Life Surrounded by Hope

hope

Long ago in the midst of a horrible separation I wrote my ex a letter in Spanglish expressing how I felt during the many years of our union.  In those days I took very little responsibility for what I brought into that relationship.  It was easier to blame him for most of it. It was comforting to tell the stories of victimization and believe I had no handle in things.  I am embarrassed to say that my ego was huge.  It was arrogance and an unwillingness to take participation in the choices I had made.  In this letter I expressed that Hope was a thing of the past.  I, in full blown sarcasm, told him that Esperanza (which is Hope in Spanish) was an old woman living in Peru on some mountain, and that she didn’t live in our relationship anymore.  Hope was not available. The blame from both of us was atrocious.  It was disturbing how at one time we might have gotten the magic and then 18 years later it was nowhere to be found.  Infidelities and other distrusting behaviors had sent “Esperanza” somewhere back to South America.  Whether he got the sarcasm or read between the lines of so much hurt, is beyond me.  I wrote the letter in Spanish and in parts that had no translation I stuck with English.  At this point I could have used a billboard to express how I was feeling and it would not have mattered.  We were past the point of reconciliation and respect.  The he-said-she-said game was well-past due.  The hurt was astronomical.

These days, years later, I try desperately to find grace and hope living in my heart.  When I make a mistake I step back and try to take accountability for it.  I am still human and ego is still very present.   The only difference now is that I am grateful for the lessons that come my way.  Esperanza has returned to my life.  She lives deeply in the corners of my home, heart, and relationships.  Esperanza had to disappear in order for me to learn those things that needed to be ingrained.  The universe whispered a lot in those days.  Then it would speak louder.  Finally, when it would scream I was physically in danger.  It took a lot of physical power to get me to listen.  My tenacious and stubborn ways have been the biggest personality downfall.  I am gentler with my spirit now.

The truth is that Hope never left my side.  Hope was there when I signed over my half of the company to him; when I sold everything to leave my home; when I abandoned our beautiful house that took years to short sell and make zero on it; when I began living a life of authentic truth.  Hope knew I would survive.  Grace joined in and pushed me to strengthen my dignity and integrity.   Hope didn’t disappear. It was actually there quietly waiting to be acknowledged. I began to forgive myself, and in the process forgave him for all that was done…because he did what he could under his capacity. He has his own stories.  And, now we can talk and feel nothing but respect for one another.

Happiness and misery live simultaneously inside.  They are a matter of choice and perception. Do you see hope in the distance? Do you see darkness around you all the time?  To lose hope is to lose everything. And, in those moments it is when hope is truly present.  It is an oxymoron.  I thought I had lost my dear Esperanza, sending her off to some remote place.  Hope was merely sitting and waiting for my presence.  Once I was aware of the lessons, experiences, choices and journey everything fell back into alignment.  I moved to North Carolina to live on top of a mountain which was always my dream.  I have been able to strip self-worth issues, and live with the absence of blame on others.  I am responsible only for me.  My life has brought me here while Hope held my hand.

Where is Hope taking you? Who is holding all of your dreams and desires waiting on you to align with them?  Be aware of your thoughts, illusions and reality.  Feel the presence of love, compassion, forgiveness and truth.  You are always in the care of the Divine!

“Hope is a waking dream.” – Aristotle

Healing From A Broken Heart

 

broken heart love

You meet someone. You fall deeply in love and then life happens and the relationship ends. Sometimes it’s timing. Other times it’s through the loss of death. And yet, in many other cases it was the need to mature and grow as individuals apart. A dear friend recently asked me, “How can you continue in other relationships? What do you do when you realize that your heart belongs to someone else?” I pondered long and hard. I thought about my own love affairs, those who still hold and tug my heart in places that I will never release. But, in a world that is driven by romance novels and movies it’s really difficult to decipher what you should do when the heart chooses to love another. It’s almost impossible to explain to another what you are feeling inside. I couldn’t answer my friend at the time, but here are six questions to ask in order to heal from an intense break-up:

