Breathe in ; breathe out

This piece is written by Danielle LaPorte, and was kindly posted on my site. I am reproducing it with appropriate credit to the original author.

When I first read it, I was too distressed to properly take it in. I read it again today, calmer, and it resonated strongly with me. I coloured it green, because it seems life affirming to me.

Are you hanging by a thread?
It’s hard. It’s wrenching. It’s incredibly painful and it’s difficult to feel lightness.

Or to see clearly.

Hanging by a thread can be really disorienting. What you’re going through undeniably sucks.

Listen to me: It’s going to be okay. You’re going to get through this. You can do it. Baby, you ARE doing it.

You’re getting through this. Right now your cells are plumping up and your heart is beating and you have your breath. *In breath. Out breath.* It’s really okay if you have to get that basic about getting through it.

In breath, out breath. Sun’s gonna rise. It’s going to be okay.

Take encouragement from strangers. Like me. Go ahead. Take it. It’s free and I don’t feel karmically entangled. So listen to me: It’s going to be okay.

This will not kill you.

Do you believe in angels? If you don’t, just believe in them for the next twenty fours. There are a hundred thousand angels by your side.

You’re probably feeling devastatingly alone, like an iceberg drifting. No one can hear you cracking. It’s cold. But, just like an iceberg, you have so much beneath the surface. Years of layers and lifetimes of experience and strengths to call on — skills of expanding consciousness that you didn’t even know you had. You will not sink.

People have been through what you’re going through right now. Thousands of them.

Really and truly. Your picture of heartbreak, your strain of pain is part of the human fabric, and that tapestry is holding you like an Eskimo blanket. Other people have survived this and when they got out of the hole, they left a morphogenic popcorn trail out of the pain. You can trace their steps.

It may be hard to believe right now, but not only will it be okay, not only will you get through and over this, you will thrive again. You will be clear and vibrant and INCREDIBLE.

You will not only have more character to pull out at parties and wisdom to offer the world, but you will feel more joy than you think is possible right now.

You will.

You may walk with a limp. You may wince when you look back (understandable) you may cry unexpectedly in the book store, but you’ll be more alive, and more You. You will be strong. And you will feel a curious sensation of being more useful. And it will feel really, really fantastic.

What you’re going through right now is so difficult.

And it’s going to be okay.

More than okay.



I am absolutely terrified of “loss”.

Most things in life I can accept with a degree of equanimity. At least I can face the prospect of them with a fatalistic composure. Loss / Ending, especially of relationships, fills me with fear. Actually its not the loss, its the intense grieving reaction that I have afterwards.

I think this dates back to when I was 18, and my first serious boyfriend dumped me. I grieved for several years, for the loss of a 6 month relationship. I was literally broken hearted. I told NO-ONE how desperately unhappy I was, because I was ashamed that I loved someone who didn’t love me, and I don’t think it occurred to me that this lengthy, intense grieving was abnormal. I was literally consumed with the loss. I couldn’t enjoy anything, I thought about HIM every single minute of every single day. My first thought on waking and my last before sleeping. Of course my thoughts and yearning were for what I thought I had lost – my image of a stability, a happy relationship, rather than the reality – I made lists of things about him that had annoyed and upset me  (and there were quite a few !! )- but this made absolutely no difference whatsoever to the depth of my suffering. I could not rationalise or think myself out of the enormous well of pain.  My yearning continued through my initial university years, probably until I was 22 and fell in love again. I can still remember vividly the aching void and the pain of the loss.

This happened again when I separated form a more serious boyfriend in my early 30’s. Although we were clearly unsuited for each other, I was not at all happy with him, and I ended the relationship, once it was over I entered another protracted period of intense grief. Same thing. Intellectually I knew it was best that the relationship was over, that I could move on, that it was going nowhere and giving me nothing …  by the end I didn’t even LIKE him much. But I was stuck grieving, keening, yearning for something that I felt I had lost. Bonkers. This time I DID recognise that the depth of my despair was a) ridiculous and b) not ‘normal’ ; but , possibly because I still couldn’t bring myself to speak of it to anyone, I never worked out why I reacted like this, or how I could respond more healthily in the future.

This intense aversion to loss, or fear of going through THAT disconsolate mourning process again, keeps me in situations I would be better off leaving. Or would I  ?  How much effort do others put into maintain relationships that are not making them happy ? With adult children? partners ? friends? How long do you go on trying to fix things ? when do you know that things just will not work out in a way that you can find acceptable, when and how do you walk away ? Or does everyone hate loss this much?  does everyone else compromise and bury what they need in order to ” keep the peace”.

These feeling too I drank to avoid. These hard questions are easier avoided, ignored and not aired….buried in a fuzzy head full of  wine … But they are still there, and one day, somehow they need resolving