Heartache. Heartbreak.

Rejected by someone you love. Betrayed by a trusted friend. Lied to by the one person you thought you could rely on. Any of these can cause heartache.

The more time, energy and emotion you have put in, the greater the pain. The more you believed in that person’s integrity, honesty or commitment, the more you are likely to feel that you will never trust or love again. Giving your all can result in an extreme case of complete heart-break.

As a young woman I went in search of my mother who had abandoned me as a child. Although she’d never physically been there for me as I grew up, she had been a daily presence in my mind. She was my flesh-and-blood after all. My desire was simple – to have the opportunity to meet the woman I had cherished in my heart for as long as I could remember.

Nothing could have prepared me for the agony that ensued. I learned my mother had a new family and that she had explained my absence by telling everyone that I had been killed in a car crash. It didn’t matter that I was alive and ready to pour out the special love I had treasured. To this woman I was dead.

Every fibre of my being wanted to meet her and touch her just once. But in reality there was no other option but to give up the search. You can’t change the past. You can’t open a door that is well and truly shut. And you can’t make anyone love you if they don’t.

The question for me was ‘How to heal my broken heart?’

Of course, initially all I wanted to do was curl up with my vodka bottle. Alcohol was my hurt healer then. It aneastheized the torture of abandonment and cut me off from the real world. But it did nothing to heal my heart.

A broken heart results in a broken being. The world that previously existed shatters into a thousand pieces of hurt, fear and loneliness. For a time nothing makes sense. Whatever you had assumed was the case, wasn’t. Whoever you thought loved you, didn’t. And there is nothing at all you can do about it.

Being lied to, led on, rejected can lead to such a fear of abandonment that you put up physical or emotional walls. They may be the only way to keep safe from future threats. Or like myself you can take it to the ultimate level – the fear of attachment. You feel so burned by the world that you detach on every level.

For me it was a terribly dark place to be and eventually I was left with two options: fix my broken heart or die of it. When I removed the alcohol I was left with such a void. Facing the truths of my past were unimaginably difficult. The emptiness I felt at that time was unlike anything I had ever experienced.

With a huge amount of genuine and caring support I gently and hesitantly allowed my heart to heal. I filled it with faith. I filled it with forgiveness. I filled it with hope. I filled it with joy.

Eventually I learnt how to attach and trust. And when anyone hurts me today I can draw on my experience. I can deal with the misery, the anger and the frustration on my own terms. My strength comes from the depths of my scars.

Heartache and heartbreak are part of life. But now I have the ultimate antidote for pain. For today my heart is filled with love.

Top image thanks to Sharon Cummings of the terrace gallery  http://www.etsy.com/shop/terracegallery?ref=pr_shop_more                                       Middle image thanks to Selina Farmer of the Mazzy Blue Studios http://www.etsy.com/shop/MazzyBlueStudios?ref=seller_info&atr_uid=0                                                     Bottom image thanks to Slodive.com