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Blessed by a Broken Heart

Blessed by a Broken Heart

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Recognizing that some of our most painful life experiences are actually life's opportunity to create growing pains to make us stronger.
Recognizing that some of our most painful life experiences are actually life's opportunity to create growing pains to make us stronger.

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Published by: Loreley Leonard Pelino, PhD on Jun 08, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/19/2012

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Blessed by a Broken Heart 
I opened up and allowed myself for the first time to really be emotionallyvulnerable to a man that became the love of my life. He got to know the real me. Tosome that might sound like a very simple thing to do. Not for me. I was the girl that most would describe as confident, accomplished and independent by those closest to me. In fact, because I knew that women are often perceived as being tooemotional I tried to manage how I expressed my authentic feelings so that Id betaken more seriously.With this man, I was safely wrapped up in his promise of unconditional lovethat allowed me to show my deepest fears. For him, I opened the door to some verydark places in my life. It was nice to allow some fresh air into my old fears. I wasable to be authentic and share the real me which meant I opened up about my manyfears. What if I loved him more and he didnt love me back? If I dropped all themasks I had used to keep safe in my past relationships and allowed him to see thereal me, would he abandon me? If I allowed him in close enough to experience thegirl that often struggled with so many imperfections, would he reject me? I lovedhim. I trusted him. I gave him all of me. For the first time in my life, I stepped out onfaith because I was in love and thought I had found my soul mate.I was shocked when he changed his mind and announced he wasleavingwhile I was fighting for the scraps of what had once been life. I fell flat on myface. The way he left me and the reasons that he broke my heart are no longerimportant details. What was true for me was my broken heart. Broken? That hardlydoes justice to the physical and emotional pain I endured when he decided that not 
 
only did he not want me but also he continued on with his life and was fine. I hadbeen nothing more than a tiny speed bump that he quickly overcame. He was fineand I wanted to crawl under the covers and never get out of bed again. Even today,theres a hole in my heart that I dont think will ever go away. Its like a very deepwound that heals and leaves an ugly scar. Everytime you look in the mirror youllsee that scar. However, you can touch it today and it doesnt hurt anymore. Yet thescar remains as a reminder of that initial searing pain. Because its now only a scarit is something you can hide from others in your life. I dont spend energy trying tomake sure someone gets too close and accidently hits that wounded spot.Getting from the open wound to the scar was the best gift my ex ever gaveme. In the first few days after he walked out, the sad cloud of reality descended onme with such force that even my best attempts at denial couldnt shield me from onesimple fact. The love of my life had broken my heart. I had spilled my guts and hestomped on them. My heart was like shattered glass. How does one even begin topick up the pieces and move on? People said time heals all wounds but that isnt true. Time does nothing. What you decide to do with the time is what heals thewound.Once it was over and I could no longer hide behind my wall of denial andaccepted that no amount of bargaining with God was going to change things, Ilooked around and was ashamed and angry. I refused to cry: I thought I had criedenough during the relationship and just wasnt going to allow my energy to beconsumed in tears again. But the moment I thought I was over him and tried to dateagain it all came rushing back with pain as intense as my first night alone. I thought 
 
the tears that spilled and dripped into my ears as I poured my heart out to mygirlfriends would never end. The all too familiar flip flop in my gut, the tightness inmy chest, and the all-consuming feeling of falling apart rushed over me like an angrytidal wave.A broken heart hurts. For me, it hurt physically. I just wanted the pain toend. I wanted to be numb. For a while I was getting through my days on autopilot placing the expected fake smile on my face when needed. Im not sure how long Iwasted in that fog pretending once again to be the girl that had her act together.From the outside looking in, most people would tell you I was fine. Maybe I waseven better than fine? Truth was I am an expert at hiding behind a mask of beingokay even when Im falling apart inside.Nobody can say how long until the pain begins to fade. Yet the man whobroke my heart gave me an incredible gift. I couldnt see this until enough tears hadbeen shed to remove my blinders. Before I can unwrap and share the gift I receivedfrom my broken heart I need to take you back with me on the journey of gettingthrough it. This may sound like common sense but anyone reeling from a blitzattack of rejection can tell you that most of our good sense goes right out thewindow. No, I never resorted to drive by his home or office nor did I give in to thetemptation to engage in hang up calls but I had my cell phone practically glued to myhip just in case that magical call from the love of my life was going to come. Therewas no way I was going to miss it. As you might guess, that call never came.A girlfriend of mine offered me a very insightful piece of advise. She saidBaby girl, rejection breeds obsession. Perhaps that accounts for a lot of the choices

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