Valentine’s Day seems innocent enough but for those of us who have lost a beloved sweetheart the thought of Valentine’s Day approaching is not something we take lightly. Our hearts have been shattered and this manufactured day serves as another reminder that they are gone. Feeling that void can seem overpowering and suffocating to our core. It’s important to honor those feelings and march on as best as we can, always remembering to be gentle and loving with ourselves. In doing this we find the inner strength to get through yet another day that celebrates romance and love without our loved ones.
After Claude died I had an inaccurate belief that I had lost one of my main sources of love. On one level there is some truth to that but I have since come to recognize a higher perspective. Though it may feel that love is lost it never truly is. Not only that, love actually permeates everything around us and we are each a facet of love itself. With that said, since I am referencing Valentines’ Day in this post, I am going to talk more about the love that is shared in the context of romance and partnership.
I wrote this recently for my Instagram feed:
When we have suffered a major loss the tendency is to keep a gate around our hearts for fear of receiving another crushing blow. But the truth is that though this method is effective at keeping us in the illusion of safety we are only hurting ourselves. By opening our hearts again to love we have at our disposal the ability to heal a thousand wounds.
Over these past six years since Claude’s suicide my priority has been to heal on all levels from the emotional trauma and loss. Due to the intensity, determination and focus needed to do that there really hasn’t been any room for a relationship in my life. As a result, I have not sought the company of a man to soothe my wounds during this significant time of growth and transformation.
I am grateful for this solo time as it has served an essential purpose. It has given me the space to grow in innumerable ways and learn to love and value myself in the absence of a partner. Yet, I have been feeling that the tides are turning. The idea of opening up to a relationship and to love again has been slowly awakening in me. At the same time, I have recently come to realize there are still some wounded aspects of myself that would prefer to keep me in the illusion of safety. Now that these splintered fragments of my psyche have surfaced, I can lovingly tend to them with an understanding of what they need to feel whole and safe. The strategy that had been in place maintaining a gate around my heart has served its’ time and is now an outdated program. My heart no longer needs that line of defense. I no longer want it to function as a shackle keeping me enslaved by fear.
It takes a tremendous amount of courage and strength to imagine putting ourselves in a vulnerable position again. It can feel much easier to stay single in the perceived zone of safety. Many of us may even get trapped in the inner dialog that says “we could never find that kind of love again”. But what if this is just a story we are telling ourselves. What if we could find something even better than we thought possible. What if this is one of the many gifts that are available to us if we are open to receiving. What if our departed partners are working behind the scenes to bring things into perfect alignment so that we can indeed find love again when the time is right. Recognizing this and doing the inner work needed is essential to prepare for this union especially when we have been so deeply wounded.
Unfortunately, there are no guarantees in life. Our lives are filled with risky and edgy moments. We may find ourselves in the position of heartbreak untold times since in truth we are all on loan to one another and all things by nature are impermanent. The fact that we may be brave enough to put ourselves out there regardless of this is huge. If we can remember that we are worthy of love and that we are enough just as we are despite the outcome we have gained something that is profoundly valuable as we step out into this new uncharted territory.
Remember, it’s really all about the journey and what we are learning along the way. We can choose to invite love and celebrate our courageous hearts knowing that in the process we may discover something truly magical. Remembering too that life is a collection of defining moments if we are able to notice, listen and be willing to participate. I personally think that we owe it to ourselves to open our hearts again to love. Will you join me?
Wishing you courage as you tenderly allow your hearts to open this Valentines’ Day!