1. Was he or she really “the one?” We perceive that there is only “one” great love. There could be many “ones.” There might be “the one” who knew your every move and story; the one who was the best kisser; the one who was the best comedian; the one who loved your children. “The one” is a concept we have created to personalize that one person who was the best at a certain thing. The worst thing you can do is tell another who is hurting, “time heals all wounds,” or “you will heal from this.” There is no time limit on hurt and grieving. The heart knows what it wants. Sometimes we neglect to appreciate what we have until it’s over. It’s a human default. It has little to do with intelligence. The heart may just be owned by an ex forever. You can try to substitute it with drugs, alcohol, sex or other addictions, but it’s truly difficult to move on. And, that’s okay! You don’t have to figure things out today. It might take years before making peace with how you feel. Every so often, those loves re-enter our lives. Because of lessons and growth, we appreciate them in a profound level that was never there before.

2. What was the thing that connected you? When we are in other relationships we create a false perception of what we are missing. Life happens through us, not to us. People move on. We are bombarded with quotes about missing love, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” There is a reason you are now in another relationship. This person touched you in some way. There was a new connection. But, there are also those who do not move into other relationships. They are paralyzed by the loss. The connection was over. Can you remain friends with an ex-lover? Can you still partake in their lives without sex? Can you continue that relationship while starting another? These are questions only you can answer honestly.

3. What did you learn from the relationship? Every relationship brings lessons. There is a time and place for each one. The deeper the connection, the harder the challenges. Intense relationships have a way of turning us upside down, right side up and in circles. They don’t just go away after they have existed in your life. It doesn’t matter if it was a love affair in your teens, a two-week fling, or years of sharing a life with children and family. Relationships force us to grow and learn in ways that can break and mend us. If you can revisit with that person, what would you say to him/her? What would you say was their purpose in your life? Cutting past chords of love is truly difficult when you know that your heart was given solely to that person. It’s never easy to take full responsibility for our behaviors. How you act with another is a reflection of your own insecurities.

4. Was it lust or love? We tend to mix the two. Lust drives us to lose our minds in the process of sharing with a lover. We feel things in a physical level that clouds the mind. Love, however, will continue to poke and force you to stay without restrictions. Ask yourself if it was a physical relationship or one that transcends through time? Some lovers leave imprints that cannot be forgotten. In bed it was magical, but outside in the real world, it was disastrous. You must decide if what you are missing is the sexual connection or was this a life partner that completely had your back in all your decisions?

5. Why did it end? This is one of the most honest questions you can ask yourself. You can make a mistake once. If you make it more than that it is considered a decision. You chose to stay or leave. There is usually a pattern that you can track. Was he or she selfish with their time and needs? Was it a possessive relationship? Where you taken for granted? Did you feel appreciated? Where you heard and understood? Was it timing? You may ask yourself many other questions. There is always one or two authentic reasons that the relationship ended (unless death pulled you apart).

6. Are you replacing him/her with another without healing? Most people have no clue that they will enter other relationships with similar traits. Awareness is absent when hurt takes over. How do you get over someone that made you come alive? Often times you replace them with familiarity. Being honest with yourself about how you feel in this new relationship will serve as a marking point. It’s not fair to your new mate, or yourself, if you are still holding on to another who (you feel) stole your heart. Healing doesn’t happen over night. Healing requires pulling out roots and seeing things without pointing the finger to your ex. Healing is about you and coming to terms with the reality that maybe, perhaps, your instincts were letting you know that the relationship was toxic. Not all lovers raise us to the highest form of love.

How do you heal from a past love? There is no one set answer. I am definitely no expert in matters of love. Each person is different. What I do believe is that you must take care of yourself. You must find a place to love yourself beyond anyone else. It’s not selfish. It’s not egotistical. It’s self-love. It’s imperative to allow time the space to gently introduce another in your life. Jumping from one to another adds to the intensity of loss. Your heart might never feel what it did with “the one,” but a new “one” might just show you a deeper form of love that reflects who you really are.

 Sometimes it takes a heartbreak to shake us awake & help us see we are worth so much more than we’re settling for.” ~ Mandy HaleThe Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass