From Heartbreak To Healing
This blog post is a stretch for me. It’s a stretch because it’s raw and vulnerable as hell. I actually considered starting another blog under a pseudonym so that I could write my deepest thoughts and feelings anonymously, but then I realized that was a cop out.
If I let fear of judgment get in the way of expressing who I am and what I’m learning, how will this blog ever be of service to you?
So, here goes…
Have you ever felt like you’ve had your heart ripped out from deep inside you when a romantic relationship comes to an end?
Four weeks ago, my lover Amy (not her real name) decided to end our relationship.
At the time, I was traveling alone through Southern Africa on my motorcycle when I heard the news over the phone from one of my best friends, Dave (also not his real name)… “Dude, didn’t Amy tell you? She’s leaving you and wants to date me… and I want to date her too…”
It was 6am and I was watching the sun rise on a beautiful summer morning in Africa.
Within milliseconds, the reality that the woman I loved was leaving to be with one of my best friends set in, my heart began to race and my breathing became shallow.
I could feel my body being drugged by my brain as it released a concoction of neuro-chemicals into my bloodstream, designed to reduce my consciousness to that of a cat being dragged towards water – sheer panic!
Within minutes, my hopes of a future with the woman I loved crumbled into nothing before my eyes…
I hung up the phone and tears began streaming down my face. My chest physically felt sore and my body started convulsing as if I was having a heart attack, and in some sense I was.
I cried and cried…. Tears of despair and loss…
Unanswerable questions like “What did I do wrong?” and “What does Dave have that I don’t?” and “Why, why, why?” constantly ran through my head like a stuck record player.
I became desperate… desperate to quiet the voice in my head and to feel ‘normal’ again.
I spent many days feeling like this and it only got worse until eventually sadness became my permanent reality.
So, I did the only thing I knew would work to get me back to loving my life again…
I surrendered to my heartbreak…
One thing I’m sure of is that the degree to which you can allow your feelings to be OK is the degree to which you can freely choose what you want to feel.
Read that again…
If you don’t allow your feeling to be, you wind up trapped with how you feel – with no choice or freedom.
Said another way, when you resist feeling what you’re feeling now, the feeling just persists.
Resist for long enough and your feelings grow into resentment and you’ll carry them around as baggage for the rest of your life until you allow yourself to feel them fully.
Not a happy picture, right?
Back to my story…
I was totally resisting my feelings of heartbreak while telling myself that I wasn’t…
I told myself, “I have a business to run and can’t afford to waste any more time feeling like crap. “
That so didn’t work!
So, after weeks of feeling sad, waking up in despair and frustration, I chose to embrace my pain.
- When I felt sad, I allowed the sadness to bring me to tears… until it didn’t anymore.
- When I felt angry, allowed the anger to move me, take me, own me… until it didn’t anymore.
- When I felt betrayed, I yelled four letter words to the sky… until I didn’t anymore.
- When I felt frustrated, I called my friends for support, and they listened to me patiently until I was done.
Eventually, I became empty…
…and there was nothing left to experience.
With nothing more to experience, I emerged anew…
…and for the first time in weeks, I’m feeling human again. I’m seeing possibilities for my future and I like what I see. I’m moving forward with more and more grace every day.
You can do this too…
You can always dissolve your painful emotions by surrendering to them, not resisting them, and letting them move you and pass through you.
When you do, not only will you feel free again, but you won’t have to accumulate the emotional baggage of carrying around the feelings you resist for the rest of your life.
You know people who do this, right? They walk around with a cloud over their head all day long.
But this is not about them, it’s about me and you…
What feelings are you resisting right now?
Maybe you’re upset with someone? Maybe you’re angry at someone? Maybe you’re disappointed at how your relationship, job, health or life has turned out.
Are you willing to feel your pain fully?
If you are, it’s not going to be a walk in the park, I promise you that. It’s probably going to feel awful – for a while.
On the flip side though, it won’t last long and you’ll be free… and that’s a pretty good deal if you ask me!
Like most secrets to success, surrendering to something you don’t want seems counter-intuitive… but it works.
So, I invite you to take a moment today and get present to what feelings you’re hanging on to.
- Go somewhere private and visualize what happened that made you feel that way. Really get into the visualization and relive the experience.
- Then when you begin to feel as you did then, don’t resist your feeling. Surrender to the feelings you feel and allow yourself to really experience them and pass through you.
- Keep going until you are empty.
- Soon you’ll be free of them… and if the feelings happen to surface again, know that this just means that there is more experiencing you need to do. I’ve learned from personal experience that the more you resist feeling your feelings, the longer your process will take.
- Good luck and remember to love yourself throughout your journey.
In case you’re wondering, Amy and I are not talking for a while. We’re taking space from each other to heal.
Dave and I worked through our feelings with each other and have become even closer friends during the process. He truly is a courageous man I love and admire. He stood by me and supported me, in spite of his feelings for Amy.
P.S. What did you learn? How you can apply this distinction to your life? Please leave a comment below and let me know… I’ll be happy to know that my process has benefited someone like you.