If you can’t tell from my Instagram, I am on the mend from another heartbreak. I’m not ready to go into the particulars of what transpired between The Boy and me, but I want to tell you what made this the most productive heartbreak I’ve ever endured. I did a lot of things differently in this “relationship” to ensure that no matter what happened between us, I wouldn’t come undone and end up doing shower slides, crying into a towel whilst listening to Rihanna’s “Stay” for six months. Don’t judge me, we all have our process, okay?
This post is kind of long, so you’re welcome to skip ahead to the steps.
Let’s start with how we got here. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions, but I do select a theme for the year. Rather, a theme selects me. For 2019 the theme of love came and kicked me in the shin so as to say “Hey bitch, maybe it’s time to start working on this.” My first attempts at romantic love failed so massively that I formed a narrative in my head about love. We all have stories that we subconsciously or consciously tell ourselves and others that explain who we are and why we are. Maybe you repeat to people over and over again that you have trust and abandonment issues because your dad left you and your family. That story brings you comfort and an explanation that you’ve identified with and made a part of your personality, never really addressing it. (Trust issues aren’t a personality trait, they are the result of unaddressed trauma). So, based on those early trash relationships, the story I’ve been telling myself and anyone else who would listen is that I’ve just never been a girl who was lucky in love and that I have never chosen good guys. In fact, I would tell people, if you want to know if you’re a good guy, see if I’ll date you and the answer is no, no you aren’t. Because I told myself this story so often, it became a self-fulfilling prophecy and I found myself reliving the same trash relationship over and over again. The pursuit of love just felt painful and overwhelming, so I told myself God just wants me to be alone, and some people aren’t meant to find love, and I’m just one of those people. When I really reflected on it, my romantic love life was where my faith in God stopped. I believed fully in His ability to change everything in my life for the better, and that He was always only working towards my good in everything except romantic love.
I guess God got tired of me lying on Him, so I started to get all these messages from the collective consciousness that now was the time to start looking at the part of myself where I felt the most broken. For example, I’d started following Maryan Hasnaa and saw the below, and I realized I was treating my love life like that junk drawer we all have in our kitchen. We keep putting useless things in it so that it becomes so full, it won’t even open. That was my metaphorical heart. It was full of junk I refused to look at because it was too messy and painful and difficult to sort through. But then I had something I really wanted to put in that drawer (The Boy re-entered my life) and it was jammed shut. I also realized that I have been dating wrong my whole life.
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((Sacred Mirrors)) The universe will send you the partner you are ready for. We absolutely summon soul mates and people from other lifetimes who share soul contracts and karmic agreements. They will show up by divine appointment as sacred mirrors to do work with. Don’t misread the synchronicity around these meetings and assume you found “the one”. When you recognize someone has shown up in your experience as “training wheels” to allow you to master your relationships patterns don’t try to turn that person into your life partner. See it for what it is. This will make learning the lesson they are here to teach happen faster. My partner and I are exploring the medicine of not planning for our relationships “future”. And it’s been the most fulfilling experience of being fully present for the now. Because isn’t it always now anyway?
Allow me to explain. Another story that a lot of women have been sold is that the best thing you can ever hope to become is a wife and mother. For that reason, most of us have looked at every man we’ve ever liked, dated, had sex with, smiled at, or gave our number to as a possible husband. We are taught that every relationship has to lead to commitment. If a man does not commit to you then he does not value you, or love you, or care for you, and if you can’t make a man do those things then you are flawed. Your value as a woman is tied to your ability to make him commit. So we go into every relationship blindly hoping to make that man The One. This puts an enormous amount of pressure on the relationship from day one. We end up imposing a ton of expectations on that person that they know nothing about, and then we wonder why we’re constantly disappointed. We emotionally contort ourselves to fit what we think he may want so that we can be the chosen one. We lose ourselves in pursuit of the relationship because we abandon ourselves to win the prize of commitment. So you aren’t even present to learn about this person or yourself. If this has never been you then kudos to you girl, this ain’t about you and I don’t like you. I kid, I kid. If you’ve never been this girl, then write a book and teach us how to raise our daughters better. Moving along.
With all of these revelations hitting me, I opened up to my therapist about the fact that I really wanted romantic love in my life, and I was finally ready to delve into that part of my being so that I could heal it. I was ready to yank the drawer open, dump out all the stuff, and sift through it. I had to journal about past relationships, meditate and reflect on them, on what happened, and who I was. I discovered a lot of sadness and unproductive patterns that I had to break. The main one being that I cannot make fantasies out of people. I cannot use people to fill voids where I feel empty and broken. I cannot put the onus of my healing in the hands of another person. I must always be willing to do the work on myself, even when trying to partner with someone else. It is your job to make you feel good first.
I made the decision that I would go into the “relationship” with The Boy without imposing expectations on him based on past trauma, I would pay more attention to myself and what I am to learn from the experience, and that I would not abandon my self-care, because he made me feel good. I was committed to being more present and mindful in the relationship so that I could know I fully gave it a real chance. And guess what? That shit still didn’t work out, but I didn’t come undone and I didn’t leave empty handed. The long and the short of it is that I was sold a dream I wasn’t in the market for, and once he had me convinced I should buy the dream, the salesman pulled out of the deal abruptly. It wasn’t that I didn’t have the emotional currency for the dream, or that I wasn’t worthy of the dream. The offer was just no longer on the table. When that happens, you don’t chase the salesman down and ask for an explanation, you gather your things and you rob that nigga. I kid, I kid. Here’s what you do so you can have a productive heartbreak.
