October 31, 2013

Heartbreak is the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me. ~ Dominique Youkhehpaz

I wouldn’t have admitted this two years ago.

In fact, if you would have told me then, “You will someday be grateful for your broken heart,” I would have laughed (or more likely cried) in your face.

But I say it now: Thank you, dear heart, for being strong enough to fall apart. Thank you, heart, for the precious gift of your breaking.

Like many, I once fell deeply in love. I was so in love, the colors of the leaves on the trees turned brighter. So in love, I could hardly keep up with my mind’s rampant fantasies. So in love, fireworks went off in me every time I held his hand.

And, as is the way with gravity, the fireworks between us ran their course and eventually came crashing down, leaving me dazed and heartbroken with a thousand questions left unanswered.

Let me tell you, the heartbreak that followed was like no other pain I’ve ever experienced. My broken heart was like a volcano: due for eruption at any moment, with periods of peace and stillness in between. The dark periods were incredibly dark and at times unbearable—and they surprised me when they would suddenly pass.

Heartbreak defied and surpassed my expectations.

Rather than the consistent immersion in despair and longing I expected, I was surprised by the sudden, unpredictable way that sorrow wove in and out of my life. A mysterious, almost beautiful darkness enveloped me completely, yes—and there was still plenty of space in me for light and laughter.

A thick fog hovered over me, yet revealed in windy bursts the brilliant sun, made even more magnificent with the contrast.

Some days, I woke up feeling fine, singing, swooning in delight of this magical life. Then I would take a warm bath or wash the dishes and begin to weep uncontrollably.

I would watch a romance film and be surprised that the box of tissues at hand remained full. Then I would go for a drive to buy groceries and have to pull over, blinded with tears from the sudden storm within me.

I learned surrender.

I gave myself over to the deeper yearning in my heart every time I let myself cry.

The veils between worlds, between all concepts of reality became thin, for I was mourning the death of a loved one in my life.

I became like a child—so present with each experience. Supremely vulnerable, tender, curious and a little over dramatic. I learned quickly that the stories and analyses arising in my mind would consume me completely if I let them.

What if he….?

Why didn’t I…?

In some strange way, these stories became impersonal, universal. If I only changed the names and locations, I would be telling someone else’s story, one of millions just like me who felt what I felt.

For a moment, I understood why the world was full of war and violence. I saw the dangerous potential there was to replay my hurt for the rest of my life and close my heart.

I stood at the crossroads.

I chose another way.

“Love’s glory is accepting the heartbreak and opening to it, not once, not a thousand times, but every second.”

~ Andrew Harvey

I refused to close my heart. I refused to harden my hurt into ammunition. Instead, I let myself fall apart completely.

Emotions violently swept my house clean of its furniture, and I let them. I even handed them a broom. Stories spun through my mind like hungry ghosts, and I did my best not to get tangled in their sticky web. I reached out for support from friends and elders to make it through the times when I couldn’t see clearly enough to hold my own.

I practiced opening myself to the way each moment expressed itself through me. Sometimes that meant lying on the floor staring into space, wailing.

When I had the energy, I tapped into the prolific creativity that darkness brings and channeled my tears into collages and poems. Or danced wildly to Cher’s “Believe.” Other times I would go outside and get my hands in the dirt—using my favorite pickaxe to throw all my why me’s into the soil as I hacked at hardened earth.

In time, my heart became broken open, simply by my determination not to let it become broken closed.

I learned not to try to mend or fix my heart, but to keep it broken. To keep it tender. To keep it open.

For only from such depths of vulnerability could I fully receive Love’s gift, trembling in awe. Stripped to the bone, naked, with nothing left but my commitment to Love.

“The mystery of union begins when longing has softened you enough to receive the tenderness of the Beloved. The mystery of union begins when you have been destroyed enough to be grateful for a blade of grass, for the wind and the freshness of the morning, for a beautiful face on the bus.”

~ Andrew Harvey

Dear one, I know I am not alone. Come, lean in with me. Come, touch the center of your longing, where joy and sorrow live both. Tear your complacent I’m fine-s off your naked heart.

Let your tender heart open again and again to the heartbreak of loving completely.

Love wildly.

Love freely.

And when it is time to let go, let go.

Stand bare in your commitment to Love.

And stay true to your innocent, broken open heart. No matter what.


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Assistant Ed: Steph Richard/Ed: Bryonie Wise

{Photo: Theresa L. via Pinterest}

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