The Art of a Broken Heart
by Laura Lombardi

Step 1:

Realizing that it’s over.  It’s happened before, but this time, it’s real.  How did it happen so fast?  Why didn’t you stop it sooner?  You were so close to ending it.  You just needed to say one more thing, have one more talk, try one more time… but you know that wouldn’t have changed anything.  Those words wouldn’t have made a difference, because everything else is different now.  There’s someone else.  You feel like someone else, not the person you saw yourself as.  How could you let this happen?  Why does it hurt so much?  Is it really happening?  Oh, wow, this is really happening.  It’s over, and things were just getting good… well, they were supposed to…

Step 2:

Crying.  Bawling…  Sniffling into your pillow and getting mascara smudges all over it.  You feel so broken, so under-appreciated.  You were lied to, deceived, belittled.  You were made to believe there was a chance, while being shown there wasn’t.  Damn your heart for closing it’s ears when logic tried to warn you what was going on in the real world.  You feel stupid, ashamed, like you’ll never learn your lesson.  What’s wrong with you?  You lose. They win.  You care.  They don’t.  Why are you still crying?  Wahhhhhhh.  Meditation doesn’t help.  Nothing anyone says makes you feel anything but the urge to punch them for telling you things you already know and for assuming it’s that easy. Bon Iver plays in the background as warm tears swarm your cheeks – and you allow them to run freely.

Step 3:  

Fuck him.  How dare he do this to you and act like nothing happened.  He sucks.  You rule.  He may have someone new, but you are someone new… And that someone is so much better because He isn’t around to bring you down.  You have shit going on.  Like going to yoga and getting over him.  You have so much to offer, what was he thinking?  He’s not even cute!  He has nothing going for him – you were the one reminding him of his true potential!  Oh, shit.  You did it again.  You played the fixer upper role.  Well, he’ll be sorry when it dawns on him that he misses you and you will NEVER talk to him again.  Like EVER.  Seriously, you cannot ever talk to him again, ok? 

Step 4:

Things are looking up.  The sun is shining again, the flowers are blooming and you’ve washed those pesky mascara marks off your sheets.  You haven’t text him since those last two times he didn’t respond… and you don’t even want to! It’s like nothing ever happened.  Yoga was amazing this morning – look at you being all productive and fit.  Your whole week is booked.  Shoot – you were supposed to do dinner with what’s their face this week!  Looks like you’ll have to push it to next week.  You’re back with a vengeance.  You’re smiling on the inside – finally!  Thank goodness that whole burning in your chest, can’t sleep, eating all the tacos and chocolate phase is over! Phew. What the…. He posted a picture of them on Facebook?!

Step 5:

Delete him from FB. And Instagram. And his number from your phone. (Keep the texts so you have his number just in case you change your mind and want to text him tomorrow to tell him that he should never contact you again.)  Post a really great picture that makes it seem like you’re doing amazing.  Order pizza and your best girl friend, she’ll bring the wine.  Feel worse than you did in steps 1 – 3.  Hate him more than ever.

Step 6:

Go through the timeline of your relationship, or lack thereof, to figure out where things went wrong.  Was it that one time you told him to get the corn tortillas instead of the flour ones?  Did that make it seem like you didn’t trust him and thought you knew more than him?  Maybe you were just too available… AGAIN.  How do you always manage to fall into the same patterns.  You know better.  How the hell does this happen every single time? You vow that next time you will remember how much this hurts and change the cycle.

Step 7:

You do something for YOU. You book a trip he never took you on. Take a class he made fun of you for wanting to take. Buy that dress he hated. Move to that city he never wanted to live in. And think of him through the entire process. Then try to stop thinking about him.  Think of him even more.

Step 8:

Have a girl’s night. Dance. Laugh. Meet cute boys.  Get a text from him that says he misses you.  Feel validated! You knew it! Spend the rest of the night in the corner texting with him, much to the dismay of all your friends. Wake up the next day to a text from him saying he is glad you guys can be friends… And P.S. that he is back with her. Feel your heart drop and your cheeks burn. FUCK THAT GUY.

Step 9:

Stalk his social media.  Stalk her social media.  Stalk everyone that has anyone to do with them on social media.  Make up all kinds of scenarios about all the things they are doing that he only has the capacity to do because you opened him up.  Think of all the things you want to post so people know what a total dick he is.  Call someone to talk you out of it.  Give yourself a deadline and decide from then on you will let go.  You will stop investing your precious time into the ghost of a good thing and move on.  You will get back to your routine, even if some of the things are still inspired by him.  As long as they make you a better you, you allow yourself that motivation and know eventually it will be replaced by something else.  You don’t judge yourself when thoughts of him come up for the next few months.  They become less and less frequent and finally you feel ok again.  You still don’t feel stoked about the situation just yet, but you it’s not keeping you up at night anymore.

Step 10:

Sit home alone on a Friday night listening to Feist on vinyl in a silk and lace robe eating vegetable stir-fry with a mud mask on.  Feel grateful for how happy you (finally!!!!) are.  Not because of anything, but just at your deepest, truest core.

You look back and realize how silly steps 1-9 were. How extremely immature you were.  How embarrassing it was that you – this confident, amazing, sexy woman – acted so irrational. How painful and frustrating it must have been for your friends to watch you behave like that.

You also understand that each and every one of those steps lead you here to this place of freedom.  Yes, maybe some of those steps could have been avoided if you had a bit of a better map – but even after that slight detour they got you where you needed to be.

You see clearly how all of the nonsense helped you release the energy that was no longer serving you, so you could let go. You look at how much you’ve learned. You realize how much you’ve grown.  You’re aware of how much more you still have to learn and feel much better just knowing and accepting that fact.

You can now see that he wasn’t an asshole after all. As hard it is to admit it, you knew deep down that ultimately it was never going to work. It was you that stuck around even though you knew it was a bad idea.  It was you that set no boundaries. It was you that sold yourself short.  It was you that invested so much of yourself into him, that it made you feel like he owed you something. It was you that ultimately wasn’t quite ready yet. 

You bask in how damn good it feels to know that it was also you, and the amazing resilience of your spirit, that has gotten you to this place of peace because you have forgiven the person who you were angry with… Yourself. You smile knowing that you are an even better you thanks to it.

You take another sip of your rose tea and smile at the text you got from the new boy.  You think of how easy it could be to forget all of this new insight when your heart takes over again, but find comfort in knowing you will always end up here… Grateful, a little stronger than you were before and armed with waterproof mascara, just in case.


Laura Lombardi

Laura is an insatiable world traveler and adventurer. She has most recently explored New Zealand, Bali and Nepal studying ancient texts and learning from locals. She currently resides in NYC where she strives to apply those teachings as well as the many lessons she has learned from Sex and the City.

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