Here's Why Heartbreak Is Currency

The rawest human proof, heartbreak reveals a common thread through the emotional maladies: being at the mercy of a broken heart.

As someone whose healing journey is indefinite, in the midst of all this mending is the most valuable and powerful lesson of all—you don't need to become embittered before things get better. Nor do you need to purposely hurt others in a vain attempt to prove a point. By living and operating from a place purely driven by deeply unresolved animosity and emotional venom, not only do you generate bad karma for yourself, but you further compound everything you can't unfeel and I can't think of a more tragic irony. 

Forgiveness is the economy of the heart. Forgiveness saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.
— Hannah More

An affirmation that has impacted me so much it lives permanently on my left forearm. To remind me. To allow for honest reflection. To channel into a masterpiece. (That last one? The open waters of acknowledging my value still makes me feel incredibly shrunken and exposed at times. Hey, I'm only human.) To keep me where I need to be. To carve identity and get to know myself far away from the spaces I once thought I needed to fit. To continue appreciating the things that don't hurt. To remember to forgive myself, too. (If you're reading this, it's okay to stop mentally brutalizing yourself for the things that can't be undone, redone, or even answered. Want to reverse regret? Don't let the lessons be for nothing and pay more homage to your literal and figurative teachers.)

An open heart is the sole ingredient in the recipe for owning your heartbreak. I know that may sound a bit strange, even possibly conflicting, but I can personally attest to the validity in the remarkable healing power of giving and receiving more love than you resist. While there's a lot that still weighs me down internally—having loved and gotten my heart shattered more times than I can count if I were actually tallying—in addition to being a grieving daughter, granddaughter, cat mom, niece, cousin, and friend (occasionally keeping me up at night), healing is happening to me in the most unusual, unexpected, and small forms. 

Yes, healing happens.

I'm Every Woman, Not Some Sub-Par Headlining Act

I remember cringing the first time someone told me I was a “beautiful woman”: post-shower, naked, and completely vulnerable before her. In retrospect, it wasn’t so much being called “beautiful” as it was hearing it paired with “woman.” Not that I was ashamed of my womanhood or being seen in a full-blown feminine light, but in that moment I realized that I had previously only ever been made to feel marveled at as some kind of core aesthetic. Overlooked, pacified. A mute screen of woman. It was the first time I felt fully embraced as a valid representation of a woman and not hindered by my androgyny.

“My only purpose is to be the most authentic representation of myself I can be. If any or all of what that looks like makes you uncomfortable, I’m not sorry. For some, my message will be lost on. I won’t be for everybody and that’s okay. To those who see ME: Thank you.” 

I’ve been embracing myself more and hiding less. I feel empowered in my skin. On this journey of freedom, I feel a neutralized sense of gender expression notwithstanding the insistence to label me with little to no room for fluidity. I feel secure enough in my sexuality to intimately explore the full-spectrum of women—having only ever dated hyper-feminine women—as my attraction to more masculine-presenting women blooms. This transparency—still one-hundred percent human—invokes a heightened sense of vulnerability:

“How will I be responded to?”

I’m immediately reminded that I’m not anyone’s boxed perception of me—synonymous only with my propensity to leave room to redefine myself, and again. And again.

Why I Stopped Hyphenating "Self Love"

The use of hyphens in “self love” has been resonating on a strange level of irony for me, lately. Love is just as much an individual phenomenon as it is a universal one. Yet I feel we don’t create enough space for it inside. We don’t allow it to radiate independent of social acceptability and our desire to be loved by others, enough. We tend to be great at meeting others’ needs, thus neglecting ourselves and making it that much harder to return to the empowered place where we feel worthy (without validation).

Removing the hyphen, for me, represents the space required to actively honor new and old commitments to ourselves not attached to anyone or anything. space to be better to our hearts. Space to love our bodies. Space to learn to say “no” when too many “yes”s deprive us of ourselves. Space to not allow ourselves to be mistreated. Space to find our voices and to never lose them once we’ve found them. Space to tell our stories. Space to start over. Space to make our own choices. Space to sit with our real selves beyond our surface selves. Space to express. Space to redefine inner feelings of peace. Space to heal. Space to grow.

— An excerpt from my book ‘root’, available on Amazon here.