You will cry. You will crumble. But you WILL heal.
Don't despair, my dear brokenhearted friend. After a breakup is really hard time, but we all go through changes in our lives because we have a desire to be happier and to feel happier. Or, we have change thrust upon us and we are simply trying to quell the pain; but, change ... you must.
When you say, "I want to make him better," please know that you cannot. When you say, "I am ill-prepared," know that we are all ill-prepared at times. Even the most together people don't know what the heck to do at times.
When you say, "I don't think I am strong enough," know that you have the strength of all the people that have felt that exact thing before to stand on and to learn from. And when you ask, "Where is God in all of this suffering?" even when it feels that there is too much suffering in the world and God has abandoned you and abandoned your family, God is present. Don't despair.
I promise you, brokenhearted you will fail at things and you will make mistakes. But, brokenhearted you can also change your life for the better. You still have time to do amazing things; you are not a failure. You will feel incredible highs and incredible lows. I hope that you will question everything that you thought was the truth. I hope you doubt, I hope you cry, I hope you fear; and then, I hope you rise.
You cannot "make" anyone better. The only person you can change for the better is you. Taking from the Buddhist tradition of allowing people their own path, you can begin to understand that it is not your job or your responsibility to make anyone else except you change or be better.
You are not God. Your partner has her own God, and you are not it; so, stop trying to be God! Your job is to honor your pain and to listen to the story you're writing for yourself. Be inquisitive; ask the right questions of your heart, find help in learning new coping skills and build your emotional toolbox. Then, utilize the tools you have learned.
Trust your brain and your heart. Be compassionate. Acknowledge and accept your own pain as well as your partners' pain and work with your partner to create a different experience, so as to nurture growth and healing and move towards a more positive future. When you give up on the hope that you will ever "make" anyone better—as a result of this break up, you are being called to something greater than what has been your history—you will be able to be there for yourself in a new way, one that will be transformative and genuine. And, you will get better.
You will be ill-prepared; it is the nature of a breakup and the cross the broken-hearted must bear. When you lose the need to cling to a specific outcome, and when you can detach from your own agenda for your relationship, you create space for acknowledging your own struggle and to come to your own answers. You will begin to trust in your own set of skills and knowledge, and if you don't have the answer you can do one of two things, or you can do both.
I highly recommend brokenhearted you do both of these things often.
1. Learn to feel comfortable sitting in the not-knowing:
- Sit with the unknown and explore how it feels to not have an answer.
- Allow space for uncertainty.
- Provide compassion and grace for yourself
This is not the time to punish your self; the situation is punishing enough. This is a time to nurture and grow a compassionate heart. Often times, being okay with uncertainty allows a moment to pause, to breathe, and with compassion, feel the emotions arising. Become a caretaker of your fragile broken heart. Stop demanding answers; rather, be open to learning.
2. Start learning and find new answers.
- Read, study, learn. Never stop learning.
- Start asking questions. If you don't have the answer, someone will; and, I'm sure someone else has had these same questions.
- Learn to be inquisitive about yourself and about your past relationship, as well as about the world around you.
Pull from many different aspects of thought, theory, philosophy and religion. Think of it as a graduate course in the study of your own heart. With an inquisitive mind and a compassionate heart, begin to nurse yourself just like you would a small baby—back to life.
You will feel weak, but let me tell you right now without hesitation that you are strong. You are stronger than you ever thought possible. When you believe in yourself and you find purpose in what you are doing, you will find the strength to meet the challenge. Persist, endure and learn.
We have all felt afraid. I remember the time during my first divorce when I realized that I would now have the job of mowing the lawn every week. It was overwhelming and took me down in such a profound way. It dawned on me at that moment, I would be alone with two small children, managing everything and responsible for everything, even down to mowing the lawn. I crumpled to the cement floor of the basement laundry room and sobbed uncontrollably. I have never been more afraid.
The next weekend and every other weekend after that, I mowed that lawn. Of course, I did. I learned from the experience and became wiser. That was the end of my weakness—right there in that cold cement floor. I made a vow to not give in to the belief that I was a weakling another second.
So many people have been scared. Talk with others and hear their stories. Benefit from their experiences to grow your self stronger. Part of being strong is also knowing when to let go. If your break up is hurting you to the point that you are not functioning, then know when to let go.
If you need to, write a eulogy for your suffering. Maybe you just need to step away for a moment and reassess and rest? You are allowed to do that. Send the kids to Grandma and Grandpa or a trusted friend, and take some time to let go of your suffering.
Be strong enough to know your worth and to say when enough is enough. You do not serve the world or your family if you are waking up each morning with a broken heart. Take time to heal and to recover. While there is pain and suffering all around us just by the nature of our world, there is also great joy, great accomplishment, tremendous resiliency and love every day. Life does get better.
Where is God in all of this? Good question. This is an answer you need to arrive at on your own. My concept of God may not be your concept of God. I can only tell you what I know to be true; bidden or unbidden God is present. God is with me when I do my work, when I mother my children; God is with me always. God was with me when I was sobbing on that floor.
I believe that God is in everything—every heartache, every challenge and every joy. Every morning I take a few minutes to say, "Thank you. Thank you for my life and thank you for my being." Then, I make a request to God. I say, "Lord be in my heart, be in my mind, and be in my words." I set an intention by requesting that I will do all things, treat all people to the best of my ability, and above all I will honor God and myself through my living. It allows me to get out of my own way and hold faith that God is working with me and through me.
So I leave your sweet, broken heart with this:
- With an inquisitive mind and a compassionate heart ...
- Know who you are and never shy from your true nature.
- Know you do not need to have the answer to be wise.
- Know it is okay to feel fear, but don't let fear stop you. Do it scared.
- Know when to let go.
- Know you are stronger than you ever imagined.
- Know it is okay to doubt yourself, but not to doubt your blessings.
- Know there are always blessings. There are always blessings.
- "We never know how good we are until we are called to rise."
- Know you will rise!