At the beginning of 2020, my life was turned upside down and inside out. It was the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, and my ex and I decided that we could no longer remain on this journey called life together. It wasn’t a flighty decision, but one that had been brewing and evolving for many years. I knew that the road forward was going to be a challenging one – the primary and most important value in my life was, is, and always will be, FAMILY. My little family unit of 4 meant the world to me.
Unfortunately, however, after many cycles of fiercely trying to keep this unit together, we both reached a point; an end in the road. I felt I was mostly prepared and equipped to face whatever challenges and pain arose. After all, in being an energy healer and coach for the past 10 years I had a great foundation, had done a lot of work on myself, and had incredible tools to integrate and work with.
Unhappily, as much as I thought I understood the process and readied myself for the layers of grief, I was not prepared for what hit me, and continued to hit me, again and again. The ongoing physical and emotional pain as the unprocessed layers of old trauma arose felt like someone was ripping at the deepest core of who I was. The profound feelings of loss, isolation, and abandonment that relentlessly surfaced over the coming 3 years were excruciatingly painful and unsettling.
This experience shook me to the core. It challenged everything that I thought I was and everything I thought I would become. No one could prepare me for the way in which my entire world would look different on nearly every level. It challenged my self-concept, my worth, my sense of security, and where I belonged in this world. To say that it was destabilising, devastating and extremely frightening would not do it justice. If you have been there, I think you know what I mean.
From a neuro-chemical perspective, a breakup or the loss of a person or group of people causes our brain to process this ‘social’ pain in the same centres it processes physical pain – explaining the physical pain I felt so deep in my heart – it is literally felt and, at times, I continue to feel like my heart is physically breaking apart.
What I have come to also understand is that as evolved human beings we don’t make a distinction between loosing love or our ‘herd’ and being abandoned in the wild. If you think about what would happen to us if we were abandoned in the wild, we can understand the deep levels of fear and anxiety that arise. Throw in any unprocessed trauma and pain around abandonment, throw in sudden periods of isolation from our core group of people and our nervous system kicks into gear in preparation for the ‘danger’ that is about to unfold.
Time, however, heals if we allow it too! But grief is a process and one that we must move through with radical self-compassion
and incredible patience. Grief is a window into how much we loved – how much we cared for someone, how much we valued a past version of our world and our existence. Feeling and allowing ourselves to process the layers of grief is instrumental in our healing process, and in our ability to let go. There is no ‘timetable’ or specific end day. Fundamental to my grieving process was an understanding that I needed to feel and release the many layers so that I could eventually be free. It took much longer than I expected – both my patience and levels of frustration were deeply challenged. I did know, however, that I was moving through the pain in ways that were empowering me. No matter how slow they felt, as each layer was released, I felt a little more whole again. My heart felt a little softer, the world a little gentler.
With the gift and wisdom of hindsight and integrating the tools that empowered me the most, here is a letter to my broken heart. I have shared these tools as they appear in the MEGA SELF framework – powerful strategies that supported me to down regulate my often highly agitated and overwhelmed state.
Every single aspect of MEGA SELF became a daily practice on my healing path – it helped me to further realise how incredibly powerful these tools are. This is PROJECT MEGA SELF, and this is a letter I wrote a few months ago to my healing MEGA SELF heart.
Dear beautiful heart. I know at this time in your journey you feel like you will never find peace or joy again, but please be extra gentle with yourself. You feel as though you have been smashed into a million pieces and each of those pieces is a part of you that needs your love and care. YOU need to love yourself to wholeness again, dear one. No one can do this for you. The fear and uncertainty you feel within this extremely lonely and foreign landscape will pass, but first you will need to learn to sit in the fire…it is in this very landscape that you will evolve and rise into a stronger and more aligned YOU. Your greatest task is to choose YOU – again and again. Your only job right now is to BE – to be the pain and the grief that is asking to be expressed through you.
