Sometimes I catch myself trying to believe that I’m not really scared, sad, hurt, insecure, etc. It never works. Every one of our feelings are valid, even the ones we don’t want to feel. Feel your heartbreak, feel your pain and own it because it is yours. Being an under the rug brusher unplugs you from your power and does nothing to alleviate the pain. The pain will still be there and if you try to repress it, it will fester and erode your spirit, your joy and gratitude. Own your pain, feel your pain and create in your pain because that’s the only way to truly heal and let it go.

At the beginning of this year, I experienced something that unearthed the very foundation I’ve worked so hard to build.

Things happen in life – whether it be a breakup, death, diagnosis, family issue, the loss of a job, friend, money, pet, opportunity, etc., that turn our world upside-down, making us feel like all is gone and irreparably destroyed. We feel like we’ll never be the same and in many respects, we won’t.

So what do you do when the heartbreak seems like it will never end?

December 31st 2015 is a day that I will always remember. I was driving through Beverly Hills after picking up my outfit for a New Year’s Eve party I was going to that night. My phone rang and the bluetooth interrupted me rapping along with Drake; I picked up.

That call would forever change my life.

I don’t remember much of what happened next; it seems like I only remember bits of it in slow motion, but I know that upon hearing what I heard, I pulled my car over, somehow phoned for help and was crying and puking to the point that I had to be medicated.

A few hours later, the girl who won’t even take an Advil, the girl who writes about how to control your emotions and the girl who promised herself she wouldn’t start this blog until she embodied and truly practiced what she preached, was on some heavy anti-anxiety meds, frothing at the mouth, sobbing and back home in my bed, broken as can be.

I spent that whole night crying and no matter what, I just couldn’t shake the heartbreak. My feelings were so raw, it felt like they somehow conquered the anxiety medication I was on. I slept through the New Year, woke up the next morning all disoriented and after realizing that it wasn’t all just a bad dream, I lost it… again. Tears streaming down my face.

The closest person to me in my life had been diagnosed with cancer. My heart, my reason for being, my reality, my everything seemed to be in jeopardy, just like that.

I wanted to abandon everything in my life so I could take care of this person that I love. How could I write about “not getting a call back from your ex,” when I was dealing with this? How the hell was I going to deal? Ya, I’ve dealt with my fair share of emotionally unavailable f*cktards, breakups, heartbreak and relationsh*ts that all but destroyed me (and that I may have gotten just as upset over), but this seemed like a different beast altogether.

I didn’t want to make it about me, this wasn’t about me. The only problem was that it had a hold on me that I couldn’t shake. I had to be there for the people I love most in this world, but how could I be there for them if I literally couldn’t pick myself up off the floor?

A few days ago, when the photo above was taken, I went to my favorite spot in Malibu and I reflected on these last 6 weeks. I went through my social media, I looked through the blog and went through my calendar. I saw all of the appointments I’ve made it to, promises I’ve kept, meetings, flights, calls and commitments I’ve seen through. I really haven’t missed a whole lot of beats since that sad New Years day. I still struggle every day, but for the first time in my life, I saw that I was able to somehow still be completely heartbroken and not only be authentic in my life, my writing and on social media, but I was able to be genuinely present for my family, my friends, for you guys and most importantly, for myself.

I’ve been feeling so sad that I didn’t even realize until this week… I’m actually getting through it.

And I have been all along.

So – back to the original question…

What do you do when you’re faced with the kind of heartbreak that seems to crack the very foundation you’ve worked so hard to build?

