Gratitude: A Coping Elixir for Heartbreak

“Heartbreak is what happens when love is lost” – Brene Brown

I thought it would be easier to write about heartbreak while in it, but it’s harder than I thought it would be. I figured if I pushed through it, that something will come forth. So far, I’ve met with anger and disappointment. I’m pretty sure I’ve got a long road ahead of me and that other emotions will start coming to the surface. 

I wanted to write about heartbreak as a way to heal. I know many have experienced the loss of love and the pain that comes along with it is pretty much unbearable. I’ve experienced it on several occasions, and one would think that it gets easier. My friends, it does not. However, what I have observed is that the experience is different every time that love is lost. Every breakup is different depending on where you are in your life. Some are more painful than others. Some feel more freeing. It all depends on the connection you had with your partner. At least for me. 

Yet, despite the pain (and once it’s been surpassed), I believe that endings are gifts to be treasured. They are an opportunity to create a new story. I’m well aware that when you’re in it, it feels like it’s fucking impossible to do anything, let alone to go on and create something. Sometimes, it even feels impossible to get out of bed because of how shitty it feels. There’s a reason why we coin “heartbreak” as … well, the heart being broken. It’s because it literally feels like someone took your heart and beat the shit out of it. And then there’s the process of detaching yourself from your partner and from the story you’ve worked so hard to create, along with the new identity you’ve acquired . That’s the most annoying part because it feels like your insides are turning inside out, and everywhere you look, you’re reminded of him (or her), and you know that they have become a ghost, transformed into a memory that you’ll always carry with you everywhere you go. And not only did they vanish, but so did the expectations you developed about the future you would share with them, the love of your life. This is the hardest part for me. 

No person has ever broken your heart, they have broken your expectations which gets you closer to your heart”. – Kyle Cease

I like to call this transitionary process a shedding of some sort. I think of it as a shift within me that’s on a much deeper, cellular level which is caused by change (and which I’ve learned is never fucking comfortable). It just isn’t. Which in a way, actually makes this easier for me to digest because I know that I’m growing, and THAT makes me happy. I will never turn growth away. No matter how painful.  

I’ve shed many skins in my lifetime, each time making me stronger, making me more attuned to my needs, desires, and my inner voice. Oh that voice! It gets stronger and more vexatious. It gets harder to ignore. Time again and again, I am reborn. Time again and again, I discover new values I wasn’t aware were inside of me all along. This is why I I like to look at my partners as guides of some sort, helping me uncover hidden aspects of myself I’m blind too. And for that I am grateful

Gratitude. This has been my guiding light through the darkness. But I had to dig deep to access it because finding gratitude amidst a wild hurricane is a tremendous effort. It’s much easier to stay in the victim mindset. I just know it doesn’t serve me. In fact, it keeps me chained to the past, so I keep reaching for gratitude whenever I can. It’s the elixir that heals my heart and helps me transcend.  

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