You won't die... No one has ever died from a broken heart… could I be the first? Have you ever asked yourself this question? I certainly have. Recently more than I’d like to admit.
It can feel like dying.. grief that is… and in a way we do experience it as such. Whether it be the death of a belief or connection to a relationship, an ideal, an innocence, a dependance, a job, a habit an addiction (to a person or substance) or a tie to someone who themselves has experienced physical death.
There is no controlling grief, no denying it and if you push it away it only intensifies. Distractions are a bandaid… television, games, meaningless sex, drugs/alcohol, gambling, working harder or longer than necessary, porn, procrastination, endless YouTube videos or a Tiki Tok rabbit hole…. We run from ouselves but eventually those feeling come flooding back… and in my experience grief can be accumulative.
So how do we deal with grief in a positive and healthy way? Who the hell knows! It’s different for everyone.. But I can tell you what I have learned so far…
Acceptance is key. Self love, self appreciation, self care… a gentle understanding that this is a normal natural reaction to an overwhelming loss — whatever loss that may be. There is no RIGHT or WRONG way to grieve.
Grieving is not linear… feelings of anger, depression, bargaining, denial and acceptance and variations thereof come and go like waves crashing upon the sand. The positive news? They pass… often more quickly if you just ALLOW them to be. Or at least that is what I have found... and as much as you feel you may die by allowing these emotions to manifest fully. You won't. If anything you will rise from the ashes refreshed, reborn and perhaps even whole.
Feeling your feelings is ok!!
In the past I personally have been one to push my feelings down. To pretend like they don’t exist, with an… 'I’ve got this... nothing can touch me' attitude… Showing the world only my best and strongest side… This kept me ‘safe’ but it also prevented anyone from really getting to know the authentic me…It kept me in… and love out.
A lesson that was taught to me by someone who had been taught the same... a generationally repeating pattern.
In fact this person once told me ‘you say you’re tough… but you’re really a softy... for god sake never show anybody that or you’ll get hurt’ their intention was to spare me pain... and they were 100% correct.
The first time I was real, open & vulnerable, giving my heart to my fullest capacity and loving unconditionally with every fibre of my being; I DID get hurt… So deep was my hurt that it rocked my world and stripped me to my absolute core, and to be honest, it almost destroyed me. Truly.
Would I go back in time and change the experience knowing what was to come. Nooooo. Why? Because with love comes risk, with risk comes loss, with loss comes pain and with great pain comes enormous growth… and boy have I grown. Besides isn't that what we are all here to do?
Sadly however as a general rule we are creatures of habit. Repeating the same patterns of behaviour over and over and over expecting different results then bitching and moaning and complaining when the same results show up time and time again… This was certainly my pattern. By now I would usually be bitter, resentful, blaming the other and swearing on all that is holy that I will NEVER trust again…
This time however...I choose differently. I choose love. I choose compassion… I choose to change the old pattern of belief and I choose a totally new path. I choose forgiveness, for myself and for those who -- through their own pain suffering and inner turmoil -- passed their pain on to me in hopes of finding relief and in return I gave them mine.
There is no blame here. We are all responsible for our part in every situation and true love can bring the worst of our wounds screaming to the surface for healing. Hurt people, hurt people. It doesn't EXCUSE what they do, but it does explain it... and maybe understanding is the key to forgiveness?
I guess the message I am trying to get across here is…. I'ts ok to own it all… to be real, to be honest, to be open, to be authentic to be truthful about who you are where you have been, what your experiences were, and what you need from the people around you to help you to feel safe, appreciated and loved...
People really do need people, but how can we expect others to show up for us if we don't let them see who we are at our core?? Don't get me wrong, no one can be all things for another, we must essentially be our own hero, but it IS ok to be your gorgeous, messy, human self, to be real and honest about where you are at and allow others to hold your hand as you walk through the darkness.
One last tidbit of advice… Never let the fear of being hurt stop you from loving… or BEING loved (provided of course your chosen partner is healthy relationship material) Even if it does all come crashing to the ground -- spectacularly -- It is all a beautiful, raw, healing and transformative set of experiences that enrich your life and teach you some of the most profound and valuable lessons.
I for one have found a strength I NEVER thought I possessed… it waxes and wanes and sometimes I am a puddle of goo on the floor with eyes so puffy I can barely see through them… But I relish the experience and am grateful for the opportunity to truly grieve… to own my shit… to release my baggage to show up for myself in a way I never have before and to say… THIS IS ME… It’s not perfect… I don’t have my shit together… I don’t have the answers… but I am ready and willing to change… are you??