Making A Deal With Heartbreak and Loss
I’m keenly familiar with loss.
Heartbreak and I have an ongoing relationship and over the years we’ve come to a compromise. I promised to invite heartbreak to every conversation of loss and heartbreak agrees to teach me gratitude and perseverance.
For some strange, unexplained, karmic reason…it works.
Loss is something everyone experiences but we don’t all use it as a springboard for a new possibility.
We tolerate it, we grieve, we complain.
And then a moment arrives where we must choose to move on intentionally with an aspiration to something MORE than was before. An expanded more conscious way of being in the world that can hold loss and gain, grief and joy, comfort and challenge.
I’m not quite sure when it was that loss became conscious. Was it the little things in childhood, like when I brought my teddy bear to school and someone stole it? (Many tears)
Or was it later in the big things that shook the foundation of my world? Losing homes, losing massive amounts of money, losing loved ones, losing marriages, losing myself?
Every single loss has had a hidden purpose, a renewal, as if I were shedding skin that no longer fit around the aura of my being.
Every single loss brought a deeper connection and honoring of Self that would’ve remained unconscious, sublimated by the daily interactions of an ordinary and busy life.
Sometimes I wonder if in some way I cause this to happen, this dance of extremes, so I can jolt my complacent ass out of the stupor of our human condition.
It hurts. Like ripping off a bandaid of a not yet fully healed wound.
Just exposing the wound to air becomes the healing. Nothing to hide behind. No darkness or shadow to mitigate the truth, to make it sound nice and happy and pleasant and acceptable.
When life sucks is exactly when courage you never knew you had shows up.
I’ll grant myself a time of grieving my losses. It’s necessary. That’s part of my deal with heartbreak. Engage the pain, don’t run away, don’t bury it behind all sorts of -isms.
As much as I’d love to say I moved on there are still days when the pain seeps into my day, a slithering demand for tears and self-pity. And then it quickly departs fully satiated and leaving nothing behind.
In his poem, A Time for Necessary Decisions, the poet John O’Donohue writes,
Often we only know it's time to change
When a force has built inside the heart
That leaves us uneasy as we are.
Perhaps the work we do has lost its soul
Or the love where we once belonged
Calls nothing alive in us anymore.
We drift through this gray, increasing nowhere
Until we stand before a threshold we know
We have to cross to come alive once more.
There will be a time for necessary decisions, the ones that purge your life of the heaviness that holds you back from engaging your life. You are standing on that threshold between what was and what will be.
Truth: No one evolves in comfort.
Outside of comfort and niceties lies your truth whether others agree or not. This life belongs to you. All of it. The victories, the defeats, the losses and the gains.
Heartbreak and loss are companions. You’ll find them on every road you travel, every adventure you embark on. They will inevitably invite themselves into your life.
Just know that it’s so and make your deal early. Unbeknownst to you, they are the evolutionary masters.
Don’t underestimate them. Or yourself.
O’Donohue continues his poem,
May we have the courage to take the step
Into the unknown that beckons us;
Trust that a richer life awaits us there,
That we will lose nothing
But what has already died;
Feel the deeper knowing in us sure
Of all that is about to be born beyond
The pale frames where we stayed confined,
Not realizing how such vacant endurance
Was bleaching our soul's desire.
You will always find your way to the other side of loss when your heart opens to a new possibility born beyond the shadow of heartbreak. There, quietly awaiting you, is love.
Love will be the salve that heals every wound and helps you come alive once more, pulling you in the direction of the life you were meant to live.
Love will be the midwife to your rebirth so you can continue living your soul’s desire.
Even if at that moment, you don’t know what that desire is.