The birds they sang at the break of day
Start again I heard them say
Don’t dwell on what has passed away
or what is yet to be.
Ah the wars they will be fought again
The holy dove she will be caught again
bought and sold and bought again
the dove is never free.
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in. — “Leonard Cohen, “Anthem”
When a relationship of some length is over, it feels like death. Except it feels worse than death because the person you no longer love but you still love is living — but the relationship itself is dead.
There are no words to magically take away the hurt or the sadness or the pain of this most brutal ending: the ending of a love. But there is one thing that I discovered along the way that can at least envelop myself in comfort as I find ways to nurse my wounds and carry on. And that is faith.
I don’t look at faith as something religious. I look at faith as a belief in the strength that has carried me along this far, and the faith that will carry both of us even farther tomorrow. I look at faith as a quiet knowledge inside of us that we won’t give those who doubt us or put us down or question our dreams and desire the pleasure of seeing us falter. We are stronger than that. We are so fucking strong.
I look at faith as a small burner light inside, and when I visualize it, it grows larger than you could ever imagine.
I look at faith as the warmth of loving flesh pressed sweetly against us from friends, from family, from pets, from children, who remind us how small a part of the equation romance plays in a lifetime filled with love.
I want you to know how much I honor and respect and bear witness to your pain. Because I do. And I am here for you, always. I will stay here for you, no matter what.
We will never, ever break up as souls. I love you. You are love. You are loved.
Please know that part of me honoring your pain is telling you about this beautiful faith I see flowering inside you — even though right now you may not, and so you do things callously on your own. You see, I look at you, and I see you so clearly. I see you without the band of critics and regrets and fears and anxieties that might be jabbering away inside your brain, and without the seeping wound of grief that may be confusing your own sense of self.
I just see you. And you are extraordinary. You are what inspires faith in me.
You see right now, all we have to do is breathe, lay our hands on our hearts, breathe out pain, breathe in love and accept it all.
Carrying around the weight of shame, and piling on further judgment of all our feelings and actions, is helping no one. Do you know what shame stands for? “Should Have Already Mastered Everything.” Let that glide around and melt on our tongue a bit.
I realized you couldn’t just master everything. I couldn’t have either. That’s the maddening and wonderful part of being human.
A professor of mine told me once,
“What if you were to look at the pain and the joy of life as being equally exquisite, but just opposite ends of the spectrum — and to view it objectively, without judgment, you might actually see the beauty in them both?”
When I told another friend this, she snorted and said: “Yeah. Well, I’ve had so much beauty I can hardly stand it anymore.”
Then we laughed and cried together. And there was so much beauty in both.
Please keep going and be happy now, my love.
You’re doing everything right.