Great heartbreak has the possibility of bringing great healing and renewal. But the paths to this healing and renewal are not easy. We like to think that healing occurs instantaneous, a “miracle” so to speak, and though that may be possible, the real miracle is the long road to awakening . . . to our pain and purpose, our strengths and weaknesses, our needs and desires.
In the following story, Claire shares a painful life experience that was part of her journey, and an essential part of her soul healing. Through it all, her journey involved developing the capacity to listen to a deep yearning, that still small voice within, in order to move forward.
The Voice of Heartbreak by Claire
I was born into a family of six children with an abusive father and a passive mother. My father crushed every attempt of creativity and independence in us as children and my mother could not protect us from our father’s control; neither could she give us the love we needed and deserved.
One of my earliest memories as a young child (I was about 5 or 6) was when my older brother did something that my father thought deserved a beating, but to spare my brother the very severe beating she knew he would receive, my mother gaslighted me into believing that I was the guilty one. She knew that although I would receive a beating, it would be much less severe because I was younger and didn’t get in as much trouble. Other than that, I was pretty much invisible.
And so my road to finding self-worth, self-value and self-confidence has been a long journey. But we come to earth to heal and learn how to love ourselves unconditionally. It took me 40 years to fully awaken to what I had come to learn, but awaken I did when I was blindsided by betrayal and divorce.
But let me go back to a few years before the divorce when I first realized that a Voice was churning within me. Of course at the time, I didn’t quite know how to listen to what she was saying, but her slow, steady voice got louder and louder as time went on.
I started having dreams at night: in one recurring dream my husband kept turning away from me and ignoring me. The dreams were so powerful and painful that it would take me a day or two to overcome the negative feeling of the dream. I’d ask my husband in the morning whether everything was all right and he kept saying that everything was fine, that he was happy and that he loved me and our 2 young girls.
And yet an unsettled feeling crowded down on me more each day; panic attacks set in and a feeling of restlessness and boredom permeated my life. I even broke out in hives on a trip back to see his family.
Over the next year, he said that he felt depressed and overworked and so I encouraged and supported him. I suggested that perhaps he needed to cut back his hours, quit his job, go to counseling. He worked and travelled so much. I treasured my marriage and family and was deeply committed to both. I had no doubts that I would support him.
But my own churning persisted. Deep down in my psyche I knew something was off. I didn’t really understand what was going on. I then came down with a serious kidney infection. I was rarely ill so what turned out to be a very serious infection surprised me. As I healed, I questioned what my body was telling me.
As I look back, it was no surprise that I developed this infection right before my husband moved out. And right before I found out that for the past year he had been having an affair.
I realized that I had been enabling him and ignoring my own anger and shame and feelings of inadequacy. The knowledge that he no longer wanted to be married to me and felt no responsibility to work on the marriage and keep the family together, broke me open. It was my great awakening and the beginning of my search for my Inner Wisdom, for support and for answers as to how I was to move forward.
I began going to a counselor, reading spiritual books and meditating and journaling. My dreams turned into ones of being loved and supported in life. I saw a beautiful bell tower in my dream and felt called to it. I often found myself flying on a magic carpet. I realized that I was going to be ok and supported.
During the divorce, I went back to graduate school to become a social worker. The graduate program became both a learning and healing experience for me. It solidified my belief that in order to help others to heal, I needed to turn inward to review and heal my life. Slowly the confidence and self-worth that I had never felt in my life and marriage began to emerge in me.
One particularly sweet moment in my graduate school experience occurred a few months into my program. I was walking on campus and happened to look up; there above me was the bell tower I had seen in my dreams. I smiled. I knew that I was indeed in the right place.
These years of introspection, learning, and growing were not easy ones. I was still coping with the hurt and betrayal of my husband but was committed to being there for my two young girls. During this time, I experienced first hand, the way in which Spirit teaches, and the way she led me to what I needed to learn. I have often described my divorce as truly a blessing in disguise.
It’s been over 20 years since I was broken open by heartbreak and disappointment. My two young girls are now successful, loving women and I eventually moved into a different career. However, my Soul has been changed forever. I feel strong and resilient and know now that I alone determine my value, and that I am loved, unconditionally, by the Universe and by my own inner self.
Through her heartbreak Claire learned how to listen to and trust her own inner voice. As she listened and trusted, she was ultimately able to find her way home to peace and contentment.
Often, our reaction to heartache or trauma is to go into pain and fear and self-judgment and get stuck there. Our challenge is to allow ourselves to experience the pain and fear, but not to dwell there. The challenge is to go IN, beyond the pain and fear and self-judgment to that inner voice of love and acceptance. Decisions made through the lens of love and acceptance open our hearts and allow us to make choices that nourish our souls.
Claire was not defeated by her experience. Rather, her resilience allowed her to blossom and move forward, and to continue to follow and fine-tune her capacity to listen to what was right for her.
If we believe that all of life is speaking to us, all of our heartbreaks and traumas will teach us how to find our way home. The beauty is to rely on that voice within, and give ourselves time to recognize our strength and resilience so that we can find our path home to the Oneness of the Universe.
And so I Invite You: Think of one, heartbreak or trauma in your life. Acknowledge the pain or fear you felt, but don’t dwell there. Move forward in your life . . . over the next years or decades.
What have you learned about your strengths, your courage as you lived through the heartbreak or trauma? How are you different now, perhaps stronger, wiser, more resilient? Celebrate who you have become.
Please share this Blog with a friend and join us next week for another story.
Please leave a response to Claire’s story on my website.
And if you have an experience you would like to share, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. No need to write your story out, just email me and I’ll set up a call with you.