Living with a Broken Heart

When am I going to fall and not be crushed

When am I going to lean in and not be burned

Passions extinguished, love lost

Leaving another piece of my heart stuck to the bottom of a shoe

How can I go on

I take another step


The holiday season can forcibly surface many suppressed emotions surrounding family dynamics and scars associated with broken relationships. People tend to become overwhelmed with loneliness within past and even current relationships. It feels like one huge step back.

Texts I have gotten recently:
“I just feel like I get lost in a crowd of people and I feel so isolated even though I’m with people”
“I just feel like everyone is moving on and that I’m stuck and I don’t know how to move. So I’ve been feeling bad about myself”
“I feel replaced and just like an outcast now”

These times cause us to crawl inwards and begin to judge ourselves. We compare what is lacking within us to the complexity of the situation surrounding us. We blame ourselves as the cause or the root of issue.

If only we could change

If only we could not be too much

If only we could be enough

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British Virgin Islands

I would like to introduce you to a new (at least for me) term….EQUANIMITY.

When you google it, these are definitions that come up….
Mental calmness.
Composure.
Evenness of temper.
Especially in a difficult situation.
Undisturbed by experience of or exposure to emotions, pain, or other phenomena that may cause others to lose the balance of their mind.
Perfect, unshakable balance of mind, rooted in insight.
Spaciousness and balance of heart.
Complete openness to experience, without being lost in reactions of love and hate.

What if we could deal with these broken relationships with EQUANIMITY?

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Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

ACCEPTANCE

I think the first step is to accept the fact that YOU are not broken. It is the system that is broken. It is the world that is broken. It is the communication that has been broken. YOU are NOT broken. Say that out loud. YOU are NOT broken.

In fact, you have the source of life already inside of you. It has been forgotten maybe, suppressed maybe, overlooked maybe, but can never be lost. Seeking this source of life begins by accepting where you are in your life. All of the lumps, bumps, bruises, feelings, mistakes, emotions. Accepting all of those facets and being grateful for how they shaped who you are today. As Baron Baptiste (a yogi and wise human) said in his book “Journey Into Power” (highly recommend), our ideal selves are already within us. Stop trying to fix yourself and start being yourself!

Society has simply stolen our innocence and made us believe that we are the problem. Remember when you were young and believed you could fly? You were not worried about how much you weighed or where you would go or your five-year-plan or the fact that you didn’t have wings. You would just find the tallest surface and jump. And when you didn’t fly, you would run back to the top and jump again. You had the freedom of faith and innocence.

How can we go back and harness that vitality and faith?

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Tanzania

TAKE OFF THE LAYERS

We must uncover all of the layers that are weighing down our freedom. We must uncover all of the layers in order to illuminate the parts of us that shine with life. As mentioned earlier, acceptance is the first step. Not momentum or even willingness. The second step is this act of clinging to truth. Many of the layers we put on are threaded with lies. When we seek and accept truth, these layers begin to peel off, not instantly. But as we learn to implement the truth into our everyday lives, it becomes easier and lies no longer seem attractive.

“Having perfected our disguise, we spend our lives searching for someone we don’t fool” -Robert Brault

Truth is the only medicine that ever cures us; it is the only means to which we can live at our full, incredible potential (Baron Baptiste). Speaking truth over who we are can begin this process of uncovering our true selves and harnessing that source of life.

Say “you are beautiful” in the mirror.
Send love to your stomach roll when you lay on your side.
In a downward spiral of guilt and shame, speak forgiveness louder.
During an anxiety attack, rest in the truth that you can only control what is present.

Everyone has the capability to shine. All it requires is an unbending faith in yourself. Just start where you are and do what you can do. Trust the process.

LOVE YOURSELF

If someone asked you what you were grateful for, how long would it take for you to say yourself?

The third step is loving yourself in the present moment. Any moment that happened in the past is a memory, and any moment that will happen in the future is a fantasy (Baron Baptiste). Your body requires your love, compassion, attention, and care.

Loving yourself is one of the only things that we can control in any given situation. It takes practice, but once it becomes a routine response to adversity, this can be a game changer in terms of stress, shame, and guilt. The beautiful part about self-love is it is a never ending journey inward toward the soul, and is marked by spectacular moments of self-discovery that can seep life and love into other aspects of life.

Think about your heart as a cup. Your heart is already full because it is your source of life. Self-love is filling up an already abundant cup. Therefore, it overflows into all other parts of your body and all other aspects of who you are including other relationships and passions.

“Self love is an energy, one that we use to know ourselves, health ourselves, and accept all that is within us. With self love we have the determination and courage to move deeply inward using honesty as our guide. This inward movement transforms our being, dramatically enhancing our awareness of who we are, our understanding of the universe, and our capabilities as an individual – the most beautiful part of this process is that our new sense of compassion towards ourselves does not end with us, it blossoms and flows outward into the lives of others, and ultimately has the capacity, if consistently cultivated, to encompass all beings.” -YP

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Austin, Texas

LET GO

The response to all of this? The fourth step is letting go in the midst of pain. What you focus on you create (Baron Baptiste). Finding this equanimity comes from living a nonreactive life. Rather than being reactive to others’ actions or words or thoughts, let us be consumed with the present moment. This may cause pain, but that pain is only temporary. And we are equipped with the ability to speak louder than the pain. We have the ability to reshape ourselves and transform ourselves in the midst of the pain if we are willing to. This is the shift from being goal-oriented to being process-oriented (Baron Baptiste). The root of all misery is attachment, so let go with a calm determination. Instead of focusing all of your energy on fixing the problem, focus on letting go.

The pain you feel is the breaking of the shell that encloses you – Kahlil Gibran

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Atlanta, GA

This was a hard one for me to write, because this is something that I wake up to face each morning. That is why I quoted a lot of smart people, because I am still a work in progress. Heartbreak is painful, and healing requires vulnerability. Recently, in my yoga practice, I have struggled with backbends. These are typically associated with opening up your chest. It is frustrating because I have the strength and flexibility to do the poses, but my body is faced with an undeniable barrier. After doing research about the connection between the mind and body, I realized there was some brokenness in my heart that needed to be dealt with. Brokenhearted people tend to keep their shoulders down and inwards, hiding and protecting their heart. These backbends reverse this action and expose the heart. Writing this is part of my processing through the brokenness, dealing with the pain, and claiming victory over my life!

2 thoughts on “Living with a Broken Heart

  1. Alayna…you are a phenomenal writer! It has been a joy reading your posts and now…your blog. One thing came to my mind as I have been reading your words. It’s Ephesians 2:10. I’m going to change it a bit to make it personal to you.
    “For you, Alayna, are God’s handiwork (His masterpiece!), created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for you to do!”
    Can’t wait to hear your next words … for you ARE a masterpiece!

    Like

  2. Lane- Once again you are shining light into a dark place. Thanks for the reminders. I think we all get so caught up in the day to day process of checking boxes(breakfast, work, lunch, email persons A,B, and C. Tomorrow call person D. , study, test, paper, finally bed. Rinse and repeat). It becomes a grind. And one day you wake up and realize you’re not happy.

    Like

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