The thing about heartbreak is that it's a devastating but very honest emotion. Try to name another that straight up tells you what it feels like. With heartbreak it's aptly named: it literally feels like your heart is being torn asunder.
I've had my fair share of heartbreak in this lifetime. I've loved women and lost them, in ways that were clear to me and others that baffled me entirely. I've had loved ones die way too soon. I've had other loved ones die in a way that logically made sense but still left me devastated. I've been shocked to the core of my being by the prejudice and violence perpetuated in our society...almost weekly these days. My guess is that I'm not alone. My guess is that we all experience heartbreak in big and small ways but don't talk about it enough for fear of exposing our vulnerability.
That's why I'm writing a book on heartbreak and I need your help.
I'm going to do something I've never done before. I'm going to put my own heart on the table and talk heartbreak with you. From September 21-27 I will be at ABC Carpet & Home in New York City, meeting with anyone who wants to share their heartbreak story. Each morning I will bear witness and hold the space for you to share your heart. In the afternoon I will move to their storefront window and write this book. In that way it will be a collaborative effort. If you choose to come meet with me, your story may make it into the book. At the very least, I'd like to offer a thank you gift for being so open with me: a pass for a free class at my new meditation studio, MNDFL.
Why sit down and talk heartbreak with a complete stranger? In my own experience, one of the things that helps the most is when I sit down with someone and they actually are present with me, seeing my pain as I verbalize it. That helps me see my way through it, because I'm actually being honest with the feelings as they arise. Sometimes the best way to see ourselves through our heartbreak is to be with our heartbreak, with or without another human bearing witness to our pain.
I recently wrote a book on relationships, How to Love Yourself (And Sometimes Other People), with my good friend Meggan Watterson. I'll never forget when we sat down to discuss heartbreak and she said something that has always stuck with me. "You know the thing about romantic relationships," she said, "it's not the heart that breaks. It's the ego." When we have a story line in our head about a perfect relationship and that person turns to us and cuts it by walking out, it's not our heart that's destroyed; it's our whole collection of story lines around who we think we are in relation to them.
When you let go of the story lines around why this person left or who is to blame for your tragedy or why this national crisis occurred, you are left with a feeling of vulnerability. You are left with tenderness. You are left with a powerful experience of your own heart. A broken heart is really just our natural heart stripped of its comfortable story line armor. It's not a good feeling, from a conventional point of view, but it is good for us. When we are able to stay with our openness and vulnerability we find that we possess tremendous strength.
I'd like to sit with you in that space September 21 - 27. If you're not able to join me, I'd like to close with a bit of advice. When strong feelings arise in your heartbreak, like despair or anger, don't feel like you need to do anything. Just rest. Breathe normally. Let them wash over you like a wave. You will be able to see your way through them. I promise. If it's helpful, you could even stand in front of your mirror. Place your hand over your heart and say "I will love again" three or seven times. There is power in proclaiming things out loud. Doing so serves as a reminder that you always have the ability to love, either romantically or in other ways.
Either with me or right now, on your own, please join me in being open to your heartbreak. Please be willing to explore this potent emotion. I'm here for you, and know you can see your way through to engaging your world again wholeheartedly.
Parts of this article are adapted from How to Love Yourself (And Sometimes Other People), out September 15th, 2015 through Hay House.
To schedule a heartbreak appointment with Lodro visit ABC Carpet & Home any morning between September 21 - 27