“How’s your better half doing?” asks a client.
“We actually went our separate ways a couple of months ago,” I say with mostly a smile.
The empathy that starts pouring from them is as though it’s their own devastation. Their intentions acknowledge the pain they assume I’m feeling. Sometimes their words of sympathy do make me feel a bit of sadness. After all, I am experiencing some loss.
As a hairdresser, I have been made privy to an intimate look at my clients’ lives. One of the best parts of my job is just this—intimate conversations.
I don’t take them lightly.
I almost always recount in my mind, later when I’m winding down, every subject that was covered in a day.
My self-reflection happens deliberately through journaling. It helps me to keep in touch with facts about events that maybe my memory won’t retain. I begin to recognize patterns in my own behaviour. Lots of us struggle to form connections as to why things happen to us or why we feel the way we do. Sometimes our feelings and our logic of rational thought simply don’t align at a point in time. I often complete integrity reports for myself too.
When I’m experiencing the dark nights of my soul, my first order of business is to get a firm grip on my identity by going over my core values and asking myself if I have been moving in life in ways that speak to my values. Sometimes the values in themselves are what get adjusted.
My life is a story on repeat and the version my clients here is based on how they ask about it.
One client, and one client only, asked, “So what’s next? What are you up to now?” And I was amused, to say the least!
“I’m currently reflecting a lot on my own behavior. Making connections from feelings to events. Re-evaluating my core values and boundaries and counting my blessings.”
I responded with inspiring confidence. This was the first conversation I had about my recent separation that immediately lifted my spirits and boosted my energy. In times of great pain or confusion, cultivating a grateful attitude has served me well.
We absolutely deserve empathy, and breakups can definitely be tough. All of those feelings need to be acknowledged and nurtured.
Yet we are all so much stronger than we, or apparently anyone else, believe we are.
So go ahead and offer your company, sympathy, and support for me—but you bet your ass I will also be offering optimism, hope, and excitement about your potential for a future that is rich in all that we learn about ourselves during connection.
I’ve never died from a break-up.
I would argue that I was always reborn.