I just watched the movie EAT PRAY LOVE after about a 5+ year hiatus. EAT PRAY LOVE, for those of you who have not seen it, is a film adapted from an Elizabeth Gilbert novel, that follows a successful writer as she spends a year abroad hoping to find herself and reignite her fire after a failed marriage. First she eats, then she prays, then she loves. It’s a beautiful story of moving on, of forgiveness, of finding balance, of self-love, and… of giving up the ever-sought after “balance” of life for love.

Within 36 hours of re-watching this movie, I was told by the man I’ve been dating for the past 5 months that he no longer wants to continue this relationship.

*Feels like she was just punched in the stomach*

We’ve all been there… a heart-shattered, cry-yourself-to-sleep-at-night break up. It hurts. You try to carry on, but little things remind you of him (or her), whether it’s the song on the radio or the shirt you sleep in… there’s a twinge of pain and more tears. You wonder what went wrong or if you could have done anything differently to have avoided the ending to your relationship. You ask yourself, “Is it me? Is something wrong with me?” You feel unwanted, unloved, and so debilitatingly alone. This is me right now.

But when we take a step back and really examine all of the heartbreaks we’ve gone through in our lives… what does heartbreak truly give us? Heartbreak literally creates space in your heart.

Your heart breaks… cracks… crumbles… your heart opens… and what is left is space.

It breaks you open.

First, it feels like a void. It’s painful to have that open, empty space… the space that this person once occupied. It feels like part of you is missing. Your heart literally aches over this emptiness.

But it’s not a void.

It’s a space to fill with new dreams, new memories, and new people.

The cracks in your heart let in light + love.

Heartbreak hurts. Like. Damn. It really f*cking hurts. I’m not trying to dispute that fact. But heartbreaks lead to growth… I am a firm believer that the ones with the biggest hearts are the ones that have had their hearts broken the most. You’ve shed a smaller shell of a heart and created a bigger one in it’s place every time you’ve faced heartbreak.

Heartbreak can be isolating, too. I think we all need that at one time or another in our lives though. We need to be alone. We need time and space for introspection. We need to get down to the real nitty gritty… the core of our true selves. We need to understand who we are, who we want to become, and what we really need in life.

You peel back the layers… of your past, your thought processes, your beliefs. You assess yourself. And in the process, you learn a lot about yourself and what you truly want and need in a relationship.

Moral of the story: If you’ve been hurt (or are currently hurting) don’t let that push you away from the potential of love. Don’t write it off. Don’t let heartbreak close you off. Let your heart break open. Remain open to love. It’s worth the risk to take a chance on someone. It could absolutely lead to love… and a lifetime of it. And if it doesn’t, that’s okay. You cry, you pick up the pieces, and you begin again.

Despite heartbreak, I still choose love. I welcome it with open arms; I don’t run from it. I’d rather say I love you first, than never say it at all. I would rather love and break open, a million times over, than to have never loved at all. I will continue to lean into the unknown + the fear of being hurt if it could lead to love… if the person makes my heart + soul happy. To me, the rewards far outweigh the risks when it comes to love.

So I’ll be over here, leaning into all of the breaks on my heart… I’m not picking up the pieces just yet. I’m still grieving the loss. I am just going to sit here with the hurt and the cracks and let in the light + love.

Xo,

Leta

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