Please don’t hide and run and avoid the discomfort. Please don’t punish or blame yourself anymore. Remember always – your wound is the where the light enters you and there is an abundance of light that wishes to be part of your space. Your only job is to show up for yourself in whatever capacity you can. This is the practice of radical self-compassion. Can you find something every day that calms you, that connects you with the beauty and stillness of nature herself? Can you connect with the divinity that is life, the magnificence that are your children, the blossom that decides to emerge after a cold winter, the sun that rises after the darkest night? And in that space of showing up for yourself, can you create a level of intimacy and a deeper connection with who you are? Remember, intimacy is INTO ME I SEE. Through this process, can you become curious of the part of you that connects you to YOUR Divinity within? Can you use this healing process as an opportunity to SEE deeper into yourself, to remember and slowly uncover your wholeness within?
MEDITATE often – go slow, life will speed up when it is meant to again. And remember, there is no time frame – time is an illusion. Every day spend some time in visualisation. Where are you going? How do you want to feel? What are you creating for yourself? Make this part of your meditation practice. Teach your body how you want to feel again, but at the same time honour the experience of now.
Move and EXERCISE daily – in nature if you can. Find the movement, the play that connects you back to your younger self – that makes you feel moments of aliveness. Tune into your body – follow her lead, listen attentively.
Practice GRATITUDE every day (even when you feel there is nothing to be grateful for). Look for the things and the people that are still with you, that continue to enrich your life. Spend some time in gratitude every day, in awe – especially for your breath and this new life that is now, and the one that also awaits you.
Get into the habit of ASKING FOR HELP, little heart – this is the one your will struggle with the most. Yes, I am speaking to you. You are not operating in your usual capacity and that is okay. Give yourself permission to be taken care of, to be vulnerable, to be soft, and to receive.
SLEEP when you can – prioritise rest as your body needs to replenish and recuperate. You may feel wired and ready to attack and pounce, ready to face the danger that you feel is surrounding you. But lay there with your arms caressing and nurturing you and be with yourself in your time of need. And in those broken moments, as the deeper unseen layers inflict their more intrusive states, can you be with your EXPERIENCE – can you witness and allow your EMOTIONS? You are not weak or too soft or too much. You are YOU. Honour what you are feeling. The rage as it curses through your body, the confusion, and the loss. Honour them dear one, allow the Energy to be in Motion (E – MOTION). BUT PLEASE DON’T GET STUCK THERE.
Remember always – this ENERGY needs to be released in ways that further empowers you. Find those tools that allow you release and then choose to reframe your experience to who you intrinsically are and how you want to feel. The more you can do this, the more you can find that softness in your heart, the ability to forgive, to let go – the more empowered and freer you will become.
And when it gets too much, and it all feels heavy and never ending, can you remember to LAUGH. Your grief itself is your medicine and laughter can allow that medicine to flow and release more easily. Laughter will soften the edges of your fear, it will be your most powerful weapon. At its most liberating space, laughter will propel you forward and help you to believe in new possibilities. Laugh with your tribe, find the lightness of your being again even if just for a moment in time.
And finally, can you nurture yourself back to wholeness with delicious and healthy FOOD? Keep it simple and find some easy options that are both healthy and nourishing. The more organised and simpler you keep this part the easier it will be for you to make choices that help you feel better. When you feel like you want to use food to escape and feel numb – be gentle with yourself and practice a little pause. What is it you are really needing? What activity can you choose that will soothe your weariness and your pain? What is it you really need right now?
And while we are talking about the F in MEGA SELF, you can add in a good dose of Forgiveness. Create space every day for forgiveness. Forgiving others on this journey but most of all forgiving yourself. This, little heart, is your superpower. Forgiveness will set you free. Forgiveness will allow you to create a version of your life that is in alignment to who you want to be. And remember dear heart YOU are the Creator – you decide on how you want the next chapter to look – first the pain and then the rising! Never forget that you will rise again. You will love again. You will eventually accept this new journey, this new life. And it is in your acceptance that your pain will turn to freedom, and that you will embrace new opportunities as a wiser and more evolved self.