and Back Out There One Month From Today, by Catherine Hickland
The 30-Day Heartbreak Cure: Getting Over Him and Back Out There One Month From Today, by Catherine Hickland

Some of my favorite chapters in The 30 Day Heartbreak Cure are the ones that address the way we have fooled ourselves, and the commitment to not doing it again. At some point, this new knowledge becomes second nature, and not only does life become more interesting, we become more interesting. Here are a few examples of what we can do to get out of the heartbreak funk and into a life that works.

Shattering Illusions
Busting illusions is like shining a light on the monsters under a kid’s bed. Once the lights go on, the monsters are gone. No monsters, no fear. It is the same thing with our wild imaginations. Once you learn to get that gorgeous mind under control, you’ll be amazed at how life and opportunities open up to you. Get the spotlights out.

Keeping a Journal
Journaling with purpose is a powerful tool and allows you to see how far you’ve come in a short amount of time.

Letters You Will Never Send
I have people send me their letters to the heartbreaker, and the purpose of this exercise is to really let it rip! I ask for the meanest, most ugly, saddest, free flowing thoughts that are within you. Those feelings need to get out. However, you are not to send these letters to the heartbreaker. You send them to me (or a trusted confidant/therapist). Once I get them, I have a burning and prayer ceremony. I look forward to this every week because I can really feel all that pain just going up in smoke; buh-bye. Of course, you can do this yourself, but who needs the added stress of burning your house down at a time like this.

A Higher Power: You Are Not Alone
Every setback is a set-up for a comeback. Every pain has a purpose. There is never a better time to spiritually re-connect than when you are feeling lower than snail tracks. Spiritually connecting is re-connecting with yourself. Knowing God is knowing that you are loved, have always been loved and will always be loved. Plug back in.

Being Your Own Best Friend
This isn’t what you think it will be. Have you ever noticed that when a relationship ends you find that your friends didn’t really like your heartbreaker all that much? That is because they were standing outside of the bubble. They weren’t the ones having their pants charmed off. They were worried about their buddy (that would be you) and witnessed the stress that you were under. Maybe they noticed how you spent less and less time with them, and stopped talking about your feelings. Being your own best friend allows you to step outside of your own bubble and see what is really happening, as if it were happening to a friend. What would you tell her? What choices would you ask her to consider?

Get Off the Cross, We Need the Wood
Being a martyr is a giant waste of time. It’s boring. There is no fun to be had there. When we stay in relationships that are limping along, we usually end up sacrificing our own well being for someone else’s. There is no prize at the end for doing it. This is the time to man-up and draw your sword! You are moving on!

Bitter, Party of One, Your Table is Waiting
When we are in a relationship with someone who isn’t right for us, we don’t feel like ourselves. We get edgy, angry, crabby, sad and lethargic. We may even feel crazy sometimes. We have to assimilate all of the things that have been said to us and start sifting out the truth. Make sure it is your truth. Just because they said it, doesn’t make it true. A fringe benefit of re-connecting with yourself is releasing someone else’s outrageous words and behavior, and having a laugh about it. And so what? That’s over. We are moving on!

Personality Types
When their words don’t match their behavior, believe the behavior… every time! Learn to read people like a paperback. It is easy, and it’s worth it.

Manifesting Your Beautiful Life
When you learn how powerful your mind is, imagine what you can create. The reason your dreams seem to come to a screeching halt when you are in a relationship with an emotional vampire is because you forget what your dreams were. Getting back into your own head shifts your focus back to you. Even The Bible says, “Be the head, not the tail.” Truer words were never spoken.

This is your one and only life. There is fun to be had. What are you waiting for?

Catherine Hickland currently plays Lindsay Rappaport on ABC’s “One Life To Live.”

Her relationship self-help book, “The 30-Day Heartbreak Cure: Getting Over Him and Back Out There One Month From Today,” is currently available through Simon Spotlight Entertainment, at major bookstores and Amazon.com.

My Name is Catherine Hickland, and I am the Heartbreak Kid


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