Tomorrow I am going to a baby shower. My partner’s sister is pregnant, and I absolutely love babies, so it is an invitation I am happy to accept. Sadly, I won’t get to hold the baby tomorrow; that would be really awkward since she’s still in her mommy’s belly. Anyway, my partner and I made a mobile, from scratch, which neither of us has ever done before (for the curious). I’m grateful to be invited to the baby shower and I had no hesitation about accepting the invitation. In fact, I’m looking forward to it.
Not all invitations are as easy to accept as the baby shower invitation. Nor do they bring with them a feeling of excitement about what’s ahead. An invitation is simply an offer, and with it comes choices. You can choose to accept, ignore, decline, or even say, “maybe,” to the invitation which allows you some time to decide.
We are all being invited, all of the time.
These invitations we are receiving are not the kind that come in the mail, like the recent invitation I received from AARP, after turning 50 last month! (That, by the way, is still on my “maybe” list, which I think is okay since it does not appear that that invitation will expire before I do).
The invitation I am referring to is pain; more specifically, emotional pain. One of our greatest invitations is through heartbreak. There is no greater pain I know than that of a lost love. Well, I did have a terribly infected toe from a pedicure that seemed almost as painful for a minute, but a quick trip to the ER fixed that right up. That’s the thing with physical pain – there are many quick fixes and ways to speed up recovery: casts, antibiotics, surgeries, physical therapy, etc.
With heartbreak, we have many fewer resources to help the healing along.
Sometimes heartbreak comes from the death of a loved one. Other times, and something most of us have experienced a few times in our life is the pain that comes from the loss of a relationship. This pain is there for a reason, not just to add insult to the loss. The pain is your invitation. (Some invitation, I know). In fact, the bigger the pain, the larger the invitation.
Many people will decline this invitation for weeks, months, years, or forever. Luckily, the invitation does not expire (sort of like my AARP card). The pain doesn’t actually just “go away,” and contrary to popular opinion, time doesn’t heal. Time is what passes while we do what needs to be done to heal. Time isn’t what heals us, our choices do.
Healing requires a new perspective on what you’ve experienced (we can’t feel better about something by thinking the same thoughts that made us feel bad in the first place). That’s why reading self-help books, or talking with friends will help you heal. Healing requires a new focus – something that feels hopeful, engaging, and has the potential to generate joy. That’s why getting out and doing new things, developing new hobbies, and making new friends is helpful. Healing requires connection, human connection and the feeling that we matter to someone and that our pain matters. Healing requires us to understand more deeply what our pain is trying to tell us about our choices that led us to where we are. Healing requires us to allow this pain to run through us in a way that we can feel it, honor it, listen to it, and learn from it, and then bid the pain goodbye. Pain is not meant to stay.
For a long time, I have sat with many people who are heartbroken about a lost relationship, and I have always known that while therapy is helpful, it does not fully address all of the needs that people need to heal. Not long ago, I was contacted by someone who was grieving a relationship, and she wanted to know if I offered something to help. This was the incentive I needed to make the missing resource available. I have just created a new experience called DML BREAKTHROUGH for single lesbians who wish to experience healing around their past relationships (no matter how long ago your heartbreak occured). The Breakthrough is a 12 week experience and you can read more about it here.
Something new awaits you and your soon-to-be-healed heart. The invitation is asking you to come dance in the life you were designed to live. Are you ready to accept the invitation?