friendship, life lessons, mindfulness

When The Heart Hurts

“There comes a time when the world goes quiet and the only thing left is your own heart.  So you better learn the sound of it,  Otherwise you’ll never understand what it’s saying.” — Sarah Dessen

Perhaps it’s just the uncertainty of the sky this morning.  Long drives over the weekend punctuated by emotional family moments that are both joyful and sad.  Certainly too full to be explained without further reflection.  Maybe it’s just a day when the heart has to ache.  The uncomfortable nexus where what we feel meets what we give and/or receive.  Feeling the summer’s departure and perhaps not being ready to say farewell.

There’s a chill in my body that seems centered in my chest that radiates into my arms.  As if they need to stay close to my body and not approach the day outstretched with anticipation.  Sometimes you need to just hold yourself.  Wrapping yourself up in whatever warmth you extend out; trying to retain that heat.  And if one were to ask what’s wrong, the best one can do is shrug, perhaps whisper “I don’t know”.  I’m just aching for what I miss.  And I’m furious that given all that I have, I should even think of feeling anything but grateful.  And yet…sometimes, even Pollyanna sounds insufferable to herself.  Let it be.  Tomorrow I may fly again.  Tomorrow I will marvel.  For today though, I am chilled.  And I will listen to my heart, not diminish its longing or sorrow or misgivings – for days like this shouldn’t be denied, or they will last far longer if ignored.   Time to grab a sweatshirt, accessorize appropriately and just accept the day for what it is.

courtesy of The Story People
courtesy of The Story People

63 thoughts on “When The Heart Hurts”

    1. Thank you sweetheart…I love you too and appreciate the hugs you send everyday. No worries…it’s just a day that needed to be acknowledged for what it is..xoxo, me

  1. Was talking with my neighbor this weekend – mentioned that the wind had picked up a bit and that it had gotten colder. With his old world charm he said, “in the summer we complain it’s too hot, in the winter we complain it’s too cold.” We go with what we’re given – one of the downsides of being human. We feel things.

    BTW – I have a StoryPeople print handing in my office” It’s hardest to love the ordinary things. But we get so many opportunities to practice.”

    You’ve been given the day. Anything is possible… 🙂

    1. I too have a few Story People prints – one that was given to me that says “She placed the world gently in my hands, and said ‘if we fail, it will be a failure of imagination’…And yes exactly. We feel things.

  2. You are my favorite StoryPeople person. On the days when your joy shoots out of your outstretched fingertips, we bask in your warmth, your wit, your wisdom and your laughter. On the days where you feel the need to withdraw and cocoon, those closest to you (those that really know you) want to embrace you and let you know how loved you are. You are a very very special woman, and those who look, listen and feel can not miss who you really are.
    You’re the Best!!

  3. I had that kind of weekend too. Felt like crying but didn’t exactly know why. Considered staying in bed yesterday but I got out to enjoy the pleasant weather. I do mourn the loss of summer. I don’t know why but it always feels like an ending to me. Hope your week is better.

    1. Isn’t it interesting how sensitive we can be to the seasons? How in some way we take their passages and arrivals personally? I get it – I really do. And I too hope your week gets better and better. Thanks Kate..

      1. I so resonate with your words and think of days when I felt exactly as you described. Some of us feel so much, each nuance of the changing skies and temperature, the way the light moves around us, or the feel of the air. Those subtle things influence our thoughts, moods, perspectives. It’s a gift really, even as it brings dis-ease and sometimes sadness. Without the depth of feeling and sensory perception, how would we write, or paint, or create? or express so many things that call to be expressed? It would be difficult. Thanks for expressing so beautifully.

      2. It seems that there are many who respond to the nuances of the day, the mood of the trees, etc and find themselves emotionally affected – to the good and at times to the sad. I do agree though – I would far prefer to feel life acutely, if the alternative means that my emotional spectrum is muted and limited. I really appreciate your stopping by – you have a new fan in me. I’ve been reading some of your posts – you are really a magnificent writer!

  4. I was reading Pema Chodron this morning. I so appreciate your words– ” And I will listen to my heart, not diminish its longing or sorrow or misgivings – for days like this shouldn’t be denied, or they will last far longer if ignored.” Thanks for your wisdom.

