it hurts. a lot.

It's so easy to talk about love when we're in it. When we feel it. It's so temping to only share the fun, joyful experiences we have. But this isn't being true to the human experience. There is no love and light without darkness and despair; they walk hand in hand, in perfect harmony. It feels only right to give our pain the same acknowledgement.

Sometimes grief is so unbearable, we shove it down deep within ourselves and attempt to move on with life, because it feels like the only way to go on living. But grief is a sneaky mistress. It will appear in the most unexpected ways and most inconvenient moments, washing over us like a powerful tide.

So what is there to do with this kind of pain?

the kind that cuts so deep

the kind that breaks you open in a way that leaves you feeling

utterly exposed and vulnerable?

You feel it.

You allow it to wash over you completely, knowing that for a moment, you won't be able to breathe. And then, the tide subsides. The blinding pain silently transforms into a dull ache, giving you a chance to pull your head above the surface and catch a breath.

Just like everyone else, I have a very personal relationship to heartbreak. I am no stranger to grief, yet it's still unbearable every time. Life has given me many opportunities to experience pain in different ways, and these opportunities will continue to present themselves.

My heart has broken many times, in many ways.

Each one different than the last.

Each one its own exquisite agony.

Yet even as I hurt, I find it beautiful knowing that the depths of my pain is directly proportional to the depths of my love. I used to think of grief as the opposite of love, but now I see that it IS love, just in a different form.

"Grief is just love with no place to go"

- Jamie Anderson

I've already learned so much from my pain. I found that when my heart breaks, it's actually breaking open. It's a doorway to a deeper part of myself; a new land waiting to be explored. This breaking and opening is an essential part of our journey; a rite of passage.

Endings are deaths, which we experience in so many different ways. Whether it's the physical death of someone we love, the death of a relationship, lifestyle or version of ourself, there is a mourning that comes with it. But death = new life, and it will always be so.

We must die to be reborn.

We must become empty to be filled.

We must shed our old skin to make way for the new.

There is a cycle and season for every chapter of our story. We can choose to embrace it and allow ourselves to be obliterated so we can start anew, or we can resist it and cause ourselves even more suffering in the long run. Regardless of the path we choose, it will find us.

Life will have its way with us, but it always gives us opportunities for deeper learning, love and compassion for those around us but especially ourselves. Sometimes I feel shame and guilt for my grief, because I compare my suffering to others and know that many other people have much harder circumstances than I do. So I'm practicing being kind to myself and remembering that my grief is also valid - and I hope you give yourself the same compassion.

In the midst of my own heartbreak, I feel called to examine it closely and explore it. I don't want to hide from it anymore; I want to befriend it and understand it. In doing so, I want to hear and share other people's stories with the intention of facilitating healing for all of us.

Tell me what broke your heart.

I want to hear your story.

I want you to feel seen and heard.

I want to acknowledge how much it hurts.

Pain is our greatest teacher - let us learn and heal together.

If you'd like to join me in my exploration, connect with me here. There will be different ways to share and engage in this project. More details to come.