December 19

LOVE MONTH: DAY 19: “Hearts are breakable. And I think even when you heal, you’re never what you were before”.― Cassandra Clare

I remember the pain that I carried in my chest, a physical pain that took a long time to get past when my husband died. And I knew what that pain was. My heart was so full of love and life that it broke open. It was scary, but wonderful! I had felt that before, but never so clearly did I experience the pain, the physical pain when I looked in the garage for him or thought I heard him coming into a room. Yikes!

And it was, for all purposes, the biggest love I ever had. The biggest. And I have even felt it somewhat when I lost a beloved pet, many of them. But nothing like this. And I knew, I knew intuitively, that my heart would never heal back to where it had been before my husband.

It would stay broken forever, which is a softening and a yielding to life that I had never known before. It changed me forever. I had lost other loved ones before, but was never so completely in touch with my heart like this. Interesting.

I used to believe I was such a tough shit! And I pretended to be…and I wanted to be. I was afraid of this kind of love, this kind of pain. It was the number 3 spot on my fear list in every inventory for a very long time. And here it was…I had feared loving somebody totally, giving them all of me, and them leaving. And here it was…it had happened. Shit! Well, he was gone, and I had survived the pain and the loss and had to get on with life.

What I did not expect was the depth of the open-ness of my heart. It was scary to walk out into the world like that…open…completely open. And I had no way to pretend it was other than that. Nor did I want to. I got to be all soft and squishy and mushy and even cry sometimes. Something I had learned not to do when I was about 5 or 6 years old. Never cried…and no one could make me. Defiant as hell. Now I cried…at all the wrong times…dammit!

All is good, my heart needed to open, and this breakage has been so wonderful and good for me. I am a great deal more human, a great deal kinder, a great deal less afraid. And always, a great deal less concerned with looking good on the outside while dying on the inside. Fuck that! It never heals completely because our hearts are meant to be open and available for love all the time…real love…the kind that opens you up to life.

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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