It’s been awhile since I’ve written in cookielove. There’s been a lot going on, I guess. I feel like I’m much more inspired to write when I’m happy, so it’s a good sign that I’m here. The last few months have been a roller coaster of emotion. I’m not going to write all the details because much of what has impacted me during this time was caused by another’s actions. Suffice it to say I have felt a combination of betrayal and anger and surprise and worry and fury and sadness…..all things I never thought I would feel as a result of this person’s actions. You never think the person you love the most can cause you such pain…but in reality, who else really could?
I, however, am responsible for my OWN feelings and reactions….and I did not handle all of this with the best part of me - the part that is full of grace and love. Who knows how you will react to really really bad news? I know that as I have sat with it and have gone through the life changes that resulted from it, I’ve realized some important things about love. I’ve realized just how DAMN important it is to love yourself. Without that love, a relationship cannot exist; it will not stand the test of time and hardship. I’ve gotten much better about loving myself over the years; in fact, it was my partner that helped me to get there. For that I am grateful. But it takes BOTH people loving themselves, knowing themselves, and practicing good self care to maintain both a sense of self and a sense of partnership.
I had a close friend send me the above diagram on the stages of grief.
We’ve all heard of the 5 stages of grief, but this is a more descriptive and definitive curve of what goes on when we are hurting and healing. The one thing I have learned is that you have to FEEL it. ALL of it. You can’t stuff it down, numb it, or just skip it. We have to feel all the feels. The ugly ones, the bitter ones, the sad ones…all of the above. I can look at that graph and know right where I was during all of those stages. I’ve experienced every one of the left side over the last six months, and am slowly coming up the right side just now; hence the ability to write I guess.
I think it might actually be the first time I’ve ever suffered real heartbreak. I have certainly had heartbreak in my life, but it was often my own actions or decisions that caused it. It’s a whole different ballgame when it’s caused by another’s actions or decisions. It’s been a powerful lesson in empathy. It’s made me soften to those I’ve hurt in the past. It’s made me take a deep breath and wonder if I’ve been available enough to my friends who have suffered heartbreak. If I haven’t in the past, I sure will be now. I’ve also learned that one of the kindest things anyone can ask during this is - “what do you need”?. Simple, yet so very compassionate. Because there are moments I’ve needed to scream about it. There are moments I’ve needed to just cry for hours on end, and there’s moments I have just wanted to be still and be grateful my friends are there even if there is not a damn thing they can do in that moment to fix it. I created a new playlist on spotify called “healing tunes” - the first song added is one of my favorite Mumford and Sons songs - Timshel. Some of the best lines - Death is at your doorstep (heartbreak feels a big like death); it will steal your innocence, but it will not steal your substance. (it has not). You are not alone in this, you are not alone in this…as brothers (sisters) we will stand and we’ll hold your hand. Hold your hand. You are the mother earth..the mother of your baby child, the one to whom you gave life. (the best thing I’ve ever done…motherhood) You have your choices. And these are what make man great; his ladder to the STARS. You are not alone in this. You are not alone in this.
It’s been a powerful lesson to understand the real definition of heartbreak…..a broken open heart. As I’ve meditated on this and created a visual picture in my mind of what a broken open heart looks like, it’s interesting to note that anything that is OPEN (whether BROKEN open or just opened on its own) is ready to be filled. It is soft and fragile and tender…but still OPEN. It’s so easy to retreat into hard heartedness or anger and to close everyone out, but it’s not healing to do so. My heart has been filled with love by all of my friends and family - everyone around me who has understood my suffering. I am so very grateful for the outpouring. I’m grateful for a trip to Sonoma with two of my very best friends RIGHT when I needed it. (and the support of the third who unfortunately couldn’t make the trip at the last minute I’m but has been SO there for me nonetheless), grateful for making new friends in the process that have reminded me of who I am. I’m grateful for the gentle “nudge” from a friend while I was in Sonoma to go outside and look at the stars; it reminded me to look at the very big picture. As I lay on the ground and looked up at the brilliance of the universe, I was comforted. My heart became open, in that moment, to the fact that I have a million different potential ways that my life can go. I realized that the universe is totally on my side. A favorite Rumi quote - “Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor”. Everything is rigged in my favor; it always has been. Even in the midst of darkness, there is a brilliant light guiding me in the right direction.