Tag Archives: inspiration

Wisdom Hides Behind a Broken Heart

25 Feb

I once read a reply from an Islamic scholar to a question from a Muslim, and I was torn between laughing and feeling sad. The question was a very practical one. “What to do when your heart gets broken?” To be honest, that’s not the kind of question I would ask a sheikh, but this Muslim took his chances. The answer from the sheikh was “A broken heart doesn’t exist in Islam, because relationships outside of marriage are not allowed.” Then he went on explaining why relationships are not allowed, completely beside the point.
Well, mr. Sheikh, I’m glad that you are so happy in marriage that you never experienced the pains of losing a lover, but for the rest of us mere mortals, this experience does actually exist. I think a broken heart is universal, and doesn’t only come from extramarital relationships. Your spouse can hurt you too, cheat on you, leave you, divorce you and tear the ground under your feet away, until you’re left in ruins.

Ruin is not always bad, however. Sometimes everything needs to be wiped away in order to be able to start over. You might even feel relieved after the worst pain is over, because you realise that your partner didn’t make you happy after all.
So what are some things you can do after your world fell apart?

1. Stay away from your ex for at least 6 months

This might sound harsh and impossible to do, but it’s very important in order to get over someone. No matter how sad and lost you feel, do not contact him/her. Your ex-partner can’t comfort you, no matter how much you want everything to be all right again.
You need a clear head, and you need to avoid being consumed by the hope that everything might be ok again. If you keep on speaking with him/her you might stay stuck in this phase for a very long time, hoping and waiting.
Keep your dignity and self-respect, and don’t show your ex-partner your suffering. You’ll be glad about this later, trust me.

2. Keep a journal

Express your feelings, and try to write daily in a journal that no one else is able to read. It will not judge you for yet again writing that you miss him/her, that you are still sad even after all this time, and that you still want him/her back. You can also follow up on the progress that you made this way. Don’t let your grief stay inside, pour it out over the pages, knowing that there is nothing you can’t write about, because there’s no one there to judge you.

3. Seek support from around you

You don’t have to go through this alone. Confide in your closest friends and family and cry on their shoulders. You would do the same for them, so don’t feel guilty. Their views and comforting words might change your perspective on things, and give you hope for a new start. This is also a period in which you can discover who your real friends are. If they aren’t there for you now, you need to draw your conclusions.

3. Give yourself time

Don’t be hasty. Give yourself time to mourn over the loss of your loved one. Give yourself time to create new habits that don’t include him/her. Mostly we miss someone because we were used to spending time with him/her. They were ingrained in our habits, and they left an aching emptiness that needs to be filled. This will take time. You might feel you’ll never be able to live without your ex, but time will tell a different story. You were fine before he/she came into your life, and you will be fine again.
In an episode from Sex&the City one of the characters, Charlotte, said that it takes half the time you dated someone to get over him/her. While this is a very simplistic view to be sure, it does indicate that this pain will not pass in a week. Do not ask of yourself to be over him/her in a couple of days. Be gentle with your heart, and give yourself all the time you need, even if it seems longer than “normal”. What’s normal anyway?

4. Do things for yourself

This is the time to come back to yourself. Focus on you. Do things that you like and that make you feel good. Broaden your horizon and make the best of your extra free time. You might have been so caught up in the relationship that you completely forgot about yourself and your needs. This is the perfect time to make up for it, and to get to know yourself better. The overall message is to be kind and gentle to yourself. Don’t push yourself into things you don’t feel ready for, but do strive to not stay stuck in the feeling of loss and unhappiness.

5. Pray

Seek comfort in your faith, and let your heart be filled with a higher kind of love and peace, the kind that comes from God. Personally I believe that this is essential to rebuild your life. Stay close to God, and take every day as it comes. Pray for your ex. This is the best way to let go of any angry and revengeful feelings you might have towards him/her. Trust me, it might feel good to hate your ex-partner, but the only person you are hurting with this is yourself. Try to forgive your ex by praying for his/her well-being, so you can let go and move on with your life. Forgiving him/her doesn’t mean that you have to let him/her back into your life. Not at all. It just means that you let go of all the resentment and anger that’s eating you up inside, and go back to a healthy way of living.

6. Learn your lesson

Use this time to figure out what went wrong in your relationship (without putting the blame on yourself or him/her). What did you endure from your partner that you shouldn’t have and why? Do you see a pattern? What are some things that you can work on to improve yourself?
Don’t go rushing into another relationship/marriage before you thought these things through. Make sure you learned from your mistakes. Maybe you need to adjust the type of partner you are looking for in order to not experience the same hurt again. Take your time. It’s not a shame to be single, but a great opportunity to learn new things about yourself.

6. See the blessings behind the suffering

Try to be aware of the good things coming from this change. A painful experience like this will certainly make you wiser. Try to keep track of your insights by writing them down. Be proud of yourself for how much stronger you have become.
Maybe, when all this is over, you might even be grateful for what you went through, because it gave you the gift of wisdom and strength.
Don’t forget to thank God for all the blessings He gave you, even if there seem to be very few.

