Lessons Learned from a Broken Heart

In 2013 I got divorced. Gratefully we went through that process as friends but it was sudden, disruptive and heart breaking. I thought for the longest time that I would die married to her.
 
I recently marked the end of another relationship. It was sad but a very different experience than my divorce. I entered into this relationship knowing something that I didn't know when I got married at age 25. 
 
All relationships end.
 
Think of a few typical scenarios: We go on some dates and call it off. We start a relationship and break up. We get married and then divorced. The “best case” scenario is we get married to someone who completes us, live an amazing life together and then that person dies and we are alone, suffering a terrible loss.
 
One of the reasons I’m grateful for having been married and then divorced is I have entered into my new relationships with my eyes open. Love is irrevocably linked to loss and that’s okay.
 
I didn’t know this when I got married. I thought I was in for “happily ever after.”

Through the years of ups and downs in relationships I’ve also learned love is worth it. We’re going to get hurt, one way or another. But, that doesn’t mean I will close myself off to loving again. I’m coming to appreciate the wisdom in Alferd Tennyson’s famous lines:
 
“I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.”


Today, I don't have to run away from sadness and loss. Because I have a meditation practice I can sit and experience these emotions with non-reactivity. This gives me a safe place to process my emotions and start to heal. 

For me, I enter into relationships more authentically and fully now because I know they will end. If I judge my life and my relationships by the way they end, then everything would be meaningless. Today, I choose to cherish the day and live in the moment. It isn’t the destination that matters, it is the journey.
 
Yes, I’m sad my recent relationship ended. But, I really experienced the good days and there were a lot more good days than not.
 
Meditation teaches me how to be present and to experience my life fully. I don’t want to miss a minute of it.

May your practice go well.

Warmly,
Anthony Cernera, M.Ed.
ZenHappinessProject.com