+ here’s what I’ve learned over the past 6 weeks… 

  • Heartbreak is heartbreak; Pain is Pain. You know how I mentioned before that I thought “How could I write about “not getting a call back from your ex,” when I’m dealing with this? Well guess what? I was f*cking wrong. I was in such a state of fear and mania, I forgot that pain is pain. After I got over my fears and turned my laptop on, I realized that writing here on the blog was the most therapeutic thing I could do. Feeling this pain actually helped my writing because it put me at a closer proximity to the old pains of relationsh*ts past. Over the last 6 weeks, I’ve had close friends say that they feel bad about talking to me about any of their problems because they feel like their problems and pain are insulting to bring up when my family and I are dealing with the heartbreak that we are. While I totally appreciate the sentiment, that’s ridiculous! Pain is pain, heartbreak is heartbreak and no one is at liberty to say what should hurt more or what is more important. ALL of our feelings are valid. By feeling my pain and allowing it to sink in, I’ve been able to be there for, connect with and continue to help others on a level that I never could before. In the past if I was heartbroken, the most I could do was just go through the motions. Heartbreak and being functional could never coexist. I don’t care if you’re heartbroken because your car didn’t start this morning or you just got dumped or mind f*cked for the 1872361827 time. It’s still pain, it’s still valid and it’s absolutely no different from mine. This is what connects us. Rarely will anything that anyone says make something better, but a connection will. I was talking with my friend, Neil Strauss later that same day that I was in Malibu. We were discussing how sometimes a breakup can hurt more than a death because with death, there is finality. Bottom line – just like laughter is universal in all languages, so is pain and heartbreak. Heartbreak doesn’t discriminate, it is our one common denominator and the glue that holds us together. There isn’t one person (besides babies) on the planet that doesn’t know pain and loss. No one has the right to think that something should be more or less hurtful. The moment I got out of my own head and realized that heartbreak is heartbreak, I was able to truly feel my pain (instead of living in a state of avoidance and doing everything I could to not feel it). I became better at receiving the love and support I was getting and I was able to thrive despite the circumstances. I’ve never felt alone since then.
  • Let it burn just like the Usher song.  The quote I wrote at the beginning of this post says it all. To get through your pain and to be present for those around you that need and love you, you have to feel every ounce of it. Be compassionate with yourself. Allow yourself some time to feel.it.alllll and marinate a bit. When I get sad during my days, I always make sure to take a moment for myself so I can honor and truly feel what I’m feeling. When it’s felt, it can be processed and released. Own your pain and create in your pain. I have created some of my best work during the most painful of times. All of the best songs, artwork, books, compositions… they were mostly all created in some level of pain and if they were created in happiness, it was a happiness that could only be attained, appreciated and understood by the deep knowingness of the depths of despair and heartbreak. Own your pain and don’t be scared to feel your feelings. Let the heartbreak burn. It will pass.
  • Being an under the rug brusher sets you up for dis-ease. If you don’t allow yourself to feel, release, talk it out, read this blog, seek the care you need, etc., you will create dis-ease in your life and disease in your body. Take care of you, nurture yourself and treat yourself with kindness. When you’re an under the rug brusher, you automatically disable your power source and create fear, and when you act out of fear, love and empathy cannot exist.
  • Trauma activates only what is already there. When extended family and close friends found out about the diagnosis, I focused on the reactions and behaviors of everyone. Trauma has a way of bringing up some really funky stuff in people. This is what you need to know: whether you’re going through a breakup or drama with your significant other, friend or even yourself, nothing can ever be activated in someone that didn’t already reside within them to begin with. Nothing. Don’t take personally what other people say and do in this state. Instead, take note of their actions as well as your own. Stop the cyber stalking, analyzing and obsessing for one moment and examine yourself in this state. It’s okay to breakdown.
  • Understand that pain is like child birth. I haven’t had a kid, but I hear it hurts, a LOT. I also hear that you get contractions that realllllllly hurt too. Heartbreak is the same way. You’ll feel like you’re always in some level of pain but then something will come along and it just kills you. You feel out of control and even more broken and scared. Understand that these are what I like to call “Pain Contractions.” Just like labor contractions, Pain Contractions are intense, but if you maintain calm, keep your head in reality and choose not to act upon your triggers and reactive thoughts, it will pass and the regular programming will resume. I sought help when I needed it and I honored my feelings instead of trying to “be strong” and “man up,” just so everyone could think I was some emotional superwoman.

My true strength came from acknowledging my weaknesses, my fears, my heartbreak and myself.

