Before I tried my first hallucinogenic drug, my dad told me this;
“Just be careful son, because once your done with it, it’s not done with you”
Dad, was right, and unfortunately my first mushroom trip was a lot like my first break up. I simply wasn’t ready for it. I will not bore you with the mundane, millions of details that led to the unwanted end of a 7-year first love relationship, nor the terrifying millions of details that led to my first “bad trip” on a rainy night in San Francisco. But let’s just say that things change and end in life and no one is exempt, including me, no matter how much I’d hoped I was.
I am not writing this article from a fully healed and triumphant standpoint. To be honest, it still hurts, the memories are still there, questions are still unanswered, and for better or worse the void remains unfilled. However, I do believe that in my struggle through this experience, I have gained valuable insight that can offer a compass in the directionless waters of heartbreak, and I can without a doubt confirm that the pain resides, life does continue on, and that the best part about breakups, that no one seems to talk about, is that when your heart gets broken, it also gets broken open.
Side note: If you have been going through your breakup for awhile, then there is probably a nagging voice telling you that you should be over it by now, life is passing you by, and ___________ insert some other negative assertion that makes you feel shitty. The truth is that you will recover, but ultimately it happens in its own time, and the more you insist that you or life should be any other way than how it actually is, the longer you’ll be stuck. The voice of insistence…. works with a lot of things in life; grief is not one of them.
So here are: 4 Big Ideas that will aid in your process of healing.-
Life, death, incubation, rebirth. Everything is subject to the ravages of time, and every process reflects these stages. Whenever we agree to begin something, whether it be a career, a project, or a relationship, we are also implicitly agreeing to its end. These are waves that everyone must learn to ride in their own way. However, this is one of life’s miraculous little designs because each ending provides more of the skills and insights to eventually create something new and more complex. Botanists call this process Bifurcation. Human beings call it growing up .
In the Wal-Mart of life, suffering is the price tag for growth. There isn’t really a way around it. Everybody suffers everyday of their lives in someway or another and it shouldn’t be any other way. We are in debt to the people who have suffered throughout history because it has inspired some of the greatest stories, art, and insights ever made. Similarly, our personal suffering, wounded stories, and broken histories have provided us with the drive to improve our circumstances, and contributed to the meaning behind our choices and developing philosophies. The best thing we can do as individuals is decide what our suffering means to us and what role it will play in who we become. This is a relationship that we develop with our personal suffering over time, and it makes all the difference in how we will see and be seen by the world.
In the initial stages of my breakup I went to a trusted friend for help. I proceeded to emotionally vomit all over his carpet. I told him it didn’t make sense, and if I could just figure out what to do, then I would feel better and blah blah blah. The brain is always looking for solutions and understanding, but loss is not a something we can figure out. Its something we must go through. In this way, it must remain a heart issue and we must ultimately surrender our attempts at control or manipulation to this force. Time my friend. Time and trust. This too will be integrated and healed, and we can rejoice that we have natural processes working on our behalf that allow us to grieve and heal.
Did he just say the “L” word? Yes I did. Its the cosmic jizz that flows through everything at all times, and its gonna heal you brah. In the same way we can’t judge ourselves into a version that we love, we also can’t hold on to resentments and pain, and expect to find growth and acceptance. I don’t consider myself religious but I did begin a practice of praying for my ex for 30 days; praying for her health, happiness, and peace of mind, and this process began to open up a space where I could feel more love and compassion for myself. After a certain amount of time you come to realize that you are no longer in a relationship with the real person anymore, but where they once were when you were together, and in actuality, with yourself because they now only live inside you.
You can’t do anything wrong. There are no right or wrong decisions, there are just choices to be made an information to be gathered from their results. Breakups are usually messing, and involve a lot of “mistakes”. The overly sentimental love that is propagated in our culture via romantic comedies, pop songs, etc… is only one dimension of love, and is at best a caricature of what love really is. Love is often painful, and will dish out scars and bruises as its initiation. Many will run from this discomfort, because the pain of growth is often scarier than the comfort of complacency. But we will all get initiated one way or another. Let this be an opportunity for you to be broken open, so you can reap all the riches this painful process has to offer. Much love.