part v: the miraculous better.

user's manual

Well, hello there. No need for apology, by the way. We knew it would take you some time to get to this section of the manual. You have a tendency to read closely at the beginnings of things, then to lift off, as though you’ve got a good grip on where things were headed. Very ‘I’ll take it from here!’ of you.

Oh, no need to huff. We don’t mean to make light of what’s going on with you. It’s just that we knew we’d find ourselves here, or –– more accurately ­­ –– that you’d find yourself here. What you’ve just experienced, reader, and the reason you’re staring these words in the face, is what we’d like to term ‘the miraculous better.’

After the initial shock of a broken heart wears off, you may note, and the stubborn-ass steps become a bit less heavy, it is common for the possessor of a broken heart to break into a sprint. ‘I’m ready to date,’ they might tell themselves, venturing into the online dating world with a fetching new profile picture, or ‘that’s quite enough wallowing.’ The phase that follows, marked by a kind of euphoric joy, is the miraculous better.

You had time to sit with your pain, reader, and you made meaning. You sorted through it, pulled it apart until you comprehended its edges, and you reassembled it into meaning. You found the lesson, as it were, amidst the parable. Using your words, you felt your feelings unfurl. And so, like a mud-caked child rinsed by an ocean wave, you felt cleansed. ‘Why continue to dwell?’ you asked yourself, and so you embarked.

And now you’re back. As it turns out, there is a marked difference between feeling ready and being ready.

You have learned, much to your chagrin, that you can’t really control the tempo of a healing process. There’s no number of ‘hell-yeah-I’m-fine’ playlists, you have discovered, that will erase the tear you feel within whenever you remember his laugh. You’re wounded, flightless, and you’re going to have to move through all chapters of this journey.

Resist feeling foolish. This is a time, if you haven’t gathered already, to be gracious to yourself. The road to healing will be lined with missteps, and this isn’t really a time to berate yourself for that. (There are very few, if any, times to berate yourself, by the way. This warrants mentioning, though it is a much larger lesson requiring a manual of its own.)

So, if you will, work to unravel. Work to stop bunching in the bundles and pretending you’re weaving yourself together. Take the time to love each stitch, each suture, and run your fingers over the beauty of these new scars. You will not learn to love again, we suppose, until you’re certain you are worth loving, too.

Another thing: You can, and will, turn these scars into stars. Trust us. Or, maybe better: Trust yourself.

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