Every time I felt hopelessly broken and like I should quit everything, I would see all of your amazing comments and then I’d open up my inbox and see so much love and it would motivate me to keep going. We are ALL part of a tribe here 🙂 We’re all connected and we all speak the same language.

And that foundation of mine that I thought had broken?…

Turns out, it was solid all along.

I hope you all have a beautiful weekend. xx

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23 comments

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Natasha I know that I don’t know you but I feel like I do. I’ve followed your blog since the beginning and this post was one of my favorite. You inspire me more than anyone I’ve ever met. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Love you girl xoxo

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Just when I thought I couldn’t be obsessed with and admire you any more. Natasha you are my spirit animal! You’re strength and beauty are so inspiring. I am so sorry that you’ve had to go through this hard time and I’m in awe of how you’ve handled yourself while staying true to who you are and honoring your feelings. Wow! All my love to your family member. Please keep writing Natasha. You have such a gift.

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Your timing is amazing!! I’ve been very sad for the guy I wrote you a while ago even until now I still have feelings for him and miss him even if I know he’s not worth it and nothing will happened. I like this post came in at the right time. Also, this post made me sad for the beginning. I remember when she texted me about her diagnosis and I started crying, even if she’s not my blood and we’re not related like you are it breaks my heart especially since I haven’t been able to see her and I miss her a lor. I’m with you in that and I’ll tell you what I tell her, I pray everyday for her to be okay and that I know she will be okay because she’s the strongest and bravest person I know. She has done so much for lots of people that her reward will be making it through this 🙏🏼😊😘💝

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Thank you from the bottom of my heart Paola xoxoxo <3

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Oh, how right you are, Natasha! You are spot on about it being essential to feel the pain – the only way out is THROUGH. And your post really hit home for me in several ways. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was listening to a playlist I had made especially for “K” (lover who ghosted me), a particularly poignant song came on, and a wave of sadness and loss crashed over me, and I just started crying. This was very tough to handle, because my husband started asking me what was wrong, and of course I can’t tell him (he doesn’t know about K). Grieving the loss of K is so much harder when H(usband) is around, for obvious reasons. I can’t exactly sit on the couch and sob over mementos from my failed dream of Happily Ever After with K. But it has to come out and be purged from my system if I’ll ever be able to focus on my marriage again – and that takes time, along with a concerted effort to heal my shattered heart. Music was a huge part of my connection with K, and that’s been one of the hardest aspects for me to handle, I’m feeling the tears start as I type this.

Your post also reminded me of how K reacted when I went through a gut-wrenching, ugly confrontation with H. I was a mess – crying, emotional, raw pain was spewing out of me – and K said in an annoyed voice “Why are you still going on about that? Just think about something else”. This was a red flag, showing me his lack of empathy. Here I was hurting and in distress, and he didn’t want to be bothered with comforting me, because raw emotion makes him uncomfortable – being the opposite of my Soft Place To Fall. He should have said “Baby, I’m so sorry you’re hurting, I wish I could be there to hold you and tell you it will be okay.” And there were other moments like that, where I was troubled by his lack of emotional support. I shouldn’t have to “instruct” a grown man about how to comfort the woman he loves. And you’re right – those moments are the ones that reveal someone’s true character – love is easy when you’re having fun, great sex, etc.. The real test of love comes when we’re not being so lovable, and life is loaded with those moments.

So Natasha, thank you for reminding me of another reason why K is incapable of handling conflict and creating an emotionally mature relationship. Mr. Good Time Party Animal doesn’t want to hear about someone else’s pain or deal with his own, that just brings down the party. He’ll just have another drink and eventually be the Creepy Old Guy sitting at the bar (and at home) ALONE.

One of my favorite quotes is “Nobody ever learned anything from having a good time” (famous late attorney Gerry Spence). Indeed, our most valuable and significant lessons are learned through pain. And that’s one of the few things in this life I know for sure. Thank you for reading this.

