Day 67 -The Secret to Life...I think.
Pretty bold statement. Pretty arrogant. Not really. I am fumbling, foundering and generally have no idea what I am doing. So how can I, out of the gate, profess to know the secret to life?
Because this thing I believe beats in my chest, hard, loud and tirelessly. It feels truer than anything I know. It feels hard but right and good. It feels like THE TRUTH.
It may not be your truth. You may think it is stupid. You may disagree. But I challenge you to stop and think about this. Really think about this. Then tell me it isn’t true.
I believe the secret to life is being willing to continually, habitually break your own heart.
Feels like I could stop writing write now. My drop the mic moment over. Feels like I have said the most true thing I have ever said.
There are so many things to learn in this life. How to tie your shoes, algebra, how to solve a fucking rubic’s cube. A million things everyday that we assimilate into our experience, into our knowledge, into the fabric of our lives. People teach us things like how to tie our shoes, algebra and the solution to every possible combination of that fucking puzzle. No one ever teaches us how to break our own hearts. There are no classes on this. There is no You Tube channel about this. There are not seminars on this topic. I have looked. There are some things written on the subject but it is limited and kind of sad.
This is why I make the bold statement that it is the secret to life. We each have to figure out in our own ways and time how to find the willingness to break our own hearts over and over again. This is not something one can be told. (Which, I know, begs the question as to why I am telling you this now - to which I have no answer other than I need to tell you from some deep place that resides within me). This is something that one has to learn.
Before right now, this moment, I could have and would have told you that the purpose of one’s life was to avoid heart break. Try not to love things too much. Try not to hold on too tightly. Avoid pain, avoid sorrow, avoid loss. I have lived the better part of my life that way. In fact, I would go so far as to say that until two years ago when Lane decimated that particular organ that beats steadily in my chest, it was my main goal. Love but love in a way that there are only calculated risks. Love in a way that protects you. Love in a way that holds on tightly and allows you to gain a sense security. A feeling that you can't lose. Love to gain control. Love to feel better. Love with strings, sometimes lots of them. Love with conditions, demands and expectations.
I have come to believe that my life's purpose is to learn how to love. It seems to me that everything that has happened to me, all the lessons have really been about one thing...learning to love anyway. It seems that every encounter I have had in my life, I have been presented with a question: are you going love or are you going to do something else?
It amazes me right now how often I chose something else.
So if my life's purpose is to love then it would seem that the underlying secret is to be willing and able to break my own heart. I mean if my whole purpose on this planet is to love, then I have to be willing to get hurt. Loving requires the open and willing acceptance of pain. We will always hurt and be hurt by the ones we let in. The ones we are close to, the ones that we allow to see us on our most base and often unattractive level. One cannot love without pain. One cannot love without loss. If you love, then you assume the risk. It cannot be any other way.
Breaking my own heart has been something I avoided. Having my heart broken by others even less of a priority. I am pretty sure that I lived the whole of my life, loving just enough to not get hurt too badly. I held on but always had the rip cord in hand so that I could parachute out to safety when the going got rough or it looked like I would get hurt. I still do this. I did it the other night in fact...well I tried to.
When Lane ended our love story, I didn't think I would recover. I didn't think that I could ever love someone again. But what I learned was that, I had really just begun. Until him, I had not really loved. I had never been all in. I had had reservations. I held back. I allowed fear of loss to diminish my willingness and ability to love...even with my kids who I love more than anything.
The heartbreak that Lane delivered began a process for me. It began an internal investigation of how something that felt so right could have ended. How could I go on now that the it was over? What I did not know then was that Lane had to go so that I could begin. Everything that I did up until he left, a choice in safety over love. In his wake, I saw myself as truthfully as I could. I was relieved of the life time blindfold I was wearing and I saw my truth. I saw that I did not chose love, I chose many, many other things before I chose love. I learned that I didn't know how to love. I just knew how to control, manipulate, story tell. I knew how to have sex, how to pretend but as to how to love, I hadn't a clue.
But that is someone else breaking my heart. Why my insistence that now the secret to life is to be able and willing to break your own?
Because as bad as the heartbreak Lane leveled, it was what I had to be brave enough to do later that allowed me to grow through and beyond that experience. I had to review and see my part in the end. I had to see that it was not that he was an asshole, a liar or a bad person. My ultimate conclusion about Lane? He was willing to break his own heart. He was able to leave us because he saw and knew that as much as he loved me, he could not be the person that I needed him to be. To remain with me, he would have to let me down a little and a lot every day. He could not, despite desperately wanting to, really love himself and in turn me.
I didn't understand it at the time. I was hurt and pissed and I was not ready to learn this lesson. I had more work to do which I am grateful for today. I get it, I think. Well, at least I am trying to get it.
Lane was brave enough to break his own heart. I believe he loved me. I believed he loved as much as he told me all the time. I believe he wanted us more than he wanted anything in his life. However, he knew that despite this love, he could not get out of his own way. He doubted (from real life experience) who he could be in our relationship. He saw the way that he hurt those he loved. He saw the way he damaged other people. He saw that in order to really love me, he would have to really love himself and that seemed impossible to him. So he left. I get it now. I am actually grateful that he left. I am grateful that he broke my heart into little tiny pieces. I am grateful that through this most amazing love, I learned that you cannot really love anyone if you do not really love yourself.
Breaking your own heart - how to do it, how to really do it, is the subject of another blog. Probably many other blogs. Today, I simply and arrogantly offer up that, being willing to see your heart's desire and allow it to walk away is one of the most painful things I have ever done. Seeing that what you desperately want, is not what is best for someone else. That breaking your own heart is what is best for the other person and then being willing to take that action in spite of the fear, pain, sorrow and discomfort is how we love. I know because I am learning how to do this. I am learning that if you truly, deeply love someone, you will let them go. You will step out of the way, their way and allow them to move on without you. The love doesn't have to stop just because the story changes course. The love doesn't have to stop because they move 1500 miles away. The love continues so long as you let it. So long as you tend to it. So long as you remain open. Breaking your own heart is the beginning of allowing a new story to be told. I think I am learning that by being willing to break my own heart, I am able to honor and love another and myself. It is truly the only way.