Can I get an OUCH?
I texted my homegirl the other day in a low moment, something about how almost always, the anticipation of something is far worse than the actual thing being anticipated. Except when it comes to heartbreak. That just feels like the worst shit ever through and through.
And even though it feels like heartbreak itself yields the tidal waves of gut wrenching sadness and grief, I'm realizing in my process of moving through it that it doesn't actually create the pain, it illuminates the pain that's been there all along. By understanding this, there’s something different happening for me this time around. I’m able to choose to be in my heartbreak with consciousness. Conscious heartbreak, I’m discovering, (through the support and guidance of my tribe) involves feeling it all -- and removing any shame or hard rules about how, when, or for how long the grief, anger, and pain ought to linger. It means crying when I need to cry, talking about it when I need to talk about it, writing letters that I'll never send to him, to myself, to my dad, to God.
It means giving myself a whole lot of credit and compassion for being brave enough to show up in the relationship as openly and willingly as I knew how, instead of playing it safe and protecting my heart. It means cussing loud with my best friend, throwing some pillows around, and taking long, reflective walks at sunset. It means honoring him and his process.
It also means keeping my eye on the bigger picture, and remembering that I really trust the Universe, and I really trust myself. And that everything is here to help me grow into my most aligned life.
Going to those vulnerable, ouchie places, and really leaning into them with awareness, is how I’m welcoming in the alchemical process of emotional transformation. For me, the ouchiness is the deeply grooved stories and old-as-dirt-wounds that tell me that somehow, I'm not worthy of a healthy, cherished, mindful partnership, where both people are equally invested in showing up fully, and being vulnerable with one another. It’s the feeling that there must be something terribly wrong with me that makes my love relationships feel so unrequited and short-lived. It’s the hole that was left when my dad died when I was four and deepened when my mom died when I was twenty-two. It’s the feeling that I’m no one’s top priority person, and my only hope of being someone’s top priority person is to find someone to love and be loved by.
Feeling into my fears, and putting language to what feels so sad and scary, helps me see that I’ve been trying so hard to have this certain thing, and in all the dreaming, efforting, and forward leaning, I’ve been blocking myself from actually receiving.
And mostly, I’ve been blocking myself from receiving my own love, because I’ve been too busy reinforcing the mental groove that I will only feel complete when I have someone by my side to reflect back to me my greatness. I know it’s cliche, and trust me, I get really tired of the “you gotta love yourself before you can be loved” caveat, but I’m starting to get it now, in a way that I haven’t ever gotten it before.
Loving ME means tending to all of those unworthiness feelings, holding that four-year-old little girl who lost the person who was supposed to teach her how to receive love from the masculine, and telling her, “I’m here now, and I’m never letting you go.” It’s reminding myself that the internal and external sources of love I have access to are so brilliant and abundant, (it actually blows my mind to think about it), and that I can reach out to my peeps when my aloneness feels overwhelming. It’s remembering that although I desire an open-hearted, spiritually aware, communicative life partner to travel, nest, and create a family with, it’s not the thing that’s going to take my insecurities away. Which leaves me with my only other option: to love those insecure places with such gentle fierceness and steadfast dedication, that I no longer need someone else to make me feel okay in my own skin.
What I’m getting at here is that heartbreak literally breaks us open so that we can see into our deepest wounds. We need to see into our wounds so that we can heal them. We heal them by loving them. When we love them, we no longer move through the world desperate for the attention and affection of a single individual and instead can hold ourselves, and flow with the magical, perfect, effortless current of the Universe.
Because of this, heartbreak is one of our greatest gifts. By inviting the process in with an open heart, I am choosing to not shut down, numb, or become jaded. I am here to love, duh. And I’m ready to do so bigger and better than ever before because I’m doing it FOR ME. Turns out, I am the love I’ve been waiting for all this time.
May we cherish ourselves unconditionally.