Heartbreak, trauma and struggle can be gut wrenching and debilitating.
We can lose a big chunk of our life, both time and energy, navigating through our emotions and finding a path to healing. We can even lose ourselves in the enormity of our emotions and fears.
After my 16-year relationship ended, I felt completely crushed—a total failure.
I had been deeply unhappy, but fear kept me rooted in a situation that needed to change. One day I finally reached a point where I could no longer risk life always being this way.
You would think since I was the one who ended the relationship I would quickly recover. I was the one who found the courage to make the change, so I must be strong right? That’s what I was constantly being told, but it took me 12 months to work through all of the hurt, pain, heartache, guilt and fear.
Twelve months of stumbling my way through each layer of suffering.
It was a fierce commitment to self-love and self-care that helped me to walk the path. I had to spend many months suspended in fear and deep pain, while simultaneously telling myself I deserved more; I was worthy of love and joy and freedom. We all are!
I didn’t have a lot of money to seek counseling. For the most part, I had to find my own way through. I quickly decided that looking after myself physically and spiritually would be the best way to help myself. I created a self-care plan, and although fear always traveled with me, I rarely let it give directions.
I acknowledged its presence, but took away its power.
In one way or another we all experience heartbreak and pain, confusion and overwhelming fear, self loathing and shame. And we can help each other by being vulnerable and sharing our stories. They will all be different, but it is in the sharing that the magic happens—we see a glimpse of how connected we all are.
Now that I’ve found my way through the worst of it, I can honestly say it takes a heavy dose of trust in the unknown to push yourself through it; day by day, hour by hour sometimes. While we’re in the midst of pain and suffering, we know deeply that we want it to end, but it takes a lot of faith in life to show us the way through. We need to access our own inner guidance along the way and trust the answers we receive.
Going within and seeking direction will show us how to move forward. One of the best things we can do for our sanity is to allow the process to be a day-by-day journey. We must take the pressure off ourselves to work through it quickly—that rarely happens.
Most of all, I think we all need to find the time to carve out a self-care plan.
One of the reasons self-care is essential is because you never know what you are going to have to face. Whether the change is self-imposed or forced upon us, we need to be able to navigate it with love. There will be many times when we feel utterly alone and scared. These are the times we will have to place trust in ourselves to do the best we can.
Having a fierce determination to look after ourselves, to place self-care at the top of our priority list, is the most loving thing we can do for ourselves. By fierce, I mean that no matter what we are feeling, we know that we deserve a beautiful life, so we stay on the path that will take us there.
Each day, we must make the time to do what is needed to help move us towards the healing that we seek. It will come—the day will come when you notice the pain subsiding, that life is a little gentler and maybe even some genuine moments of happiness are creeping back in.
It doesn’t matter what we include in our self-care toolkit. Have a list of things you love to do, maybe even some things you’ve never tried, but always wanted to. Use your intuition to know what to do on any given day.
Ask yourself, “What will most help me today?”
In time, we find ourselves on the other side of fear and despair. The feeling of finding yourself, of truly feeling centered and alive will astound you! When I reached my own defining moment of release, I felt powerful. I finally understood that I can go within at any time for guidance and answers.
There isn’t a lot of room for fear in our lives when we hold the power to shape our experience as we wish it to be using self-care, intuition and trust.
When we focus on self-care throughout our journey and find true peace within, we become unstoppable on the path ahead. Once we have moved through all the pain and found the beautiful and authentic person within, a fierce self-love turns into a gentle knowing that staying centered in love is the path.
A beautiful life is inevitable.
Author: Rachel Fry
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Image: Neal Fowler/Flickr