Share: How being heartbroken was the best thing to ever happen to me: Emma Gibbs at TEDxSouthBankWomen
I came across this video whilst I was researching relationship resolutions and skills for healthy partnerships this morning. One of the things that struck me is how Emma Gibbs describes being lost in her life, giving energy to things that had no fruition and isolating herself from new experiences. Also what struck me deeply is how she talked about being focused on “how she thought her life would turn out / her life plan” and somehow the breakup freed her from the emotional / metaphysical cage she created with her life expectations.
That was so me. It reminded me of how I so lost during the downfall of my marriage and 2 years after my divorce.
See I thought I A GOOD LIFE was a string of successes and I had no coping mechanisms for absolute failure – BECAUSE I SO DESPERATELY WANTED A GOOD, LOVING LIFE. Not because I wasn’t accustomed to failure, my entire childhood is the story of epic failure. (a blog post for another time, whew lawd!) Not because I wasn’t tuned into reality. I had no coping mechanism because I was f______ stupid enough to unlocked the mechanism where you convince yourself that failure means you have no value and you are useless. Seriously, I was so dysfunctional , but driven after my Dad died that I refused failure as an option. Then after my Mom died, internally I was failing at basic existence of the soul. I was failing at processing my feelings about failure and how my life turned out to be.
Listen, I’m a guru of failure. I fail like a boss. I fail big. I fail hard. I damn near fail on a monthly basis. I fail at damn near everything when I look back on it.
The only thing I did not fail at was being kind and loving to those who showed me love. That is probably the only thing I am good at besides drinking wine and doing math. Everything else I suck at. Like really suck. Like suck to the point that its comical and makes for a good blog post – periodically.
And you know what… At 45 years old, I’m okay that I’m not perfect and sometimes I just kinda suck – but I know at my core I am a truly kind and loving person who tries too hard, cares too f’ing much and that I am truly imperfectly fabulous.
The more I listened to the aforementioned video, it sounded like this lady knew my life story. And the more I listened, I realized – oh, I’m not a manic nut job of epic failure – I AM HUMAN. Period.
Very few things in life go the way we plan. We have to let go of the life we imagined and enjoy, engage and sometimes scrap our knees off of the many falls we take in the life that is HERE AND NOW.
I look around at my life – usually when either I’m hurting, something bad happens or I’m just in a damn clusterf___. Today, I’m in all 3. Like for me life really does ebb and flow. One day I’m smiling so hard that my cheeks hurt, the next day I’m not managing my negative emotions / insecurities and I’m blowing up at people like a f’ing Oppenheimer bomb. And then I’m in some weird cycle of being hard on myself for being human. So today, I decided instead of being hard on myself I decided to do the following:
- Break the cycle of negative self-talk. Instead of saying you are in a bad situation, you should have done xyz; I told myself – life is messy address the bigger problem. Address the problem and come up with a viable solution also finally learn that you cannot pin up your fears and insecurities anymore. It’s okay to be scared, to say it out loud and hope that people still love you for who you are at your core outside of your fear.
- If you are deficient at having crucial conversations, f’ing learn how. Listen to a few seminars and take notes. Approach this intellectually because that’s where you thrive, throw some real elbow grease at your issues – instead of lamenting aimlessly about the damn problem.
- Life is what you make it and we all make mistakes. You’ll live. Suck it up, buttercup.
- Did you do your best? Yes. You tried? Really hard? Okay, well then it is not a loss. If you tried and you failed, at least you tried.
- Hurt people, hurt people. So when you feel hurt, SAY SOMETHING REALLY FAST AND LOUD so you avoid hurting other people.
- You deserved to be loved immensely until you feel it in your soul because really – you are really f’ing broken but so amazingly beautiful and raw in tandem, you are making a go of putting yourself back together lovely.
So today, I’m doing the WORK. I’m doing the work for myself. I’m doing the work on myself for myself because in the end … it is I who will be left alone with myself. I’m also doing the work so that the next opportunity I get to be kind, to love, to encourage, to champion, to engage, to lead…. I will be able to do it better because I will have a greater and kind sense of self.
Today with my broken heart, I learned something and I’m trying and that’s all that I can do, but that’s a damn good thing. Period.
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