My Heart is Broken... So I Love Even More
Updated: May 13, 2019
My message to you, the message that derives from this tragedy, is this...
As a psychotherapist, it is my job to hold love and hope for the people I work with. It is best put by M. Scott Peck, M.D. in his book The Road Less Traveled. He eloquently describes the indelible love that the therapist has for the client. This love is rooted in the dedication to the client’s growth and is not to be confused with romantic in anyway; it is the love for humanity, for healing, for spiritual growth.
Do we ever truly let anything go?
My heart broke recently after a tragedy that befell a client of mine. Yet, regardless of my own sorrow, I continue to hold space for others. I do not bring it with me into session. Rather, I take my own pain to the mat in Yoga. I take my grief into meditation where I can feel it, move through it, and live with it. Not necessarily let it go.
Do we ever truly let anything go? Or do we find profound acceptance, the pain simply becoming less poignant, less acute? Yet, it informs our growth, allows us to step forward into the unknown, into a life that now includes the fossils of tragedy.
These fossils allow us to love more deeply. When we are buried in the darkness we are covered by excruciating pain, yet, we can be uncovered, rediscovered by the love of another… and when we are, we are then relieved of an unbearable burden. It can rejuvenate vibrance, rekindle passion, re-frame our story into one of strength.
"The only way to uncover wisdom is to be curious and open, even when it’s hard."
Following this unnamed tragedy, I will not be the same within practice. I will be more open, more loving, more compassionate. At this point in my life emotional pain no longer deters me; I allow myself to feel it fully. I Embrace it. I bring it to my Spiritual Self. And then it informs my work so that I can be of more help to the next individual that sits across from me.
It is experience and subsequent wisdom that creates the most effective psychotherapist. The only way to uncover wisdom is to be curious and open, even when it’s hard. The only way to truly help others through life’s unimaginable challenges is to be able to sit with the tears and hold space for the pain. Through that, eventually, we may find relief and peace.
We are not all equipped to hold space for the emotional pain of others, and that is okay. There are some individuals that are excellent medical doctors. She can maintain confidence while another’s life literally lies in her hands… I could not do that. I am not equipped. We all have a unique purpose. This is mine. No matter how much it can hurt at times, I know it is my purpose. This knowledge gives me peace and for that I am grateful.
For those of you that have a loved one steeped in depression or hopelessness, a message emerges for you as well:
My message to you, the message that derives from this tragedy, is this: if you feel that you are alone, I promise you that you are not. If you believe you cannot be forgiven, I guarantee you that you can. If you believe there is no hope, I know that there is… there is always hope.
For those of you that have a loved one steeped in depression or hopelessness, a message emerges for you as well: it is as important for you to find support as it is for the one who suffers… because you are suffering too. Find someone to talk to, find ways to care for yourself in the face of heartache and helplessness. Invariably, this is also the only way to be able to provide steady support to your loved one. The only way. And some days, even with all of that, you may still want to give up. In no way does this mean that you love the one who is ill any less... it simply means this is hard.
There is only one final message left to give, it is a simple one...
Reach out. Find help. There is hope. And if you cannot not find it at this time, I can hold hope for you.
Sarah is a psychotherapist and life coach. She specializes in anxiety, body image, eating disorders, and trauma. If you're interested in working with Sarah, contact her for a free consultation.