Before you do anything, truly decide whether or not you are ready for the relationship to end. I can’t tell you if you are or aren’t, but sit with yourself and decide. An older woman once told me when I couldn’t decide if I was ready to leave my ex from college, “If you can’t live with what you’re living with right now for the rest of your life, then leave. How do you know how much longer the rest of your life even is?”
You need to accept that your heart is broken, that you are sad, that you are angry, that it is over. You are allowed to be sad, especially if you developed a routine with this person. Maybe you have to get used to the fact that you will no longer receive a nude every night at 10:30 PM. It takes time to get used to someone not being in your life, just like it takes time to get used to someone being in your life. Don’t listen to your friends who mean well, but expect for you to just be over it in a day. First of all, they’re lying, if not to you then to themselves (which is worse btw) by telling you they just pick up and move on from heartbreak. No one does that…at least not without developing some really weird manifestations of that unaddressed pain. Lean into your sadness. Acknowledge it, find the gratitude in it, but know that it is temporary. It will not hurt forever, it just hurts right now, and it will pass. If you ignore the pain and refuse to accept it, then I promise you, it will surface later and it will hurt worse and it will likely hurt someone else.
“If someone is not treating you with love and respect, it is a gift if they walk away from you. If that person doesn’t walk away, you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her. Walking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal. Then you can choose what you really want. You will find that you don’t need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.” -Don Miguel Ruiz
Go Where the Love Already Is
Go where the love already is, not where you have to force it or beg for it. Be around people who undoubtedly and without coaxing love you, support you, and may or may not be willing to steal his identity and take you on a trip with his money. Don’t do that, that’s just the kind of energy you’re looking for. I am currently on a “Friend Love Tour” where every weekend I am flying or walking to be with a friend who loves and supports me and reaffirms the love I have for myself.
One of the things I’m most grateful for in this experience is that it’s taught me how to take care of myself. Taking care of yourself in ways that are personal and specific to you is like an act of rebellion. I’ve had to really learn what and who makes me feel good. Truly good, in a lasting and impactful way. The interesting thing about this practice is that I realized how little he did to make me feel good when we were apart. It makes it easier to move on from a person when you realize how little you’re actually holding on to. I’ve tried new things, revisited good things, people, and places, and really come back to myself. And I gotta tell ya, that shit is empowering.
You may feel like you failed because this relationship didn’t work out. Especially if you’re the kind of person who tends to go after and get what they want out of life. The truth is it’s really only a failure if you learned nothing, so reflect on what transpired. Also, honestly, I don’t know you, so maybe you are the one who ruined the relationship. In which case, you really need to reflect on what happened so you don’t hurt someone else. Find the gratitude in the experience. Make a list of all the things you’re grateful for from the relationship. Maybe you had great sex, or he put you on to a new restaurant or taught you a new sex thing that you can use with your next. Think about what you gained and what you learned about yourself, who you are, what you want, what you don’t want, what your deal breakers are, etc. This way you are more assured that you aren’t walking away empty handed. Write out your version of what happened in the relationship and reflect on what you want to go differently with the next person. Perhaps you think there will never be another one. That’s a lie. The great philosopher Gucci Mane told us many moons ago, “Miss one, next fifteen one comin’.” Every relationship that doesn’t work out is just getting you closer to the one that will.
Closure is a Single Player Game
Sometimes you just have to say, “Thanks for the dick,” and move on with your life. A man I dated in college told me that he knew as long as he never gave me closure, he would always have a way back in with me. He hasn’t heard from me since. External closure is a trap to make you go backward and second guess yourself. The life hack for closure is to find it on your own. I think we all have a fantasy that the person who hurt us will come back around, explain why, and beg for our forgiveness. You can hope for that if you want to, but you may be holding up your healing waiting for an apology or an explanation that may never come. The truth is that a lot of people are so lacking in self-awareness that they don’t even know why they do what they do, and they may not have the explanation to give. Whatever their reasons are, are not really your business unless they are mature enough to have that conversation with you.
Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Body
I could make a dirty joke here but I won’t since this is serious or whatever. Get physical somehow. Nothing helps me to not think about something that is plaguing my mind like getting on a Stairmaster. That evil bastard requires all of my mental, emotional, and physical energy. Even that 20 minutes of exhausting cardio is a relief from obsessing over why he hasn’t called, or why he’s still watching your stories on Instagram even though he hasn’t called. Why you worried about what I‘m doing when you could just call?! I digress. You get the point though right?
Idc what anybody says, you feel good when you look good. So whatever that means to you, make yourself look as good as you can according to your own standards. I personally don’t even feel like a human person if my hair and nails aren’t done, so I start there. I also wear my power color (pink) when I need to feel…well, empowered.
Get Busy With a Purpose
My therapist once said, with no shade intended, “I think you’re obsessing over what he may or may not be doing because you aren’t busy enough.” Translated: Bitch, find you something better to do. There’s nothing like the work that comes from rechanneling breakup energy into something that you can control, like your career.
How you talk to yourself during heartbreak is crucial. I’m not sure what the ins and outs of your situation are, so I can’t tell you what you need to tell yourself. I will; however, provide you with some awesome people to follow who often post things that resonate with me and maybe something will hit you as well.
Yes I included Megan Thee Stallion because if she doesn’t motivate and inspire, I don’t know who does.