Ever met anyone who succeeded in convincing him/herself heartache was no big deal?
Ever believed him/her?
Ever believe yourself?
It is a big deal, beyond a big deal.
And it doesn’t go away.
And it doesn’t just take care of itself.
And time doesn’t heal it.
Heartache, if left unhealed, can be like a slow emotional suicide.
And I for one am very done ‘dying.’
Hey, I’m Tre, and these posts are a part of a series I’m offering as my right now thoughts for what has helped me heal deep heartache that suffocated me for years.
It’s my hope that something in these posts will resonate with you and help you feel that possibility of healing, that hope of a maybe there will be some kind of relief.
If you read something and want to talk further, there’s a lot of ways to contact me.
I hope you’ll choose one.
If you read this and something in you stirs you I hope you’ll share what and why in the comments below or through an email.
Either way, what you think and feel absolutely matters, your emotional healing is paramount to your thriving and it’s my earnest desire to offer what’s helped me so that in this journey of life we can come together and share what matters most and hopefully edit our footsteps enough so that the choices we take now can improve our moments and give us a bit more conviction in the possibility and right now-ness of what we hope to build with our lives for tomorrow.
Healing Heartache through listening
Listening is surely difficult.
Hearing what someone else is saying and more, what they’re meaning is what we think of when we hear the word: listen.
I’m not talking about listening to someone else here.
I’m talking about listening to ourselves.
Listening to ourselves is a skill we’re not really ever taught how to do. And it’s difficult, surely to get into that thought of ours and hear ourselves.
Try doing so when all we feel is deep pain and loss and grief.
And yet, in order to heal from deep heartache, we have to listen.
We have to stand still (Part 1) and listen (this post).
So you’re clear on where I’m coming from, by ‘heartache’ I’m meaning something that devastates us…something that tears us apart inside…something that makes us feel empty.
-a break up.
-a disconnect with a loved one.
-a deeply unsettling parting of ways (think job, move, etc).
Heartache probably doesn’t need the defining so much because we’ve each probably experienced it a time or two.
How to get unstuck.
When you’re full of heartache, thought gets stuck in not only deep pain but rewinding and replaying scene after scene after scene.
We find ourselves going over and over and over again what should have happened and could have happened and wished we would have done or should have done.
We dump on ourselves like an enemy.
We fuel ourselves with anger and resentment and can’t seem to figure out why things didn’t go the way we wanted.
We abuse ourselves verbally and physically.
We lash out at others unintentionally.
We feel empty and angered not only because things didn’t go right ourselves but because we can’t control the now outcome that we’re facing which we didn’t want in the first place.
You get it. I am not trying to state the obvious but you get it.
So ever notice how when your thought is stuck in the rewind/replay mode, if left unstopped, nothing gets solved?
Call it paralysis analysis.
If you’re stuck in going over and over and over and over and over and over each detail to each scene, it’s nearly impossible to move forward.
Do it for months, a year, or more and before you know it, months and a whole year or 2, 3, 5, 10 years go by and you may well still be unhealed from heartache and caught in the blame, shame, dump on myself adinfinitum game.
Nothing fixes our hearts but hard work, internal thought work
It’s so true.
The only thing that heals this heartache is that deep internal thought work, the toughest kind I know.
But it’s doable.
And you can regain or rebuild a calm that’s genuine.
And you can find hope again, if only sporadic at first.
And you can feel whole again, if only in bits and pieces at a time.
If you read Part 1, you’ll recall we spoke about the merit and value of getting still. And the huge effort required to stay there, stay in ‘get still’ mode without fighting what ‘to do’ next.
That was the whole point.
How did you do?
The value of stilling thought and staying in that stillness can’t be underestimated.
The whole point: You train your thought to stay in the now. You give yourself permission to own the right now moment. You begin to see that the right now moment only feels empty because you’re not used to standing still.
The more you practice stilling thought, the more you can do this anytime, anywhere, no matter what the circumstances.
Standing still in thought does not require being alone.
Standing still in thought does not require being in an oasis like setting, sitting beneath a palm tree and gazing out over the crashing waves on an idyllic beach, though perhaps that scene is one of my favorite serene views to enjoy.
Standing still in thought is doable anywhere and anytime.
And developing the ability to do so is key to developing the ability to take on the next part of healing heartache: listening.
How to Listen:
I can already hear the bulk of you asking “Listen for what? and how come?
What the heck are you talking about stand still and listen?
Or whatever other argument may surface.
Here’s the thing: you aren’t so much listening to as listening for.
And that may seem kinda weird and kinda awkward.
But we are so enmeshed in telling ourselves what to do at any given moment throughout our day and or we are often barraged with memory and it’s never ending retelling of past accounts that we don’t pause, stand still in thought and listen.
So by now you’re probably asking how? How can I listen? How do you do that?
In standing still and listening, you actively shut the door on the pull to review, replay, rewind and mull over past.
You consciously stop that pull.
You consciously exercise your thought to stop running and stand still.
And in listening, while you may not per se hear something phenomenal (and ps, it helps not to outline what you want to hear), you will start developing a practice of managing your thoughts.
And the whole way to step by step heal ourselves from heartache is this very thing…gently manage our thoughts so we can move forward into seeing what we need to see and learn what we need to learn to grow where we want to grow.
But baby steps for now….one thing at a time, step by stepping our way out of heartache.
Stand still and listen:
When you listen:
You won’t per se hear a directive statement, or maybe you will.
You won’t per se hear some lightening bolt message, or maybe you will.
What you will gradually build up is the ability to stay in a place of calm stillness and it’s there, in that space, we need to be in order to hear a nudge, or a next step.
And that is the whole point.
Being in that place of stillness, actively listening even if it’s just a calm focus on the quiet, this helps thought stand still and hear.
The whole point:
And what’s the point of that?
Heartache will want to pull your thoughts 24/7 into past, regret, mulling over, going over and over and over and over again.
And that keeps you spinning like a hamster on a treadmill.
And leads to reactionary choices about every single aspect of your day.
And you become numb to what you want and deadened to how to create your now.
You go into coast mode.
And how is that helping really?
And how is that healing heartache, really?
So take some moments today or after you read this post and practice standing still and listening….
And see how that feels.
And do it again and again and again.
Be mindful: you’re going to want to run and bail. You’re going to want to blow it off.
The pulls of regret and fear, fret and emptiness will be right there to beckon.
So as you’re reading this, what questions come to mind?
What more do you want to know in terms of how to listen?
What gets in the way for you or what feels hard in this 2nd step?
Would value hearing.
Til part 3, here’s to standing still and listening and being so gentle with your heart.
Be well and thanks so much for spending some moments here today.