breaking up is hard to do
feel the feelings
Breaking up is hard to do. Breakups are hard in general, whether it is romantic, platonic, or any other kind of ic. It just doesn’t matter they’re hard but it is part of life. One of the hardest things for me to do is to write in real time. And I know why. It’s because it requires a vulnerable-fragile not-knowing-how-the-story-ends type of deal. But today, today I will. And today, as my heart just hangs from my chest cavity post breakup I will choose to feel the feelings. Not run from them, not distract myself with events or other people. I will feel the feelings. Take that moment to feel what you’re feeling. Feel the feeeeelings! New concept for me!!! You see I’d gotten so used to stuffing them away on the dusty shelf in the back closet behind the right ventricle of my heart. I’d
started to built walls the size of New York skyscrapers to protect myself from pain. To survive. To get through. To hide. But this new feeling the feelings thing is new-unfamiliar-fresh. It’s about processing the loss, the sadness, the anger, the disappointment. Crying the tears. Letting it all come out. Purge, release, let go. Repeat. I feel a bit totally unearthed, a bit completely shaken, definitely vulnerable, and beyond fragile.
it is never a fairy tale my dear
Perhaps it’s the uncertainty of what’s to come in striking contrast to the familiarity of what’s being let go. Or maybe it’s the sudden death of tomorrow’s plans. It could also be the thoughts of old happiness colliding with the prominent failures of yesterday’s memories–all of which keep replaying on the overhead projector in my mind. There’s nothing more nostalgic than the beginning of a relationship, when it all just works. Even the things that don’t work, work. The sweet smell of romance. The melodic give and take of friendship. The constant excitement! Memories of events too odd that they’ve conspired to create the relationship in the first place. Remembering just how good it feels to be in each other’s arms or the bonding that happens when you see the sky together as if it’s the first time. Casually just blasting past every red flag, ignoring the yield sign and missing the ‘CAUTION: Sharp turn ahead’ warnings. the possibilities. the probabilities. the plans. And then you find yourself in that moment. Yes that moment. The one just before you decide to open up. The moment when you make the choice to go a little deeper, to go to a more vulnerable place, to share your heart and get to a place as if to say “OK, i’m showing you parts of me, I trust that you will not to hurt me.”
And you do. You open up some. You open up more. And somehow realize you’re on Painful Process Freeway taking the first exit to Hurtsville. Wondering how the GPS got you there. But people do. People do hurt you, sometimes it’s because they hurt and sometimes they hurt you. I’ve heard, “Hurt people hurt people.” Sometimes it’s intentional, yes. Sometimes though, they don’t know that they are hurting you. But it’s sobering to remember that you’re “people” too and have certainly hurt someone somewhere, whether you know it and admit it, or not. Either way, your heart hangs from the chest cavity and each breath after takes a certain strength coupled with gentleness to aid its fragile state. And pause right here– because it was never a fairy tale my dear so with all the lights on make a decision to not put up any more walls, even though and in spite of. This is that place, when you’re hurt, when you’re in pain, to feel the feelings and decide to heal and let it go.
the only thing hard about letting go is holding on
They both can’t be done at the same time. You either hold on or you let go. And when you decide to heal you realize that first step is indeed deciding. It is wanting to heal which requires letting go. And sometimes the only thing hard about letting go is still holding on. Letting go doesn’t mean not loving. It doesn’t mean being bitter and resentful. It doesn’t mean acting with malicious intent. Letting go at its finest is a process of releasing the person, the situation, the violation, the disappointment. A decision to move beyond a sometimes gut wrenching and difficult encapsulated period of time. It is forgiveness.
So at any given moment I find myself feeling the feelings as I cry out and put these emotions where they belong. I rest my soul –my mind, my will, my emotions– into the rightful hands of Jesus Christ. On the carpet, crouched in fetal position, ugly crying my deepest hurts-thoughts-pain…and although it feels never ending and like I’m at the point of no return there’s an unexplainable hope beginning to form, way down deep on the inside of me. He reaches in and comforts me and my soul finds rest and my thoughts become pure and my sadness has a safe place. One hundred twenty minutes later I rise, dry my eyes and realize something’s different. Something has changed. And I begin to realize that that something is me.
Inspired by: Psalm 62:5-12
Models: Annelise Adams
Hair & Makeup: Phillipine Demeestere
Photography: Evelynn Photography
Assistant: Irina Palmer
Creative Direction| Styling| Writing: Diarra Yaw