Thursday, January 8, 2015

Gifts in Ugly Packages

We've all been in relationships that have ended. Lovers leave. Friendships sour. Family members step out of the holiday photographs. It happens.

It hurts.

It hurts when someone you love goes away from you. It just does. One of the frustrating things about that kind of hurt is that it doesn't follow logic or reason. It ebbs and flows like the tide, and it's not always clear when the riptide will start to drag you back out, gasping and struggling.

There's also no set schedule, no timeline to follow, no protocols to adhere to for a broken heart. Other people don't always understand your grief or the level of your pain. There's no ceremony for it. You can't have a funeral for a failed relationship. There's no traditional gathering with food and comfort. Maybe there should be, but there isn't. Hallmark doesn't make "I'm sorry about your heartbreak" cards.

So there you are, with your hurt, wishing that the person who hurt you isn't also the person that you are most used to talking to about that the things that are bothering you. Trying to harden your heart against someone you used to open it to.

Trying to figure out what to do next.

I think -- I always try to remember -- that there is something to be gained in every experience you have in life. The really over-the-top great moments are awesome -- we all love those -- but the deeply mired in shit moments are also awesome in their own way. They are a gift that we don't want to receive. They are poorly wrapped with jagged edges and pokey bits, but they are gifts nonetheless.

It is a gift to discover that someone is not the person you believed them to be, before they take more of your time, energy, and devotion -- moments, work, and love that they will show that they do not deserve.

It is a gift to be able to experience the depths of your own strength and resources. You have them. You have tons of them. You have backbone and resolve and incredible smarts and while you don't want to be forced to use them right now, you have the opportunity to see how amazing you are in ways that you might not normally.

It is a gift to be able to see how much the people who are still in your life love you. How much they want the best for you. How much they want you to be well. How they think that you deserve amazing, wonderful things and want to help to lift you up to find them.

You hurt. You will hurt. It may not end today, or tomorrow, or next month, but it will eventually end. It will pass.

The gifts, though? As poorly as they were presented, as unwillingly as they were received? Those stay with you forever. Eventually you will treasure them.

I promise.

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