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Natasha, you are such an inspiration to women all over the globe. Your strength resonates long and far. Your blogs are my vade mecum. Thank you for sharing your pain, fears, joys, sorrows, wisdom and style. My prayers are with you and your loved ones. God is in control. Hugs.

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Thank you La Toya <3 That means so much to me xoxo

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pain is pain… you’re amazing I’m so sorry about what happened. you’re so caring, beautiful, and selfless! i love you and this blog so much!!

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Thanks Lula <3 xx

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I love you so much <3 ….another amazing post filled with tough love, genuine compassion, and lessons upon lessons. You are an angel Natasha and from what I know you're so strong and you've not only been strong for you but you've been so strong for so many people, whether it's people you coach or people who read your blog. Like you said, it's still important to be human and let the pain burn because when the fire dies down we become even stronger and grow into more beautiful human beings. It reminds me of the Phoenix in Harry Potter (lol)and how it bursts into flames at its weakest and at the end of its rope and is reborn again. Thank you for these incredible insights. xoxo

It also reminds me of this quote I love: "Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars."

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Hi Catherine,

You are so sweet <3 I love the Pheonix analogy and I love that quote too. Thanks so much babe xoxo

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I am so sorry for what you and your family are going through. I hate cancer! Please know you are loved and thank you for still giving to your readers while you yourself are suffering. Everything you have said is so very true. I believe I started having panic attacks because of holding in feelings, trying to be strong all the time will kill us! You are in my thoughts and prayers Natasha!

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Thank you so much for the love Melissa <3 xoxo

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My tears just won’t stop rolling down my face, but still I feel this inner joy in knowing I’m on the right path of wholesome truth. A thank you isn’t enough, but I am limited to words. So, THANK YOU!

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Thanks Julia <3 xoxoxoxo

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Natasha, nothing I say on here has not been said before. You are such a blessing to all of us, and I want to hug you and thank you for reminding us all that we are only humans. Just so so much gratitude for what you are and what you do. I wanted to share that just a few days ago, I fell from my in-control-of-my-feelings-state and I am now feeling the ALL-TIME LOW again fighting the urge to re-connect with my ghoster at work. The pain is coming directly from his ghosting actions. The fact that he consciously makes the effort to avoid me, that he pretends to look the other way when I am just five inches away from him, the fact that he lets me pass him by without so much as a “hi”, the fact that he keeps checking on the times I go for breaks (so he won’t bump into me when he goes for his), these kinds of actions that makes me feel like s*it. .. It’s one thing to decide to ghost someone, but this is a whole other level of absurdity if that person is taking consistent RISK-CALCULATING EFFORTS in order to SUCCESSFULLY GHOST someone. That is just so inconsiderate. As all of this has a cumulative effect on me, the pain just becomes more and more (even though I tried to remedy it by self-love) and now, I start to think that re-connection is a means to an end. Am I losing my marbles? I am still weighing this one out, appreciate any thoughts on this. Thanks Natasha and thanks PMS contributors! xox

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Jamie, my gratitude is endless <3

I totally know what you mean and how you're feeling and no you're not losing your marbles at all. The thing is, if you reconnect, it may feel like it "makes sense" to do so, but you will ultimately be doing so at the expense of your self respect and destiny. Implement boundaries and rely on them to protect you.

xoxoxoxo

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You are an earth angel . Thanks for helping getting us through our lowest lows. I’m honored to be apart of your online sisterhood and to know you. Your beauty resonates equally inside and outside. Sending so much love and hugs your way to you and your fam.

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Right back at you Bria <3 Thank you sister. All my love and support to you too, always. xoxoxoxo

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Beautiful Natasha

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Thank you 🙂

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You are like everyone’s agony aunt 🙋🏿😁, now it’s time for us to be here for you! Your wise words and experiences have helped me and so many others through so much heartache.

It’s so sad to hear about your family matters and I am so sorry to hear about this Natasha ☹ we are here to keep you going and make you stronger girl!

Love Liv
🙋🏿💋💋

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Thank you so much Liv <3 That means so much to me. Love u soul sister xoxo

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