7. Look for inspiration

There are a lot of works of art out there that might give your heart some rest.
I will end this post with a poem that deals very beautifully with the concept of being alone again.

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

And say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

– Derek Walcott

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Writing Blues!

12 Feb

I’m currently (trying) to write a short story for a writing competition. It’s been a while since I last wrote a story, and I feel like inspiration is lacking. This leaves me wondering: where does creativity and inspiration come from? Why do some writers have the story clear in their head, right from the start, while others have to scratch their heads and invent as they go along? I seem to definitely belong to the second type, and it frustrates me. Of course, no good work is easy, and I need to write more. I know that. But it’s just so sad that in my childhood I could come up with a whole storyline in five minutes, and really enjoy writing, while now it’s bringing me more stress and worries than anything else!
I think I just need to relax, and practice. As the saying goes: “Rome wasn’t build in one day”!  But am not bloody trying to build Rome, I just want to come up with a good short story!

I heard that Hilary Duff published a book called “Elixir”, together with a co-writer who’s not even mentioned on the cover, Elise Allen. Now me thinks that Elise Allen did most of the work, and Hilary is just running off with all the credits and praise. I mean, if Hilary has been “playing around with the idea for a while”, what does she need a co-writer for?
Also, she was a guest on a Flemish TV-show called “De Laatste Show”, and the TV host told her happily : “In the book you mentioned exactly one Belgian, do you know which one?”
Hilary, a bit confused “Did I mention that?”
The host :”yeah, you mentioned him. On page 124.”
Hilary: ” euhm”
Host: “It’s a painter.”
Hilary: “He’s a painter?”
Host: Peter Paul Rubens!” (Famous painter, hello!)
I rest my case.
For the ones interested, here is the interview I’m on about:

I browsed through some pages of the book over the internet, and I didn’t like it. It seemed like a very shallow story, along the lines of Twilight, and just full of clichés. I’m romantic, but writing about immortal soul mates is just a bit (a lot) over the top for me. Yikes, It rather gives me stomach ache!
Anyway, some readers seem to like it, so who am I to judge?
I just have a feeling that the quality of published literature is really going dooooown.
Ok, second try at an objective ending: Here is the summary, hope you enjoy!

Clea Raymond has felt the glare of the spotlight her entire life. The daughter of a renowned surgeon and a prominent Washington DC politician, she has grown to be a talented photojournalist who takes refuge in a career that allows her to travel to the most exotic parts of the world. But after Clea’s father disappears while on a humanitarian mission, Clea’s photos begin to feature eerie, shadowy images of a strange and beautiful man—a man she has never seen before.
When fate brings Clea and this man together, she is stunned by the immediate and powerful connection she feels with him. As they grow closer, they are drawn deep into the mystery behind her father’s disappearance, and they discover the centuries old truth behind their intense bond. Torn by a dangerous love triangle and haunted by a powerful secret that holds their fates, together they race against time to unravel their pasts in order to save their lives—and their futures.

Work Work Work

29 Jul

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.

Martin Luther King Jr.

I am currently doing a summerjob in a company that produces and sells wallcovering. This is my last week, and frankly, I’m glad. I’ve never seen myself as a “company person”, and this job made me realise more than ever that economic life is not my true calling. I can’t work just for the sake of making money. I need a job that fulfills me, that feeds my soul and my hunger for knowledge. Making commands and invoices the whole day is not exactly what my soul wants or needs, to be honest. Of course, I’m grateful that I got the 3-week-job, so I can make some money, but it’s not something I see myself doing for the rest of my life. I want to work, yes. I want to contribute, to make a difference in the lives of people. Is that ambitious? Yes. Is it vain? No. I believe we were all born with special talents, born with the ability to make a positive change, and we should use that gift to the fullest.

As for myself, I love to write. I don’t know if I’m any good at it, I just know that I want to be a writer,  like so many others of course. We all need something to strive for, a passion, a dream. My brother, for example, is very passionate about making music, especially electronic music. It’s not my style, but that’s not the point. He wants to be a professional DJ and performer, and the fact that there are actually already a bunch of DJ’s doing the job pretty well, doesn’t stop him from trying. He spends most of his free time creating music, and performing at clubs. When he makes money, he spends it on new instruments, new gadgets for his electro music. He also plays the guitar, piano and drums. He’s got talent, yes, but that’s often not enough. Still, he just knows he wants to do this, and his determination is an inspiration to me when I’m losing touch with my passions in life. His love for his music pushes me to not give up on the things my heart is longing for, because we can only be happy when we are fighting for our dreams.

I know that creation takes time, and practise. So in the mean time, I would like to translate books. I love stories, and I love languages, so I thought it might be a good combination for me. To be emerged in literature, every second of the day. But then again, I want to help people too. It’s so tricky choosing a “practical”  job that’s right for you!
I’m still studying now, so the decision is not so urgent either.

I’m hoping to be hit on the head with inspiration some time soon though! 😉