Some things in this life will just break your heart. The beautiful and extraordinary thing about the heart, though, is that when it breaks, it opens more if you let it; it expands. There are things that can bring us to our knees. Losing a loved one too soon, that’s at the top of the list. Going through a divorce, a breakup, any kind of rejection from a person who was once a lover and/or a friend. Being fired from a job. Being abandoned, neglected, discarded or betrayed. Dealing with someone who won’t or can’t communicate so you’re left to grope for the answers yourself, and have to learn the painful lesson that some things will never be explained, that the only closure you’ll get is acceptance.
For so many of us when we’re hurt like this, when we’re grieving and there’s nothing but tears and despair, there can be such a desire to shield the heart; to build up walls so we can’t ever be hurt this way again, to decide we won’t be putting ourselves out there anymore, we won’t allow ourselves to be vulnerable. There’s no way to be a human being in this world without being vulnerable, though, it comes with the territory. We all have a finite amount of time, and we have no idea how much time we have. The thought of that can shut you down or open you up. When you’ve learned firsthand that those you love beyond words can be ripped from you with no warning and no chance to say goodbye, you know the truth of this all too well. If you board up your heart, you serve no one. No one who loved you would ever want you to do that, because it’s a half-life. It’s not even that; it’s an existence. If someone was taken from you, live for them. Honor them by celebrating every moment you have here, and by celebrating the fact that you loved so deeply. No one is ever gone from you. You can close your eyes and be with anyone you’ve ever been close to right now if you try. I realize it isn’t the same as being able to hold the people we long to hold. It isn’t the same as being able to hug them or hear their voices, or see their eyes light up, but they aren’t gone from you, they live in your heart.
If someone has left you of their own volition, allow yourself to feel all the pain around that. Rejection makes us feel like we aren’t worthy of love. It makes us doubt ourselves at the deepest level, but if someone couldn’t see you, or treasure you or understand you, if someone couldn’t receive the incredible gift you are, allow yourself to be released. Everyone deserves to be cherished. Every single one of us is a miracle. You aren’t likely to feel that way if you’ve just been left or betrayed, but you are, truly. Seven billion people, one you. Only one.
If you’ve been fired, that can reek havoc on your self esteem, especially if you identify strongly with the kind of work you do. It can make you feel like you’ve been cut off at the knees. It’s hard to imagine it when we’re in the midst of turmoil and stress, when we’re trying to keep a roof over our heads and food in the refrigerator, but sometimes it’s a gift when our plan gets turned on its head. Maybe eventually you’ll see that this was a catalyst for something beautiful and unexpected to emerge, but in the meantime, lick your wounds.
Whatever you’re going through, keeping your heart open is so key. Shut yourself down for awhile if you need to; if you’re going through the kind of loss that’s so knifing you’re struggling to breathe in and breathe out, then just surviving this period is enough. Just crack the door open so you can receive love and support, because you’ll need it. Some things will never be okay, but accepting that is often the thing that enables you to open your heart again. Life without love is cold and dark; it’s not natural to us, we thrive on connection and closeness. Everyone is in this thing together. Some people face pain that’s hard to endure, and others face the “normal” amount of suffering, but no one gets out with zero suffering, and no one lives forever. With the time that you’ve got, live all the way. Embrace it all and try to trust in your experience here, even if you don’t understand it all the time. Just being a human being is such a gift. Just getting to have this journey is something extraordinary. Even when you feel completely alone, you aren’t. Keep your heart open and you’ll feel that reality.
Sending you so much love (and a little yoga to support your healing process.)
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