March 1, 2014

A Broken Heart: a.k.a A Healing Opportunity

A broken heart. If you are a human living on this planet, I know you know what I am talking about. They suck, plain and simple.

A dear friend of mine once said to me, “I don’t believe in broken hearts, I believe that your heart is broken open even more during a challenging time.” Yes, I do agree with this, and yet, the excruciating pain of a “broken heart” in the present makes it hard for me to grasp this concept. I get it on an intellectual level, but the actual physical pain in my heart says otherwise.

I get that with pain, there is always opportunity for more healing, learning lessons and connecting within. And believe me, I’ve had my fair share of broken hearts and opportunities. Actually, sometimes it feels like more than my fair share, which makes me wonder if karma is at play here too? Or, maybe my lesson is SO big the Divine needs to keep reminding me to turn within and trust myself? Who knows, but I have to say, sometimes it just feels like too much. Do you feel me?

One day recently when things in my life weren’t really flowing, and I was in complete resistance, I prayed for a break. I looked up at the sky and said, “God, please give me a break, for once.” And boy did I get one, in the form of a break-up. Not funny God!

Here’s the thing, the Divine/Universe/God doesn’t know the difference. It will present whatever we ask for to match our internal reality and vibration. I was obviously vibrating very low because of my resistance, and I was met exactly where my energy was. It’s just the law of nature,; wherever we vibrate energetically is the level that we attract from.

You see, I had been a serial monogamist most of my life. Moving from one long-term relationship to the next, without a beat in between. Five years, Three Years, Two and a half years. You get the idea. This is how I stayed occupied and how, ultimately, I avoided myself, and the massive amount of pain that was running around inside. Putting my attention and focus on others allowed me to be avoidant. After a broken engagement in 1999, I decided to take time alone and to cancel my serial monogamy subscription. I felt that I needed to heal and work on myself and ultimately “fix” what was wrong.

Well, all the frantic seeking for healing and fixing  turned into a 7-year journey of being single (hmmm…7 years in Tibet? I think not.) I felt like there was something broken in me I needed to fix, and that was why I couldn’t make a relationship work. I felt hopeless and I could see my painful patterns staring me in the face.

I had a crazy idea in my head that before I could find my “soul mate” (which by the way, I no longer believe in one soul mate, but that there are many brought in to teach the soul lesson that is needed at the time) I needed to be fully healed, in other words “perfect,” and without baggage. And what this thought process did was leave me in a place of feeling even more broken, and discouraged. It’s just not realistic.

Yes, I grew up with a lot of baggage, who hasn’t? You know, the classic alcoholic, rage-aholic, violent father, who was never around. And when he was he was screaming obscenities and making holes in the wall. A mother who was in constant survival mode, with three kids in tow, fending for her life. So, basically I had to fend for myself. I had to figure it out on my own. I had to stay silent to survive, and I had no one to turn to for safety. I had zero, or what felt like, support. I don’t say all of this so that you feel pity or sadness for me, we all have our stories and they make us stronger. Yet, I do say it, because maybe it will resonate with you and you will not feel alone in the world, and it will give you the inspiration to keep going further in your healing journey.

Anyway, after that 7-year stint of seeking, I felt healed, I felt clear, I felt ready to meet the “perfect” guy and start a life with my partner. I was convinced that all the yoga I did, going to see healers, chanting, you name it had really changed me and healed me. Well, God had another plan.

I met D at the end of 2008 when things in my life were in the flow and I was feeling really good. Well, this relationship rocked my world, and turned it upside down. It brought me to my knees, and not in a good way. It was everything I DIDN’T want in a relationship/partnership, and had been working so hard to not create. He was literally my father incarnate, and yet for some reason something in me couldn’t leave, no matter how many times I tried and how “wrong” it felt.  The relationship brought out the ugliest parts of me. It pushed me past my limits. It reduced me down to the smallest I’ve ever felt.

So, you may be wondering why I stayed? Why I put up with abuse? Why I didn’t get out sooner? All of those questions that people wonder, but may never say out loud. Well, what I’m going to say next is very important, and it’s not rocket science, but an idea that most of us don’t really grasp or understand and one I didn’t understand until very recently.

We DO what we KNOW.

That’s right. NO matter how much outward seeking we do, or meditating, or yoga…we still can do what we know, on an unconscious level. There’s old parts of us that are still in charge, and sometime we have no control over them. It’s almost as if I had to go through this horrible experience to finally let go of the abuse of my childhood and turn inward to that part of me and really heal.  I had to literally go up against my father, in a different form, so that I could finally forgive him and learn to trust myself.

