What is your heartbreak telling you today?

Photo by Aaron Mello on Unsplash

Heartbreak. What does that really mean?

I know, it’s a cliché. I’m literal. You may say it’s obvs, but play along with me because I think you know where I’m going…I contend it’s not your heart that’s broken at all. Your heart may be crying, you may be enraged and grief-stricken. Your soul may be howling in pain so loudly it drowns out everything else. Yet, if you take a step back you can deconstruct all your twisted emotions down to this: you haven’t got what you want. This minute, here and now, you feel empty. Bereft. I challenge you to sit with the thought for a minute. I know it hurts. Word. Bear with me.

Try some of these on (switch genders as you need):

• You’ve been betrayed
• She has broken all her promises
• The love of your life has withdrawn from you
• She has turned to someone else
• She broke your vows
• You gave her everything
• Nothing you counted on has proven to be true
• All your fears have proven to be true
• You’ll never again find what you had, together
• You’re sure she never loved you
• Fill in the blank. Really. Make your list now. I’ll wait for you.

Any of these feel familiar? Did you add your own? Stay with me, there’s a purpose to this.

Feel the hurt, acknowledge it without judgment. It sucks, you are in pain. You deserve kindness and compassion. Give those things…to yourself. Get those things from the friends closest to you, who mean you only the best. Surround yourself with people who care about you. These are healing acts, and you do deserve them.

Now, catch your breath. Drink something cold. Breathe. Do whatever you need to ground yourself. Now. Go back and deconstruct those statements of yours, all the way to the simplest element you can break it down into. Follow the rabbit, go into the weeds, chase the thought and don’t turn away from your truth. Each and every one reduces to this and this alone: you don’t have what was once yours; what you thought you had; what you wanted, what was promised to you, what you expected. In some cases, it may have turned out to be utter illusion and nothing you believed you had was ever yours to begin with. Am I close?

Was it safety? Was it sex? Compliments, attention, a haven? A mirror, space, time? Shelter, nourishment, companionship, warmth? Intellectual parity, a kindred spirit, an accomplice? Play, passion, your fantasy? Anxiety, lust, drama…uncertainty or danger? The answers will be as different as there are participants, and my answer to you will ultimately be the same regardless — and I include myself here, too.

This is in no way to dismiss that you have been dealt a shitty hand — your circumstances were gut-wrenching and unfair. They were shocking and undeserved. That collection of well-intentioned people we just talked about? That’s what they are here for, to commiserate, to sympathize, empathize, soothe, listen and give a shit. To validate your suffering and care about your pain. Your friends are noble — they embolden the hero within you…let them do that. Then own the shift and the road out.

What comes out of your heartbreak and how you move forward will, finally, be up to no one but you. Remember this: not having those things you had hoped for, craved, loved and lost, does not diminish you, the measure of your character, or your capacity to love. Yet, if you choose to wait for some magical “other” to bestow the sacrament of closure upon you, or baptize your truth with their holy light, you stand to miss the essential gift that is wholly in your own hands. And that would be a tragedy.

To love is an act. You are free to take back your heart. You are equipped to rise above and sail past. You are the only one who will marshal the courage to face the disappointment, the failed commitments, the shortchanged expectations, the (you get it, fill in your own blank).

Choosing is an act of personal power and it’s already yours. It’s time to claim it.

Playwright. Artist. Badass. Finding more runway. @facethemuse; Straightlives.com