The Opportunity After Heartbreak: Learning to Walk on Broken Feet
Things are changing. They are always changing, of course. But there are times you can feel that they are changing in a big way. It’s this weird fog-like state where you know deep down that something tremendous is shifting within yourself but you can’t quite see it yet.
Yesterday I reread the article I wrote about myself during a heartbreaking time, the article I called, “I Lost Myself & I Don’t Know Where I Went.” I remember this wounded soul, but she’s slipping away. Well, not exactly slipping away. She’s transforming. She will always be a part of me.
I reported to you in my last article that I had discovered myself again, but it isn’t quite true. What is happening is that I am getting glimpses into the true self waiting to shine beneath all this pain.
And then I crash.
There is tremendous opportunity after heartbreak.
I am learning so much about how I treat myself. I've been paying close attention. I haven’t been as gracious with myself as I know I should be. I’ve been impatient and frustrated when I find myself feeling down again.
Ok, ok, frustrated might not be the word. I get kinda pissed. I don’t want to be pulled back down. I want to be way up high where I was. I want to stay on fire, deeply connected to my soul. Jesus, I just want to be happy, ok? God, do I just want to be happy again after all those months of heartache and depression.
As time ticks away I have found myself beginning to panic that I have not completely healed from this breakup yet. I don’t want to be that person who is heartbroken far longer than necessary.
And then I remember that there are no rules to this thing, to this life thing.
There are no rules when it comes to heartbreak.
Remember that, friends. It will save you when you’re judging the hell out of yourself and comparing yourself to your past and to everyone else you know.
I have looked back at my other breakups, and by now I would have been in a new relationship. I would have been healed, not thinking about my ex, and happily in love with a new person. But then I remind myself that this breakup wasn’t like all the others, and this love wasn’t like all the others. A beautiful thing happened to me with this love:
I opened my heart completely for the first time.
That is such a beautiful thing. That is a thing I am so happy about. That is something that I was brave enough to do. That is something I had never done before. And I did it because I felt safe, and he was the right person to do that with at the time. And for that I am so grateful to him.
Finding gratitude has not been very easy amidst the pain. It's not really something I have found. Rather, it's something that has found me. I wasn't ready to feel grateful for a long time. But gratitude came in, and it brought me back to myself and to the way I want to feel in my life.
Gratitude is not of the mind, it is of the heart.
Gratitude reminds me that none of this has anything to do with my ex, really. It’s all been happening for me. For me to love. For me to open myself up. For me to be who it is I am here to be.
I made a big realization the other day, a huge realization the other day. It was this: When I am judging myself for feeling bad I am missing the opportunity that is presenting itself to me.
The opportunity after my heartbreak is to get to know myself in a way I never have before because I am a new person right now.
I am not someone I have known before. And there is a me I am uncovering every moment.
I have a choice in those moments when I start to judge myself. I can choose to get to know this woman, to allow her to slowly and safely come out of the tomb she’d been buried away in. The other choice is that I can choose to push myself into being someone I’m not ready to be. If I make that choice then what will happen is I will pretend to be who I think I should be, and I will find myself further and further away from who it is I am here to become.
And then I will go through more experiences of suffering so I can have another opportunity to find myself. Instead, I think I’d like to be patient. I’d like to get to know myself. I’d like to look at this as an exciting opportunity to see who it is that’s coming out of the rubble.
I am nowhere near the woman I was 6 months ago. I am also not the woman standing in the rubble of a crumbled life. I am now a woman standing strong, looking around her, and gathering pieces to build something new.
No, I’m still not completely recovered from this heartache, but I am in the process of transformation. I think that’s part of why this healing is taking its slow time. I am in the process of fully stepping into my true self. There is no skimping out this time. There is no reaching outside of myself to fill the wounds. There is no more avoiding my darkness.
I realize that I don’t know myself right now. I’m getting glimpses. Amazing glimpses. I am so excited for the person I am becoming. But, I’m not yet fully walking. I’m probably in between the crawling and stumbling faze. But you know, when babies figure out how to walk they are suddenly flying. So I can be patient until I know how to walk on these broken feet.