March 27, 2020

Heartbroken? Talk to the Trees. No, really, it Helps.

I decided I wanted to sit on the grass.

Sheltered from the sun by my car, I sat, staring at this cluster of trees.

I was grateful for this moment of reprieve from the excruciating thoughts that had been swirling around and accosting me in my head for the past few days.

I’m sitting on this grass because my heart has been annihilated. I am so numb that I feel calm, something that terrifies me even more than my heartbreak.

It’s interesting that this blow to my insides would come at a time when we are all stepping back and the world has slowed. I can’t escape to a yoga studio or a coffeehouse. I just have to be with this big rock in the pit of my stomach that seems to be giving instruction to my head on what painful memory to bring up next.

Staring at these trees is the first thing that has made the knot in my stomach unclench since this happened. The breeze starts to blow, and I feel some of my stress melt away, my shoulders so tight that I can hardly turn my neck.

As the wind slips in between the leaves, it sounds like a light rain. I start to inhale, feeling my stomach lurch again.

Moments later, I am sobbing.

Memories and images flood my head. Questions and assumptions ricochet through my mind, causing my sobbing to intensify. I feel a drop in my stomach again, caused by the cruel realization that this is truly over.

Earlier in the week, I read a horoscope that said it is okay to grieve what we never got. It is okay to miss what we never experienced. As I sit and weep, I am devastated thinking about all I will miss and not have with this person.

My body shakes as I inhale deeply and let out a few more wails. How unfair life feels at times.

And all the while, calmly watching and taking in this scene are these beautiful birch trees. They seem to invite me to let it out. To share my grief. To shoulder some of the burden.

I take a deep breath and exhale in their direction. It makes me feel comforted, so I do it again. I silently ask the trees if they would please take my pain. Take it and use it, make it into something beautiful. Clean air that we can breathe. Create more leaves that sound like rain.

It felt so good and those trees were so kind to help out, that I went even further. I started to speak what hurt. Out loud. To trees. It felt wonderful and uplifting and necessary.

I asked them to please take my sorrow, my hurt, my anger, my loss, my grief, my tender broken heart, my sadness, my agony, and my despair. I asked them to alchemize my suffering—to transform it into something that I could live with.

I prayed for relief, for courage to get through this, for love to enter my heart and burst it wide open. I prayed that peace would find its way into my mind again.

After spilling my guts, I open my eyes and see a white butterfly pass right in front of me. Chills flood my body, knowing my prayers were heard. The trees stare back at me, their strong stance giving me hope.

I close my eyes one last time, seeing the face of the one I’ve lost. I invite light to surround him, because I know he is hurting too. And for the first time since all this happened, I feel free. Free of the struggle, the pain, and the circumstances that have always kept us apart.

I allow myself to step out of the prison cell of my own mind and know that there is life after this. I honor what we shared, because nothing is wasted if love was present.

And right there, among these friendly trees, I decide that I will focus on only that—the love.

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Elizabeth Gordon  |  Contribution: 60,405

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