“God breaks the heart again and again and again until it stays open.”
– Hazrat Inayat Khan
“I’ve never felt this vulnerable and open before in my life.” I wrote to my former love.
The last few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster for me. It started with a friendly text exchange with my love of three years. “Hey” I started (admittedly fueled by a tequila). The next day, “hello” back.
Streams of messages ensued about times lost, hurt, regret, bitterness, remorse and new loves.
There were new moments shared, some of which mended or transcended those hurts and brought forth a new connection.
Without sharing the details of the weeks that ensued, the bottom line is that he has started a new life – he has a new path to walk that, at the moment, doesn’t include me.
But I am ever grateful for these past few weeks. My heart is cracked open and I will never again let it close. Here are the top lessons I have learned from heartbreak. I hope you find them useful too.
1. The most important thing is to feel it all – deeply. When I awoke that morning with deep regret over a relationship I had recently let go of, it was overwhelming. The pain, regret, remorse and hollowness were poignant. It was as if my heart had been cracked open for the very first time.
2. Ride the emotional waves. Through subsequent days – meeting with my therapist, a reunion with my former love, there were more highs and lows. I relished each for the lessons they taught. Pain and pleasure are two sides of one coin. We can’t fully appreciate one without the other.
3. Desire is the ultimate teacher. Tuning into desire enables us to create more of what we do want. Re-appreciating the characteristics of this wonderful man enables me to clarify what I want to feel in my next relationship. Honing desire through attuning to what pulls the heart – as well as what pushes it away – is necessary for creating what comes next.
4. Meditation is the most important practice. Intense emotional states are instantly grounding. They bring us back to earth – to living day-to-day in this very human form. We begin to pay attention to movement, hunger, thoughts, and intentions. I spent more time than I ever have before in frequent meditation – it was my refuge. Sitting not only calms the mind, bringing peace and mental clarity, but it also creates space for compassion to flourish. In this case, compassion for my own heart and desires as well as this wonderful man whom I hurt so deeply just months before.
5. Love yourself first. There is no greater cause for self love than a broken heart. I am my own heroine. I have rescued myself in the past and I can do it over and over again, so can you. Whether it’s through calling on friends, making yourself good food, talking with a therapist or working out at the gym – now is prime time to put yourself and your own needs first.
6. Always leave the door open. While now was not the time for us, my former love and I have left the door open. We have a deep and “forever” love between us, and no one can predict what the future may bring. Navigating the last few weeks with love and mutual respect has been a gift of growth and understanding for us both.
This doesn’t mean I am waiting for a tomorrow that may never come. Nor will I settle for less in my next love. What I am is clear. Through contrast and desire, I KNOW what I want. I know I am capable of great love and worthy of the same in return.
And now, I am looking forward to writing my next chapter.