What I Discovered Inside my Broken Heart
As I begin writing from the depths of my soul I acknowledge the newness in my words and the wounds of my heart as I open the gates for my emotion and insights to flow. In this moment I allow there to be equal space for two poignant pain sources, cancer and a love unmet, that have encouraged the woman I am today. For the first time I honor the entirety of my pain no longer wanting to protect my story of a broken heart but rather set it free.
His comedy, charisma, bigger than life presence, and wild and carefree ways drew me in like a magnet in 2012. I loved the difference he brought to my life from adventures to perspective. I was quickly in awe. The strength of my attraction and adoration so strong it pulled me across the threshold over time and fully submerged me into his world as I unknowingly left mine behind. Before I knew it I had reworked my entire system and way of being to fit most seamlessly next to him. I wanted to soak him up. All of him. All the time. I worked where he worked. I went where he went. I stayed when he stayed. I waited. I watched. I let go. I settled in.
And during this whirlwind that was me getting lost in love I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. More of my identity fell away as I navigated my way through the darkness that was hormonal change, physical loss, sadness, dis-ease, uncertainty, and a heavy mental fog. Losing myself to this abyss was a very scary space to exist.
I clung harder. I needed more. I felt broken and unwhole. In a world of chaos and confusion, when I was nowhere to be found, he was my familiar. He was my safety. He was my all. This was the foundation of our relationship, a scared young woman fully dependent on a wild and carefree man to keep her safe, protected, happy, and full.
I didn’t notice the ruins of my co-dependence until I found myself feeling small in his absence and powerless in his presence, until I noticed that when I did find the courage to speak up about something that mattered my voice quivered. I would cower. I forgot how to be bold and take a stand for my needs. I forgot it was ok to want more and to express those desires. I tiptoed around, rearranging my thoughts and emotions to fit what he could handle. At the very lowest moments and perhaps where I began to awaken was in times I desperately yearned for his acknowledgement. To not be heard or seen by the person I put before everything else was crushing. No longer could I deny the imbalance between us or the constant ache in my heart.
When I finally got honest about how far I had fallen, I started to pray. I didn’t know how to pull myself up, how to soothe my aching heart, how to feel less alone in the world so I called on something greater to guide me. But even as I began to pray, I focused on him and us. All my thoughts and requests centered around him and our life together. I asked for strength to keep me on course, to stay committed, to shift where I could, to grow from my pained spots, to find the light in the darkest, most hopeless of times. I continued to hold faith in our shared life. And again, I waited. For years I waited and I watched hoping he would come closer, hoping one day he would lean in and let up on parts of his life so he could fit more comfortably into mine.
But he didn’t.
Inside year number five, in the midst of unanswered prayers and faded hope I got the courage to change my focus. I abandoned the fight. I surrendered my position and began asking for guidance toward grace. I knew above all else I wanted to be a woman of compassion, gentleness, curiosity, and insight even for that which hurt me the most. Finally, my threshold for pain and the manipulation it had on my thoughts, actions, and words had been met. I was ready and willing to take my power back, to rise above, to find the light inside of my broken heart.
I established a consistent yoga practice. I began rereading my library. I journaled. I cried. I released. I redirected my focus to things and people that serve me. I held faith in goals and visions that light me up. And the most healing of all, I looked deep inside and pulled out the pain, staring each moment down, feeling the emotions and then let it go.
With this prayer for grace, commitment to Self, and lots of work my power continues to grow, my heart heals, space for possibility is opening up, and my capacity to give and receive love is greater than I’ve ever known. It was within my broken heart that I discovered the depths of who I am. I now burn brighter because of the abyss.