Brokenhearted bravery

 

Most of us hope to one day run into our soul mate, to live happily ever after and everything will be fine. We forget that after we’ve fallen in love at some point impermanence will kick in. We break up and feel brokenhearted. But how do we chuck it in the fuck it bucket and move on?

Last summer I had the pleasure of meeting someone I thought was truly extraordinary. He was kind, funny and it took me only one conversation to figure out that he was the one I wanted to be with. That was the start of what I now call the Blitzkrieg of love.

We would fantasize about what our future would be like together, write each other poetry and mentally design the house we would build together and he was sure he was going to marry me. It was pure magic. Being in love feels like your soul is on fire and somehow we don’t want that feeling to change. We hope that we can create a reality 2.0: to have the perfect life with our partner in crime on our side.

But than we realize, life is just life. We want to live in that blissful dream of love, but discover it’s just you and your own shit, coexisting with someone else and their own shit. And all of the sudden, it’s not that great anymore.

We wonder, where has the magic gone? Why doesn’t it feel so deep and profound anymore? We still love that person but somehow the outer layer of shiny gold is gone. We want that depth back, but forget that in order to go deeper you need to pick up a shovel and start digging. We want instant deepness and don’t want to do the hard work of getting to the core. And then we ask ourselves: is it worth pursuing?

I think there is no right or wrong to that question. We all have our own reasons to pick up the shovel or throw in the towel. Maybe we feel something better will come along. Maybe we hope it will get better. Maybe we realize that it requires work. Maybe we simply don’t want to do the work. The question remains if loving someone is enough? Sometimes, it’s not.

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In my case, after five months of conquering astounding amounts of territory the fire went out and the battle was lost. The Blitzkrieg of love was over. On both sides were losers. Not because we were fighting each other, but because we were both fighting ourselves. And the only way to go forward was to surrender our self aggression.

After waving the white flag there was more work to do. How to deal with that broken heart? I found these three things are absolutely essential:

SOUL MATE?

We somehow learn that one day we will find our soulmate and we will live happily every after. That there is just one person out there, who will make everything okay. I think that’s bullshit, because it makes everything else, every deep love, every short romance seem meaningless. The Hollywood Ending is not a real thing, not for most of us anyway. Romantic movies are like emotional porn trying to distract us from reality. So what is a soul mate?  When I was reading EAT PRAY LOVE, I found this quote and I couldn’t have said it better:

“A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.
A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master…”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

And you can rest assured. In my case, it worked its magic. But then again, there all these others kinds of love. That are just as important, just as meaningful.

WHAT IF?

After we break up we have this little voice in our head that just repeats ‘what if’ over and over again. What if it was just a little bump in the road? What if I’ll never love again? What if this was my only shot at happiness? What if we had just tried a little harder? What if I had been more understanding? What if I had approached this whole thing differently? Bla, BLA BLA.
‘What if’ is cruel. It’s that internal torture device that just won’t get you anywhere. ‘What if’ is what is holding you back from letting go and moving on. And you deserve to move on. That’s the only option you have anyway.
I was fortunate enough to be completely done with the person I was seeing. I had felt invisible and unwanted for too long and had come to the conclusion that I didn’t want to go on like that. I felt like I was worth more. For a second I wondered what would have happened if we had taken it slow. I wondered if things would be different if he had decided to grow up, get his shit together and be supportive. But I can see that he is unable. Just like that, I thought about it, and I could drop it. It took me three tearful days before breaking up when I realized I couldn’t go on like that. I dropped another T-bomb during our ‘talk’ and another day of tears four days later. That was it. I was done. No what ifs, no regrets. Just a simple wish for an apology.

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ENOUGH

Last but not least we start asking ourselves: am I enough? What is wrong with me that this didn’t work out? Am I not beautiful enough? Am I not funny, kind, understanding or good enough? Did this person just realize that I really suck? If this person doesn’t want to be with me, does that mean that no one wants to be with me, ever? Have I failed as a human being? Should I start collecting cats (and name them Pip, Christie, Smurf, Mouse, Jimmy, Blackie and Cool J?)
For some reason we just love being cruel to ourselves. We refuse to accept the simple truth of impermanence and to avoid feeling like crap we turn on ourselves, which actually makes it so much worse.
My advice? Stop it, seriously, STOP IT. You are beautiful, awesome and absolutely enough. Sometimes things just don’t work. Sometimes things are not meant to be. It’s simple as that. And that, in no way, affects your worthiness.

It’s okay to feel heartbroken, sad, lonely or more angry than you’ve ever been. The thoughts will come and try to get you down. They really will. But all you can do is chuck them in the fuck it bucket. And move on.

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