The Intensity of Pain

“Never be ashamed of how deeply and passionately you loved someone who destroyed you, because destroying things is just who they are…and loving things deeply and passionately is who you are.”   butterflies rising

 

When Victoria found out about her husband’s long-term affair with a co-worker and he had made the decision to move out, she was shattered. She wouldn’t eat, she couldn’t sleep and had to go on depression medication and sleeping pills. She couldn’t remember the last day where she hadn’t cried and she was drinking more than she ever had previously. She remained in pain, heartache and despair for almost a full year, hoping that her husband would have a change of heart and come back home to her.

Victoria is not a slouch or a desperate, needy woman. She is a mother of two kids, runs marathons, has a PhD and a very successful career. And still, she was brought to her knees with a kind of emotional pain she hadn’t ever experienced previously.

Her thoughts went in circles (typically in the middle of the night):

How could he do this? How could he do this to me? How could he do this to the kids?

What does she have that I don’t have?

I loved him. He’s the only man I’ve ever known. We’ve been together since I was 17. I’ve given my life to him….

How will I ever move on? When will this pain go away?

What if he is blissfully happy with her and I end up all alone?

Not everyone experiences that kind of pain when a relationship ends. Sometimes, we feel worry or doubt, disappointment or anger, sadness or even guilt. Sometimes, people even feel relief or freedom.

I think the intensity of the pain we feel aligns with the level to which we loved.

Like Victoria, I had my heart shattered by someone I loved deeply many years ago. I wasn’t certain I would ever recover from that pain, and of course, it changed me.

However, I remember making the conscious choice at that time that if I wanted the kind of love that felt deeply connected, passionate and soulful, I had to be willing to love deeply, passionately, and soulfully.

Now so many years later, I’m so grateful I somehow knew that going back into hiding and searching for safety and security would not serve me. I was going to love deeply because I wanted to be loved deeply. And if I got my heart broken again, well, so be it. It was more important to be to become the woman I wanted to be and create the kind of relationship I desired…and frankly, deserved.

Heartbreak is debilitating and emotional pain sucks…

But so does hiding our hearts, playing small, and trying to convince ourselves that this must be all there is.

When someone betrays us, hurts us, rejects us, or lies to us, it actually has nothing to do with us. It has everything to do with them and what fears they’re running from or desires and dreams they’re seeking.

It’s. Not. About. Us.

Their choices, actions and behaviors are always about them.

Our choices, actions and behaviors are always about us.

Choose to love deeply and passionately again and again and again. Choose to do so because that is who you are. Choose to do so because of the kind of relationship you both desire and deserve.