You know, the first 8 years of our life are the most formative, and this is where we learn about loving ourselves and how to relate to others in the world. If we are not given love and affection, we don’t know how to feel and build our own self-love. Others reflect love to us from the moment we come into this earthly field, starting with our parents, and it teaches us to love ourselves, and others. If we don’t have that, guess what? I’m sure you can guess. There are tons of studies out there that result in babies dying when they do not receive love, touch and affection from another human being.

D was a perfect reflection of my inner reality. He mirrored all of my insecurities, fears and lack of my own self-worth right back to me.  All of the “work” and seeking I did didn’t even scratch the surface of that deeper part in me; my small little one who never felt loved and felt terribly burdened by hurt, betrayal and loneliness was running the show. Sometimes our past does follow us into the present, no matter how hard we try to leave it behind. In fact, what I know now is that the harder I tried to leave it behind, the more it showed up. Hmmmm….

The abuse from that relationship took a detrimental toll on my physical, mental and emotional health and it has been a long road back. Taking these last two years to go within and heal has been the biggest gift in my life. I stopped looking outside of myself for answers. I picked up tons of tools so I could work with myself, and my precious, hurt little one, and I started to love on her. That was really all she needed. For me to be a parent to her and to feel supported.

Eventually I got back out there. Not an easy choice, because I was scared and unsure. But I went online and met an awesome guy. We have been dating for the last 7 months, and recently split up. So, here I am with another opportunity in front of me, or to be blunt, a broken heart.  And it’s funny, because I finally thought I had met someone who would be my life partner, and be able to go on this crazy ride of life together, but again, not the plan.

The big difference this time around is that the man I attracted was willing, loving, communicative, kind, mature, generous and amazing. The complete opposite of my father and D. We shared the deepest connection I had ever felt with anyone. He was a beautiful reflection of how much I had grown over the past 2 years, and and how willing I was to take a risk, even after being emotionally destroyed through abuse. And all of this was because I had turned into myself for healing, versus seeking outside.

Unfortunately, the timing wasn’t right for us for partnership, but it was perfect in what I needed reflected back to me; my own loving, beautiful, giving, tender, available heart. And even though my heart does feel broken, or broken open, as my friend would say, I am deeply sad and feel like I might be swallowed up by it some days, I am so, so grateful that I went into that relationship fully and gave my all, even with fear present.

I knew on a much deeper level that it would be different this time. And, I knew, without a doubt that I could show up for someone bigger than I ever had, and I did. And I had a person beside me, if only for a short while that reflected all of that back to me. I took a risk, because I now KNOW that I AM worth it. I finally felt like I had done nothing “wrong” (a huge feeling in past relationships) and that I AM capable of a healthy, loving, beautiful relationship and I am NOT BROKEN! Sometimes it’s just a matter of Divine Timing.

You know, I was given my biggest lesson in the world in that abusive relationship with D, which I can now see was all on purpose and I am, ultimately grateful for it. And that lesson was about TRUSTING myself. I didn’t trust myself at all back then, and that was why I stayed and put up with the abuse. I DID what I KNEW, even though I “knew” better and that was something that I I would’ve never figured out if I didn’t go into that relationship.

So, to wrap all of this up, sometimes we just need to go through things; big things. Other times we need to go through small things. My heart aches, but my relationship with the Divine is opening up to new levels, and I have a sense of partnership I’ve never had before, and it’s with the Divine in me and trusting in myself and the Higher plan. And I have to say, it’s not always easy. There are days I am brought to my knees, but in a different way than before. This time it’s more from a knowing place that I DO have someone beside me supporting me, it’s my Divinity within.

So, if you are struggling with a broken heart, or a challenge with someone in your life, turn into yourself and ask your Higher Self for guidance, because you DO have the answers. And use the people in your life closest to you to get support, and to affirm that big reflection of the love that you are.

Remember, everyone arrives in our life at the perfect time to deliver the perfect message and lesson. Sometimes we can’t see it in the present moment, or understand why, especially if it’s painful. Trusting in yourself, and the higher plan for your life will make this journey a whole heckuva’ lot easier. Don’t be afraid to take a risk. Whoever is in front of you is there for a reason and remember, the only way out is through.

I Love You


Melissa Costello

Author, Speaker, Culinary Plant-Based Nutrition & Health Empowerment Coach | Cleanse Expert

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