Letters To The Brokenhearted II
To those who have ever loved
When did you feel loved today?
I know you wonder if you will ever reach the place where you can open yourself to love again. You fought hard. You loved fiercely. Time has passed leaving you drained and aching. They lied when they said that time is a healer of all wounds, because for every hour you felt you have finally let go, there always comes a reminder of the love lost. And there is that one question tattooed on the left side of your chest, the needle to your skin that you will always remember: why are we no longer lovers?
How does a tale of two lovers who loved so well one day be stamped with the mark “the end?” How do you live with that mark, when memory will not allow you to forget their warmth against your body, the scent of them leaning in close, the nights you held their secrets in the tissue of their tears and the wild laughter that only had your name all over it?
Time beckons to name you strangers to one another, yet their footsteps are a familiar melody, one you can never forget, no matter how much they have changed. No matter how hard you resist, your heart can never name them an intruder, so you burn with these words: will I ever love someone the same way? will anyone love me the way they did?
You wonder where you went wrong. Open up the files of their memories and ache in question, where did you fall short? You hide away in shame, shame over losing the one person you were determined to give the world for, shame of having failed at your greatest pursuit.
Your love is bold. Your love is courageous. You don’t need to run. You don’t need to hide. You don’t need to tear down the walls of who you are in self-hatred and regret over all the things you could have done differently, over all the ways you could have loved more.
Because, love, you are more.
You are more than your worst mistake. You are more than the lies you have been left believing about yourself and you are more than a mere star that sits closely behind the moon. Because love, you were always the moon.
There is no question about the existence of earthquakes because when you see the one whom you once called lover after months, the earth quakes, splits your ground into islands with chasms miles deep and you don’t dare look down for the abyss that lies beneath. The Richter scale will tell you how difficult it is for you to regain your footing after the vibrations and you’re still left shaking for days. You collide into a landslide and fall to disrepair. Your heart rattles and surges absorbing the impact and you can’t shake off the truth that you never stopped caring, that you never stopped loving. And you can’t help but feel sick to your core that they will never know how much that is, that you never meant for goodbye to welcome the name stranger.
Our ache can lead us deeper into our own needs, a poverty of spirit and humility to take us closer to our Father. When we choose silence we begin to hear the voice of God, the good Father who reassures us, He will not allow anything to be lost.
As Bishop Kallistos Ware says, the person seeking inner stillness is “someone who has embarked upon the journey inward into his own heart; not someone who cuts himself off physically from others, but someone who ‘returns’” — re-turns — “‘into himself, shutting the door of his mind.” Solitude is a state of soul, not a matter of geographical location, and that the real desert lies within the heart.”
In the silence it is safe to ask, safe to empty every fear, every doubt and disbelief. He is the fire, the flames of a thousand suns burning though the clay vessel of your heart. With fire and heat to warm and sanctify and when we acquiesce and give Him permission, then and only then can we let the fire of Christ go through us as he heals others through us and the love of Christ blossoms forth from the death of our silence to give.
But first we must enter the silence:
Reflect on some of the painful times in your history. Can you recognize two different ways you could’ve responded? Which did you choose? What did that choice mean for you?
What is your “unanswered question” for God? What does it mean to you that, in a way, having an unanswered question is validated by Christ’s own experience of it when on the cross he cried, “My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?”
What are some ways that you can uniquely serve because of who you are and the experiences you’ve had?
What is your response to God’s silence in your pain and questions? Why?
You are loved
Co-written with Makrina