In June I was in Montreal watching the Algeria/Germany World Cup game and started chatting about soccer with a local man sitting next to me. After Germany’s victory he asked what I was doing in Montreal and I told him how I was traveling while writing a book about my journey of healing my broken heart. He turned to me and with his beautiful french accent said “sometimes when you are hurt you protect yourself and you miss out on love, fun and joy and good things.”
Yes Claude, how right you are. Yes, you do.
Yes. Yes I did.
It is deeply ingrained in us: be it PTSD, ancestral, cultural, instinctual to avoid conflict.
Fight or Flight. I fled.
I fled my body, my soul, my emotions. I hightailed it out of there all the while armoring up (I’m very good at multi-tasking).
And I spent so much time fleeing and protecting myself from potential heartache I missed out on a lot of fun and joy, of dating, of taking risks, putting myself out there creatively. Sharing my essence and love with the world. And when my heart did get hurt I didn’t do anything about it. Years ago I climbed to Everest Base Camp while sick with Himalayan dysentery. I kept trekking for days, going, digging deep into my physical strength and yet I couldn’t say to someone, “you hurt my feelings, you hurt my heart.”
My emotional strength needed a boost, not a vitamin C capsule more like an IV drip of red bull boost. I needed to learn how to protect myself with healthy boundaries rather than medieval armor so I could open my heart to love again, to show myself to the world as I truly am. To learn I deserved to be treated better and how to make that happen. To stop hiding my emotions and taking care of others before taking care of myself (I have flown enough to know I am supposed to put on my oxygen mask first). I needed to learn to quit settling for crappy treatment, poor pay, chit-chat…anything that was less than lighting me up and turning me on. Anything that was less than honoring my worth, my beauty, my value.
Claude and I talked about seeking happiness and that was certainly a part of it. Deeper than that I was seeking love, ultimately self-love so I could stand so delightfully as me and dance, share, love caper my way through the world as I am meant to, opening my heart towards myself and others. Spreading joy and love wherever I go. And the reason we had this juicy interaction? Because I dropped my armor, I didn't flee. I showed up as who I am. I talked about reclamation, about broken hearts, love capers, about reclaiming your wild and it led to a lovely conversation.
So thank you Claude, thank you universe. More please.