I am sitting in one of those impossibly hipster cafes where nothing has ever touched an animal and the staff are trained to know precisely fuck all. I’m glad I’m spending half a month’s rent for this culinary experience. No really. Thrilled.
I order a drink while waiting for my friend to rock up. I have no idea what possessed me to do it but I figured when in Spain (I don’t really know what that phrase means) and so I ordered a drink that contained the following ingredients in no particular order.
Turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut nectar (please) and some kind of oil (yep. Oil) all perfectly seasoned with pepper and salt. All listed ingredients. Listed! I knew these were the ingredients. I ordered it anyway. What can I tell you? I was trying to fit in.
The drink was delivered as my mate arrived so we had a good laugh straight off the bat (also a phrase I don’t really understand and could be using in the wrong context).
The conversation soon went from light hearted banter to deeper things and as our chat meandered through the trials and tribulations of being a messy scrappy human, my friend asked me a question.
Why Do Some People Heal And Some People Don’t?
My mate wanted to know what I had done in the past year to take myself from grief, heartbreak and a massive betrayal of trust whilst simultaneously bringing my business back from the brink of failure.
What was the difference between me and those who call defeat; who are governed by the grief of a loved one dying (in my case my darling Mum); remain bitter towards their ex and distrustful towards everyone because of one person’s actions.
I very clunkily (I know it’s not a word) answered and in my verbal diarrhoea a few things fell into place.
Since then, I have refined what came out of my mouth into three major mindset differences which separate those who stay stuck in their pain and those who heal. I share them today in the hope that they will resonate with you, or with someone you know who is going through a shitty bit of life. (so please feel free to share this blog).
SIDE NOTE – As this blog forms itself on my laptop screen, I realise that it is talking to those who have ever had their hearts broken in a romantic sense. Grief however is a slightly different beast. The death of my Mum is, right now bigger than words for me although to an extent the following still applies.
Time is a great healer and patience is a virtue. In the latter days of 2017 I would wake in a hungover slumber and for one exquisite second, I would’ve forgotten. But the thundering realisation that would start in the pit of my stomach, slither up to my heart and manifest as bile in the back of my throat soon told me that something was horribly wrong. And then I’d remember. And suddenly getting out of bed and facing the day was the hardest thing any human had ever had to do ever. Over time of course, we find ourselves mid meeting or hanging out the washing and realise with a start that our ex wasn’t our waking thought. Your first thought wasn’t betrayal. Your first thought, second thought, third thoughts belong to you again. And the pain ebbs. The shock wears off and the dust settles – all the clinches. The problem of course is that us humans have constructed a world where time is linier.
Monday, took her for a drink on Tuesday, we were making love by Wednesday and on Thursday and Friday and Saturday… okay so maybe the Craig David lyrics were a tad unnecessary but I’m not even sorry. My point is that time is not a liner thing in any other construct but our own (come on guys, we had to tack on an extra day every four years to make it fit ffs!)
The idea that every day we should heal a little bit more as we incrementally shuffle along a manmade timeline to the end of pain (where you get a medal and certificate just for competing) is bullshit.
We (humans) don’t work like that nor does the universe in which we reside and in my observation those who stay in their pain, expect to see ‘progress’ in incremental steps.
Those who heal understand that the liner concept of time isn’t a measure for healing. T
riggers, dormant energy, outside stimulus, hormones, the swirling cluster-fuck of life, the moon and even a Greek God in retrograde (did I get it wrong?) are all factors which don’t conform to time but loop in a never ending cycle meaning that six months from now you could be walking down the street at 11 am having not thought about your ex once and bam!
Like a truck you smell a scent or hear a song or just have a thought and the heartbreak feels as clear as day, just for a second. Now, if you’re of the expecting-every-day-to-get-incrementally-better-until-the-end-point camp, you’ll take this as a sign to Facebook stalk or even worse initiate contact.
And maybe you won’t but you’ll begin to take hold of the thought and obsess, asking yourself “what does this mean?” Most of the time it means fuck all to be honest. In the words of Frozen, let it go. Those who aren’t expecting healing to be linier also have a firm grasp of the idea that nothing is permanent. Not you, not me, not a feeling. And so as opposed to being gripped by these aftershocks, they allow them to come. And more importantly, they allow them to go and with every release, heal a little bit more.
This brings me to my second point.
The Pain is in The Resistance.
In the early days of grief, heartbreak and betrayal all I could do was wish it was the way it used to be. I wanted none of the events to have happened and spent many a day fantasizing that it would all be a dream.
But of course, it wasn’t.
Acceptance is key for healing.
And pain is always in the resistance of what is.
And finally, the third thing that sets apart those who heal from those who don’t is what turned my business around in a matter of three short months.
Learn the lesson and make it mean something.
Here’s the way I see it.
We are all cogs in a fucking huge mechanism called life.
And the universe shifts things around (we’ll call it fate) and we have no control over these things (other people’s actions, death, the GFC etc).
These are ‘circumstances outside of our control’ (remember the pain is in the resistance) but instead of falling victim to them, you have to exercise free will and choose how to respond to them.
You have total free will over your actions, reactions and the lessons you choose to learn in any given situation so exercise this gift.
I could’ve really easily let the events of 2017 sink me. I could’ve fallen victim to heartbreak, allowing myself to be broken by it.
I could’ve reclused (also not a word apparently but using it anyway) myself, shutting off from the world and building walls to shield myself.
I could’ve made excuse after excuse not to show up, to accept failure and give up on love, life and business.
But I didn’t.
I have amazing friends and during one particularly tormented evening in late 2017 I confided through tears and snot and wails to my mate Kim that it felt like the universe was dumping onto me more than I could bare. Kim said the following to me and it changed my life forever.
Boom! Drops the mic. Leaves the building. Thanks Kimmy, love you!
In that moment, I decided that I could let 2017 break me or make me. That was my choice. But it was a choice.
I am no different from you. I just made the decision to get up and show up, even when it felt hard, even when I wanted to hide.
Not gonna lie, it was the tougher gig. It’s much easier to be a victim, to blame and to absolve ourselves of responsibility. But if you do that, you’ll never heal.
I took my lessons and I created a fucking phenomenal business as a result of them. I now get to help humans all over the planet understand themselves better (I call it being ‘Unashamedly Human’) so they can live wholeheartedly and consciously create phenomenal relationships, businesses and lives.
And now, I get to look back and I’m actually grateful for the events of 2017.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d kill you to have my mum back, but everything else I now wouldn’t change. I’d go through it all again to be where I am today. And my business and I will continue to evolve and grow as I continue to exercise free will in a world where often fate governs. It is not what happens to you, but how you respond that counts.
There are many things I regret in life. Ordering an oil based drink from a waiter who didn’t know how to smile being one of them. But when we apply the three mindset things (eloquent) I’ve shared with you today, regrets are left to the inconsequential things like café choice.
And then we are free to heal, to grow and to continue to be, Unashamedly Human.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you very much for reading.
Love, Em x
PS If you want to know more about being Unashamedly Human then hop over to my Facebook group That Crazy Thing Called Life for free courses and a phenomenal community – congratulations, you’ve found your tribe. Join for FREE HERE.
For weekly blogs sent straight to your inbox, subscribe here!