Find­ing Peace Through Heart­break

The Star (St. Lucia) - - THE LIGHT SIDE - A column about love, re­la­tion­ships, dat­ing and ev­ery­thing in be­tween by Sadie Love.

Re­cently, a sin­gle com­ment in a Ted-Talk in­ter­view by BJ Miller caught my at­ten­tion. I don’t re­call the con­text, or what he was talking about ex­actly, but I do remember I had been strug­gling to deal with a painful breakup and there he was, talking about heal­ing and compassion, metaphor­i­cally turn­ing an­guish into a flower - what­ever that meant!

As hurt as I was at the time, I was will­ing to lis­ten to any­one who could make sense of what I was feel­ing, and maybe of­fer a hint of life be­yond heart­break. I lis­tened in­tently as Miller spoke in­tensely about some­thing seem­ingly mean­ing­less— hold­ing a snow­ball on a blis­tery cold win­ter’s day.

“I can­not tell you the rap­ture I felt hold­ing it, cold­ness drip­ping, the mir­a­cle of it all; fas­ci­na­tion as I watched it melt and turn into wa­ter. Just that mo­ment, just be­ing any part of this planet, in this uni­verse, mat­tered more to me than whether I lived or died. [That snow­ball] packed enough in­spi­ra­tion to try, and to be okay with what­ever hap­pened.”

I con­sid­ered his mes­sage a slap in the face by some higher power, telling me I needed to get over my­self; that heart­break would not in fact end me.

“Lit­tle things are not so lit­tle,” he con­tin­ued, adding that all things were meant to be felt and ex­pe­ri­enced while we were alive, and in the po­si­tion to ex­pe­ri­ence them.

“We’re re­warded for just be­ing, lov­ing our time by way of the senses, by way of the body, the very thing do­ing the liv­ing and dy­ing. As long as we have our senses, even one of them, we have the pos­si­bil­ity of ac­cess­ing the things that make us feel hu­man, con­nected, hav­ing im­pulses that make us stay present, no need for a past or fu­ture.”

His words took me to a place of seren­ity: no snow, only sil­ver sands, a fa­mil­iar coast­line and ir­re­sistible cool turquoise wa­ters. Oh, but that snow­ball . . .

“There is lib­er­a­tion in the re­al­iza­tion that we can al­ways find a shock of beauty, of mean­ing in what life we have left. Like a snow­ball, last­ing for that per­fect mo­ment, all the while melt­ing away.”

At that mo­ment, I felt a glim­mer of hope. My heart felt a lit­tle less shat­tered, and his words re­minded me of a say­ing that had to do with peo­ple com­ing into one’s life for a rea­son, a sea­son, or a life­time. I had yet to meet the lat­ter but the good news was that liv­ing, lov­ing, and even be­ing hurt meant that I was in fact rolling with the punches, and would live to love an­other day!

BJ Miller dur­ing his Ted-Talk pre­sen­ta­tion en­ti­tled, ‘What Re­ally Matters at the end of Life’.

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