I remember that it hurt. Like nothing else in the world, I remember that a broken heart hurts.
No one can explain how a broken heart burns in the chest or burrows through the mind. But as much pain as a broke heart brings, your heart is not the enemy. Your heart is not mean, not vindictive, not against you.
Celebrate your heart. You were capable of love. And if your heart is broken, you most likely have learned that you’re capable of unconditional love. This is a beautiful accomplishment that many do not get to experience. You may be the one with a broken heart, but that is because you were also the one who loved without holding anything back. No pity for you, brave one. Just because you lost love does not mean that loving wasn’t a worthy cause. It was. And you are amazing.
That being said, I urge you: take care of your heart.
Do not go into darkness.
When a heart is broken, there are two options: to carry the fractured pieces through darkness or through light. Please, choose light. Both are very real options, and the darkness is waiting, hoping and welcoming you in. But don’t lock hands with it as it reaches for you. You are a creature of hope and love; do not fall into resentment. Do not fill yourself with counterfeit joys. Believe in hope, believe in light, believe in restoration. Choosing light will allow the seemingly impossible peace and happiness to follow you sooner than you think.
To see that peace and happiness are both still very real, spend time with hearts who have felt deep pain, endured the journey and are victoriously out on the other side. Surrounding yourself with those who walk in hope and joy will remind you that, though your world seems grim, the world is still abounding with good reasons to laugh in hope and sigh in contentment. There is life after loss. Remember it even when you don’t feel it.
Your heart’s healing is the first priority and it is not a selfish one. After a loss of love, there are so many questions: “What is next for me?” “How will I move forward?” “What will I do?” But all of these questions are allowed to remain answer-less.
You do not need to make any decisions while your heart is hurting. Just breathe. Just be. Just create. In the stillness, in the breathing, you will realize that ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ is still your favorite movie, even though he showed it to you. You’ll realize that you do think you’re good enough, even though you were told that you weren’t. You’ll realize that the things you liked about yourself – your favorite music, your favorite clothes, your favorite foods – survived the season of brokenness and are still parts of who you are.
Allow yourself to mourn. Protect yourself. Ask for grace, and then do only what you want to do for a while. Anyone who has had a broken heart will give you their blessing to distract yourself with television, spend hours by yourself, and buy way too many new shoes. And you’ll see, with each week the unbearable load will become significantly lighter and lighter. You will notice that you begin thinking about it less and less. You will go from broken, to stable and, one day, you’ll wake up and realize that you are okay.
But it doesn’t end there.
It is actually just the beginning.
The sun rises majestically every morning over the world, regardless of the heartache occurring in it. It brings light, perspective and hope to everyone who sees it. You, too, will rise. The loss, pain or decisions of another cannot touch you, at least not for long. You will rise. You will bring light and color and warmth to the world around you. You will be beautiful, strong, and purposeful. So let yourself daydream again. Daydream about new adventures. Daydream about what you will do and what you will create. Daydream about falling in love again. Because, like the sun, you will rise.
– image credit: Julia Caesar