I’ve had a rough week.

A tsunami of unfelt grief around ending my 8 1/2 year relationship last summer blind-sided me. You see, it has been 6 months since I moved out, and I have been feeling pretty relieved thinking that I got through the ending without major heartache (almost like a Monopoly ‘get out of jail free’ card). However, it turns out that it was simply lying dormant, waiting for the moment when I finally slowed down.

The amount of pain that showed up this week was shocking with its intensity. I was crying almost every moment I wasn’t at work or asleep. Thankfully, along with the support of a couple of dear friends, I allowed myself to be with the pain and let it unfold, going deeply into it as opposed to distracting away from it.

One of the most beautiful gifts from this experience was just realized this morning as I sat down to work on this blog. I now have Heartbreak Confidence.

This is exciting to me!! What I mean by this is I have often felt like I needed to be ‘all in’ when I allowed myself to fall in love with someone. Once I started down that path, I was very loyal to the relationship and, as it turns out, increasingly less loyal to myself. I can also see now with clarity that I did this because I was afraid to hurt again. And so, even though things were not as they should be with someone, I would stay.

In fear of heartache, I would and could come up with all kinds of ‘candy coating’ as to why this relationship was worth a little more of my time. I just need one more opportunity to try and communicate my needs. I just need to support them until they are able to grow. I just need to evolve something in myself (because that is something I have some control over) so I can find just the right door to unlock, and we can find a way to work it out. I don’t know about you, but I read those statements and cringed. And then of course my inner storyteller enters and does a song and dance around how I shouldn’t ask for anything better – most relationships are frustrating for most people aren’t they? Who am I to have big, bold, fantastic love?

There are plenty of people out there TALKING about great relationships, but how many do you actually know that have a long term relationship you would want? Me, not so many. So, Pima (my storyteller – who by the way stands for Pain In My Ass) would create all this self doubt about my hunger for deep, real intimacy and I would keep on staying and operating from the supposed basis of normative reality.

What I have realized today on a cellular level is that I can survive heartache!!

This may sound like a simple statement. Of course I have thought that cognitively for years, but didn’t truly believe it. But today – today I finally GOT it. And the freedom this brings in me is almost breathtaking.

Just imagine what your choices would be if you really knew that NO MATTER WHAT THE OUTCOME you will cope and even THRIVE from your experiences.

This whole body realization encourages me today to boldly go forth and dream as big as I can dream. If I fall down along the way, so be it. If I start a relationship or other new venture and it turns out not to be a good fit, I can reroute at any point along the way. Instead of having to weigh everything out to make sure that it has lasting power before I even take the first step (which, by the way, I’ve realized is ludicrous!) I can go forward with trust that I will listen, take action, and treasure MY life enough to make hard decisions because I have absolute confidence that I can survive the endings of things.

This strength I find in me today is in large part due to participating in the Wilderness Walk.

Not only did I uncover parts of my past that were still festering inside of me and playing a big part in how I’ve been choosing to go forward, it has also given me a set of tools with which to address the present. Most importantly, I found a tribe of like minded people who will support me no matter what messy situation I may find myself in next.

Today, as I sit with the kaleidoscope of possible futures in front of me, I feel unlimited and excited.

As long as I listen to myself and remember I have heartbreak confidence, when the whisperings that something is off start to trickle in, I will be able to be more honest with myself and others so all involved may go forward in the best possible way.

Are YOU ready to feel the freedom that heartbreak confidence can bring?

~ Karen

Walker – Arizona