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Love and Relationships



I have recently fallen prey to this thing called heartbreak, or perhaps I should refer to it in a more literal term: heartshock.  My heart was shocked by deception and lies which ultimately led to a painful and messy break up.  I was struck with sober emotions like nothing I had ever faced before. I wallowed in self-pity. I behaved like a complete lunatic trying to manipulate and control the situation to achieve the outcome I desired. I hacked his Facebook account, I messaged him incessantly, I tried to win him back through arousing his jealousy – I stopped at nothing to try to win this man back after he betrayed me.  And then I realized I was miserable, psychotic AND not at all able to change the outcome or his behaviors. 

This particular situation proved to be a major challenge for me as my heart was involved. I allowed my heart to overpower my mind and spirituality and what ensued was complete insanity. Slowly but surely, I am getting through this as I have many other challenging situations that did not unfold to my expectations. 

Acceptance is always the first step of healing in my life.  I remembered my recent prayers – asking God to show me the way for this relationship. I pleaded with God for months to make it clear to me if this person was meant to be in my life – if it was part of His plan for me.  At particularly trying moments, I knelt in random places, like on the tile floor of the bathroom at work and prayed, “Dear God, I know that you have a plan for me and I am open and wiling to receive your plan. Please show me the way with this relationship and when it is clear to me what to do I will not question your plan.”  But question I did.  In a moment of clarity, it hit me! I remembered all of God’s other plans for me, all of the many times in the last three years when things did not go my way, but God’s way.  God’s way and God’s timing will trump my own on any given occasion. Every challenging situation in my recent past has ended better than I ever could have planned or imagined -there was my acceptance! I need to remember this when times get tough. I need recognize that there will be times when I am sad, hurt, confused, lonely, and angry, but I do not have to DO anything about it. I can feel these emotions, continue to love, and continue to be love, to treat others with love and to behave as a child of God. 

Acceptance opens the gates to gratitude. Today I relish in my gratitude. I have so much to be grateful for and there is no emotion that can rob me of my gratitude-unless I allow it to do so. I share with you my gratitude list. 

Today, I am grateful for. . . 

  • My children: their health, their resilience, their unconditional love, their energy, their humor, their kind and loving hearts, their tremendous athletic abilities, their love of God, their smiles, their hugs and kisses and their willingness to heal with me one day at a time. 
  • My family: My biological family, my network of friends and people who share my lifestyle and commitment to faith, growth, acceptance and love. The people who will listen to me cry over and over about the same hurt, and understand me and love me through it. The people who love and accept me despite my MANY flaws. The people who teach me how to love and forgive.  I love you all. 
  • My job: I am fortunate enough to work with middle school students. There is an energy, innocence and resilience at this age that is absolutely captivating and contagious.  Every day before I walk through the door to enter the school I am greeted by smiling, happy, upbeat kids saying, “Good morning, Ms. Hayes.” They open the door for me, they complement me, they sometimes surprise me with gifts or stories of their weekends, they are polite and caring- they are amazing! I get to call this “work.” Lucky me! 
  • Music: If it was not for Beyonce’s album Lemonade, I do not know where I would be today. Hold Up – that is my new jam! Good ‘Ol Acapella another go to song to get me feeling right in my own head. How about Nappy Roots It’s Going to be a Good Day? Let’s not forget Matt Stefanina’s YouTube tutorials that get me and my daughter dancing together -priceless! Music heals. 
  • Liz: My sponsor in the program of AA. She much deserves her own section on my gratitude list. This is a woman who has truly shown me what the word unconditional actually means. She partakes in a relationship with me with no ulterior or selfish motives. She gives me the words to speak when I just can’t find them – to God, to my children, to myself. She teaches me that I can do this; whatever this may be on any particular day. She offers me suggestions and allows me room to grow through mistakes and self-will. She is without a doubt, part of God’s plan for my journey. 
  • The time to rest my heart: Romantic relationships require skills such as communication, patience, trust, selflessness, self-confidence…you get the idea. These are skills I have not fully mastered yet. And that is okay. Today I am blessed with the self-awareness to recognize that I need a break. I need to fully feel God’s love before I can enter a healthy relationship with a man. The only way for me to feel complete and whole is through God’s love – not the love of a mere mortal. I have a lot of work to do on myself. But I know that today – what a blessing! 
  • My Faith: Sometimes it wavers, sometimes I need an adjustment period to accept God’s will or sometimes I even try taking back my own will for a day or two. With each new struggle I face, my faith gets a little bit stronger. I am learning that if I pray for God’s will in my life, if I offer him my life and my recovery, I cannot, in turn, question what unfolds. I cannot betray God in such a way. He would forgive me, of course, but I am not a bandwagon Christian, trusting God only when I agree with him. I know nothing. I know only to do the next right thing and the rest I will do my best to surrender to God. When I truly let go and let God take over, I can breathe, be present and simply focus on doing the next right thing in my life. 

There is so much to be grateful for today in my beautiful life. I still feel a little bit of that heartshock – a little sad, rejected, hurt and angry – but guess what? That’s okay. There is room to feel that and gratitude. There is room to feel that and still be a loving and kind person. I have to feel those emotions. I need to get through these emotions without being destructive and with God’s help, I know I will.  I will not allow any negative emotion to steal my gratitude- not today. Gratitude kills self-pity, it kills hatred, anger and sadness-sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, but yes, gratitude kills. What are you grateful for today?  



Author: Suzanne Hayes 

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Author Bio: 30-something single mother of 3, on a spiritual journey to serenity, blessed with a love of words, strong faith, and much gratitude and laughter. Carpe diem because tempus fugit.
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