About Pain and Heartbreak

Heartbreak sucks.

Anyone who’s ever heard the love of their life say, “We’re done!” will understand how it feels to have your chest caved in with a bludgeon.

It’s not just the rejection that crushes you.

You’ll fight memories and old habits, many of which you formed together.

You will wear out your soul while reliving the moment he/she rejected you, a thousand times each day.

It’ll hurt so much you will sometimes wish for death on yourself, and later on, you’ll wish it on the leaving party who is causing you so much pain.

The pain is intense and it has no remorse.

While dealing with the pains of heartbreak, people repress feelings. In a bid to escape the pain, they stifle themselves and shut the emotions in and out.

True, some people feel things deeply, much deeper than others. And negative, painful feelings have a way of weighing us down, even dangerously so. But something I learned from watching Inside Out, Pixar’s incredibly moving animation, was that sorrow is as much a part of life as joy. (If you’re yet to see Inside Out, you should fix that right away).

You can’t wish or pray sorrow away. Recite all the motivational quotes from now till Aristotle’s grave turns over, sorrow will continue to be a part of our human existence.

Knowing that sorrow is part of our journey will stop you from panicking when it shows up. You’ll take it in stride.

I used to hate sorrow. It sapped my energy and made me unable to think straight. I’d shut down, convince myself it wasn’t such a big deal and that was the end of it. I’d struggle with the pain for about three days, and each time the thoughts showed up, I’d nix them right in the bud.

It worked.

I felt better. At least, I thought I did. I went back to getting work done.

But these things found other ways of expressing themselves.  More painful and devastating ways.

Perhaps more importantly, repression changes you in ways you didn’t bargain for. You lose a part of you.

You become hard. You lose your wonder, your quest for adventure and love.

Love eventually becomes transactional – nothing goes for nothing. It seems wiser and safer to be economical with love. You don’t realize you just settled on an even more twisted version of Machiavelli’s theory – the end justifying the means.

But is this the end you wanted? Deprived of love, the selfless, rapturous kind that storytellers and musicians have spun tales and ballads about. You become the centre of your own universe, your focus is you, your feelings, your wants, your plans, you you you.

You’re bankrupt.

Love has left you. And it didn’t leave a forwarding address.

So yeah, repression works, granting you short term benefits but in the long run, it leaves you worse off.

So instead of repression, try embracing the pain.

Sit down and have a good cry. Stress eat. Load up your playlist and play all the love songs, imagining how right or wrong the singers were. Look at the stars and yell at God. Reach towards your friends’ shoulder and soak it with tears.

Let pain find expression. The heart knows how to heal itself and will tell you when it’s ready.

It’s hard, I know. It hurts, I know that too.

But I also know that it’s all part of what makes love worth it eventually.

 

Photo Credit: MaleCodependence

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Dealing with Insecurities

Insecurities.

We all have them.

From the day Adam discovered his ass was bare and ran into the bush to become an emergency tailor, we’ve all relentlessly tried to cover up our inadequacies.

Whether it is a superiority/inferiority complex, impostor syndrome, outsider syndrome, fear (in all its spectrums) or a cocktail of all of them, we all carry our unique brand of insecurity.

Some of us are privileged to know the insecurities ailing us.

We know it, but we’re helpless to fix it. There’s something broken inside us, and we’ll be damned if anyone finds out about it. So we’ll try hard to overcompensate.

For others, they’re oblivious of the inadequacy plaguing them.

Ignorance may be bliss for these folks but not for the rest of us who are their friends and family – we see their insecurities, and we’re left trying to manoeuvre our way around them on eggshells. This gets exhausting pretty quick (mainly because we have our own insecurities to manage, dammit!).

At the root of all our insecurity problems is the question, what will people think when they find out this about me? The answers we give to ourselves informs our actions.

This is why we hide. This is why we put on a show. This is why we wear masks.

So yeah, I have insecurities.

It seems I’ve acquired even more in adulthood than I did in my prior years.

I won’t say I’m an expert on dealing with them (even though there’s a case to be made concerning the fact that you’re probably the best expert on your personal brand of insecurity).

They say you bear these insecurities till you’re old and grey. If you’re lucky, you’ll start figuring it out when you’re closer to the grave. I’ve met a lot of elderly people who obviously don’t care what people think about them anymore. I guess there’s something about imminent death that makes people say, “Screw it! No time for bullshit.”

We all have to figure out what will make us say, “Screw it! No time for bullshit” before we’re old and grey.

That would be a great lifehack.