It has been a year since the most impactful breakup of my life -->The one that cracked me wide open.
What was left after it was the invitation to grow and explore and push into more of my Self; the deep resounding call, resonating, as life as I had known it began to burn and peel away in all directions.
I was raw, left totally exposed in all of my insecurities. Wondering so often: "Where do I go from here? If this wasn't the love of this lifetime, what is? Will I ever stop feeling this pain?"
A little over a week after the ending, I found myself sitting with a group of women, in a goddess circle. This was my first circle, and every single one of them was a new face and energy for me.
I did not know the facilitator. I just knew I was where I needed to be.
What a powerful container.
We were women of all ages and all walks of life, meeting to share on the themes of love and creativity, and we were working with goddesses, inviting their energies into our hearts and solar plexuses. AND, we all were moving through a big ending, all of us freshly having moved into a heartbroken state, and totally unsure of anything when it came to love and creativity for the future. It was totally synchronous that every one of us there was navigating the pain and loss caused by a recent breakup. We were totally united in our pain, in our voices expressing it, and our desire to hold each other up and remind each other of who we are and who we will be.
It was POWERFUL, beyond. And it set off a series of cathartic breakdowns that I would experience over the next year. Most of these, I had in front of more women that I did not know prior to. Indeed, after crying and hitting the bottom of my pain, while also discovering my joy and sisterhood with this first group, a big something got knocked loose within me. And that was the momentum that led me to other conversations, groups, and witnesses who were able to hold me up in my pain of all kinds throughout this past year.
Sounds like Hallelujah.
When I say I experienced cathartic breakdowns, I truly do mean it. Twice was in an online women's circle. Women's circles are something we feel a calling to join. There are different ones, led by a myriad of facilitators, and they all honor different intentions and different ways to experience the Self and others. And they are what we, as sisters sitting in them, make them. If we are willing to bring all that emotional energy and crack open to it within the presence of others, the container becomes more powerful. The effects of this are immediate. Once someone makes the dive into a really deep share, it can be felt in everyone else. The shift is palpable. Suddenly, we are so deeply connected to our Selves, and to whomever we are witnessing.
Of course, an opening of this nature, or a cathartic breakdown, as I am calling my own experiences, can happen anywhere. And if you are committed to showing up for the work and for your process, they will. Once, I was sitting at the kitchen table at a friends house, talking to her sister in-law whom I was just getting to know, and was so overcome by her story that I just started weeping in front of her. Something in her share stirred up a whole wave of emotion in me and I felt myself in her words.
She also did something beautiful to hold me up. She was my witness. And she held me softly and so gently. It was a powerful way to connect. And when you are ready for them, you will draw these people to you. And you will know you do not need to be afraid to share all of what you are experiencing, in your body, mind, and heart. If you are having trouble letting go, someone will be there to affirm that you can, and you will.
The warrioress rising.
I have to say this about big emotional release in front of others, especially strangers: they are healing in ways we may not have even known we needed. One way we may be showing up that is actually an unhealed piece of us looking for attention is the need to feel emotionally "in control", or presenting ourselves as "having it together". Some of us spend a lot of time cultivating this sort of presence when it really is the very farthest thing from our emotional and bodily truths. I know, because I have been there. In fact, for a long time in the beginning of my last romantic partnership, I cultivated that facade in every interaction with my partner. Was it up-playing some of my more high vibe traits? Yes. Was it truthful to how I felt, thought, and experienced myself and him at the time? No. Not at all. I was "holding it together" (i.e. holding it in, holding back, playing certain things up, etc.) to hold our container together because I was afraid of opening up to who I really was. I was afraid of how he would react to the "real" me. Why?
Because I am messy at times. And you are, too. That's because we are human.
I showed up messily to a women's circle, and, as I used my trembling voice that was expressed through a fight with tears, every single woman in the space was raising her hands in healing and surrender, offering an "amen", and nodding their heads. Talk about being seen, heard and felt. There was no doubt that these others absolutely Knew where I was and had visited those feelings, emotions and scenarios in themselves before, probably more than once, in an intimate way. Sounds like Hallelujah.
Breakups, whether they are outwardly messy or not, are in some ways consistently messy on the inside: There is a lot to sort through, move through, move up, move out, when we end love and patterns of attachment. It hurts like hell. That pain is difficult to stay with for many of us. And I am so grateful that I had access to community during the first few weeks after the relationship ended. Holding it all up and moving through it on my own would've been excruciating almost to the point of unbearable. I had women in my life who had been through love lost, and were able to sit with me, or remind me that I was going to come out of this better than when I went in. They encouraged, said nothing verbally and instead used their bodies and energy, hugged, held, and offered me affirmations.
Because we need that sometimes. Especially when the void of an ending feels so big and so painful that it threatens to swallow us if we don't find someone to help us hold on to the light that feels so far above. Friends or new energies, the result is the same: something we needed comes back to us. In the light and space of the group, of loving others, we re-member something about ourselves and our experiences.
When we meet during a time of a broken or broken open heart, it is the power to be vulnerable that makes the circle or shared space so deeply powerful and transformative. It's ok to be a little nervous at first, and to not know exactly how it will be is perfectly normal. Every circle is different, because every group creates synergy in a way that only that blend of these energies brought together can. The intention and willingness to push past that into the deeper layer of the Self who needs a loving witness, or a hand to hold, or a sacred mirror held up, that is where the magic is. No matter how much pain we find ourselves in, when we show up for the circle, we know the circle can hold it. It is unbreakable. There is some magic there that is palpable, if not visible. It can hold us. All of us. All of our tears, shakiness, sadness, confusion, grief, and everything in between. It can hold our joy and memory, it can hold me, and it can definitely hold you.
In a circle, we unite in that desire to serve our healing process that is unique and beautiful to each woman. Amen.
So, if you are going through a breakup of any kind, no matter where you are in your process or how long it has been since the ending, there is space for all of it. Join a women's circle, join our Breakup Recovery Circle . You will find so much more than you can imagine. And something you haven't felt in awhile will come back to greet you and remind you, prod you to re-member, that you are the healer, healing, and the warrior, rising. Awen.