Winter is starting to segue seamlessly into Spring. Yesterday, out of the stark seasonal soil I saw Snowdrops sharing their simple white wares with the world. Daylight is lengthening and soon it will be time for daffodils to unfurl from their bulbs – now hidden in the cold, dark soil, to reveal their capricious yellow faces to the sun.
It’s February – the eponymous month of love. Usually at this time of the year I’m wriggling and writing, yet this year it’s been all quiet on the blogging front – mainly because I’ve had other things on my heart and mind.
Basically I’m nursing a broken heart and have been very preoccupied with all my non-creative work… And sometimes that’s tiring and sometimes it’s a welcome relief to run around – mentally and physically, but right now it’s time for me to stop and take stock.
A very wise person I know – a certain guru of mine called Richard Wilkins, has reshaped the words ‘broken heart’ in ‘open heart’ and so, while I think of it, I’ve decided to be open hearted instead. Because being ‘open hearted’ gives me a choice in how I handle this and what legacy it leaves me with.
You see I’ve been single for 6 years, after a traumatic and life changing breakup with my last partner. I went through a lot of anguish after that experience and it threatened to destroy my faith in just about everything I believed in and had worked so hard for up to that point.
But with time and an open heart I found many lessons in these happenings too and my life moved on. It was all a catalyst for so much change. I can honestly say that I never would have welcomed this happening to me, but happen it did and so, now I couldn’t have it any other way.
The most precious things to come out of it all were my first book and the life I’ve chosen to love since. It has taken so long to move on, because it’s been important to me to properly heal and be really ready for finding my life long partner.
So, being open hearted (then and now) means that I don’t chose to be a victim of my circumstances and that I’m determined to learn from, rather than bemoan them. But before I’m in danger of engaging smug mode – don’t get me wrong – I have already done the bemoaning bit – big time…
But the bemoaning, the tears and the lessons were all steps on the path to where I am now…
In recent months I took a series of decisions, ones where I often walked the path of silence. This to me at the time, actually seemed to be the path of least resistance – the one that I believed that would get me to where I wanted to be – someone of significance in someone else’s life.
Alert: If, right now, you are going to bring up the clichés about having to love yourself first (blah, blah, blah) – yes I know all that – thank you, and have practiced it for a very long time; it was just that for me, it was time to change my single perspective.
So after 6 long years I finally found someone that my heart wanted; though my head was often perplexed with its’ choice. Still – I’m stubborn and I was determined to find a way to make it all work.
As a result I made a number of choices, starting with my heart and ending most emphatically with my head – which decided, after all, to end the relationship. And I take responsibility for each and every one of those choices.
Somehow as a coach, part of me feels the situation could have worked out if I’d handled it differently, and that we should have been able to work through the complexities of it all. But I’m not perfect in who I am or what I do and that means that there are still so many lessons for me in love and life, not least because on this occasion I chose to walk silently away.
And so it was that I walked with my heart ‘opened’, into a whole world of pain…
My pain is invisible to the outside world, but vividly colours my inside world instead… And sometimes it’s vomited out as anger and frustration, or else works its’ way through to the surface in tears and regrets, rarely – shared and more often simply solo.
Down in the muddy trough of despair, I’ve allowed myself to wallow. After what feels like a lifetime of fighting and ranting, this time I haven’t fought the pain – I’ve just sat and slipped with it, waiting for it to transmute to truth or rather, relief.
Fighting is hard work and it hurts, so instead I decided just to let it be, to work through and heal in its’ own contusing time.
It was dark in the trough, but gradually the light came in and the mud started to dry. Still, the pain filters and alters and has dried onto my skin as a muddy metaphoric bruise.
The bruise sits on the surface of the contusions below, buried deep into my being. It started out deep and dark and has gradually worn away, changing in colour on the rainbow way to recovery. One day I would be feeling brighter, where the bruise had lightened to yellow and I was glad. And the next day I’d wake up and be in the despairing doldrums again, feeling – one step forwards and two steps back – worse. I’d prod the bruise and still it was so sore. I was impatient to feel pain free, but not yet ready to heal.
But I drank some wine and gave it time. I meditated, I looked for the lessons and gradually the anger melted and the pain started to wane. Finally my heart handed my life back over to my head to make sense of it all, only still to snatch it back when I hear a sad song or have wanted to share something with my ‘once was’ man.
Right now I can still see the outline of this mulish bruise on my skin. I decided to walk away from my new relationship, even though – even now, a romantic part of me would still love to work it all out and stay. But then my head says there’s too much that needs to be different and has made sure that I slammed the door behind me tightly shut.
My heart knows it will have to let go and in time, of course it will. I’m just not ready to ‘move on’ to pastures new yet, as I’m still emotionally attached. So instead I want to celebrate the love that I had, and continue to feel the euphoria rather the frustration. The experience has made me feel alive in so many ways, not least showing me that regardless of the age of the body, (albeit ‘middle’ aged), this woman’s heart and passion has never grown old. I’m choosing to channel that love and energy into other things now – to be an amazing coach and writer, to be a sweet sister, an awesome friend and a conspicuous colleague, all in cahoots with the universe – to do the greatest good and have the most glorious time that I can.
It’s time to wake up to spring and all that it brings – the new start cliché of summer possibilities and the quickening of success, curiosity, laughter, humility, learning and of course love, in all its’ manifest splendour.
I mentioned Richard Wilkins at the beginning of this blog and yesterday I went to one of his events, along with a whole host of other like hearted people. He reminded me of a story he tells that we can be either the daffodil bulb, cold and entombed in the subterranean dark or we can flower above ground, waving our petals in the sun and rain. So I’m pushing through the soil now, ready to bloom.
If I stay down in the dark, I literally forget who I am. I forget for example, that I’ve written a book of heartfelt Love Letters to Life – one which people have actually read and which touches them. To my surprise yesterday, several people sought me out and told me what my book meant to them… And, far from being the bulb, it turns out that I was actually the daffodil all along!
Very soon it will be Valentine’s Day and it’s unlikely that there’ll be red roses for me this time, but who knows? What I do know is that I will be treating myself to a bunch of daffodils – to remind me of who I am and how far I’ve come.
I will finish by wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day – whatever your relationship status. Love is a gorgeous, simply complex thing that manifests itself in many forms – and it’s always there if you choose to look for it.
May you always be and see the daffodils…
With lots of love.
Sandra Peachey – Lifelong Romantic and Daffodil Lover
PS: I currently have a Valentine special offer… You can buy the paperback of my ‘Love Letters to Life’ on Amazon for £11.99 or as a Valentine’s treat you can get it on my website – here for just £7.99 including P&P…
Featured in Psychologies Magazine and The Lady, it was also honoured as a Finalist in the 2015 International Book Awards.
Making a perfect Valentine gift regardless of your relationship status, the book takes the best posts from this blog, adds new content and wraps it all together in a satisfying structure – that will make you feel the love, entertain and enlighten you.
It’s an easy yet satisfying read, which sees love in everything we do in life – from the big themes to the tiny, trivial minutiae of it too.
If you want to get in touch, you can contact me by clicking here…
I’m also variously known as:
* The Director of LifeWork Consultancy & Coaching;
* The Author of Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life and Co-Author of The F-Factor.
* A 2015 International Book Awards Finalist, in the Women’s Issues Category;
* The Winner of a Women Inspiring Women Award in 2013;
* As being shortlisted for Women’s Coach in the APCTC Awards 2014, also nominated in 2012 & 2013; and
* Being nominated for a Networking Mummies National Recognition Award in 2015.