  5. It’s interesting, but not surprising, that I am sitting at my desk too lazy to get up to put socks on my freezing feet and a sweatshirt over my pjs. After going out barefoot with sweats to the knee and my pj top, the chill has indeed settled in my bones. The changing of the seasons; one of the best reasons to live where we do, to experience the change, to transition from point A to point B, to optimally have the chance to start anew four times each year. That’s not in our deck of cards anymore and while adjusting to “retirement” has had many challenges, my feeling is that your mood this AM has more to do with yesterday’s celebration and seeing the “kids” are no longer “kids” and then going immediately to the thought ‘than what am I’ and ‘how the hell did I get here’
    (hope that brought a brief smile for I don’t mean in any way to make light of your feelings because, without surprise, they are so congruent with mine. Two friends, one soul). I, too, like Lori would love to be there to hug you. Instead I will try to paint a portrait with my words and envision the sharing of a blanket, while watching a sappy movie, staying in pjs all day drinking hot chocolate – adding some chocolate liquor; it’s always 5PM somewhere – and giggling and nodding with the acknowledgement that even with gratitude we need to give ourselves permission for those days when gratitude isn’t enough. I was thinking of buying Jane Fonda’s book “The Third Chapter” just to confirm and validate that all of us are feeling similar nigglings at our souls. I just bought a magnet for the fridge. It says’ “It’s taken me 60 years to look this good”. I bought it now so I can take the next 5 months to get used to it (and maybe find a plastic surgeon). I met a dear high school friend in Atlanta this weekend. We talked pretty much about what you’ve written this morning. Our conclusion is that when powerful, strong women start to, need to and/or think they want to slow down and smell the roses they must also retrain their muscles, their brains, their hearts and their souls to come along on the new journey. This too becomes an evolution; reinventing ourselves once again. So other than my freezing toes this morning, I awoke with a glimmer of hope that started with “the best is yet to be” because we finally get it; it won’t happen over night but it will happen. The pressure to be perfect, to be constantly engaged in something productive, something that will make the world a better place will ease into the knowledge that we have already done that and if there’s more to be done, now, it will find us. We don’t have to look that hard anymore. I, of course, can be so positive because I just spent the week looking out at my beloved Gulf of Mexico. I returned with a calmness in my soul and the willingness to give myself permission, inspite of all I have to be grateful for there are times I will be sad, but at the end of the day, if this is the best I’ve got – then this is the best I’ve got. And, as always, my thoughts turn to our friendship and I have no choice but to be filled with warmth down to almost all my toes and grateful that here you are in my life – and my dear friend, it doesn’t get much better than that. Sending a cyber hug and visualize sharing a cashmere blanket in your favorite color, sweats, a cup of hot chocolate, soulful conversation and the deep love that only 48 years of friendship can provide. To the moon and back – covered in cashmere ❤

    1. Ah Jo, you painted a picture to warm and beautiful to ignore (especially if it involves chocolate liquer, hot cocoa and cashmere!). Much to ponder in your response – and I will. I love that you spent a weekend with a dear friend with whom you could commiserate and identify, share and reflect. Stay lazy today sweetie, snuggle into the day – it somehow begs to be cuddled with…all there is..<3

  6. Sometimes we just ache. There’s no rhyme or reason to it. There’s the feeling of loneliness that can’t be sated with even the gentlest touch of a lover. We have to feel that ache. Let it wash over us, cry, read, be alone, or talk to a friend till it passes. When it does, we will be ourselves again, and we will smile. The world will brighten and all will be well. Chin up Buttercup.

  7. Like so many others here (how come I always seem so late to the party?) I send hugs also (there are never too many of those) and want to say how comforting I find it…that you share this in between and betwixt kind of day…we all have them and yet somehow we usually feel alone in them. You gift us with validation .I know the winds will shift again..and in the interim, sink into the day, the feeling. You are something else my lovely friend. Xo

    1. Hi know, I hesitated to write anything, for my initial inclination is to just crawl inside myself until the feelings pass – which of course they will. Yet, it seemed somehow that sharing it was the better alternative. Fo as you note, everyone has days like this and no one gets a pass. THank you for the hugs – there are never enough of those, and all are appreciated. xoxo, m

  8. beautiful as always 🙂 You’re so danged smart, Mimi. Love having permission to have a down day. Stay warm and cozy and sounds like you have lots of folks to prop you up. Take care… (I bet if you whipped up a batch of fruity pebbles crunch, you’d be bouncing off the walls in no time–haha, completely kidding. Bad idea 😉 )

    1. Laughing…I would be bouncing off the walls – but I did indulge in a slice of pizza, which felt like comfort food for the day. This is an extremely supportive community of special, accepting people. I may feel a bit meh today, but that doesn’t negate the appreciation for everyone who reaches out with such generosity and understanding..hugs, m

    1. It is good Tina – and I know that even on days when I am not extolling that sentiment. I also totally understand watching a movie with the knowledge that it’s going to make you cry (“An Affair To Remember” can bring me to tears if I just hear the music!!). There have to be days like this too. Tomorrow’s forecast is much sunnier, I promise. 🙂

  9. I fall in love with the heart of the woman who writes these words more and more as each post says what my heart longs to. You have made these days not just bearable, but allowable. Specifically, your words “And I will listen to my heart, not diminish its longing or sorrow or misgivings – for days like this shouldn’t be denied, or they will last far longer if ignored” reach deeper and ring truer than any I could hear today. Thank you dearest SK, for letting those that adore you and those yet to come know…that it’s okay to have an unknown and unbidden day of sorrow or misgiving…simply because our heart says it’s so. It does not mean we don’t appreciate what we are grateful for, blessed with, or thankful to God everyday for…it just means we need this day so tomorrow will be better. you are a very special woman indeed…and NO not biased…just smart enough to realize that you are a blessing. xoxo

    1. You got me crying at 6:20 in the morning WW..I wrote it because I too need to reassure myself that days like this are part of the growing, loving, living that we all do. When I stop and think about what we give ourselves permission to do and what we don’t, I’m often bewildered. I think that’s the point of todays’ post. Thank you WW…you too are a blessing and many of us know it..xoxo

      1. So, as the good Jewish Mother you are…you return the favor at 7:20? Oy Vey. 😉

        You are so right Mimi, and I’m glad you stop and reassure yourself, and in doing so, assure us right along with you…these days are as much a part of loving, living, and (so glad you included this one) growing. Without the awareness that we need to give ourselves permission to have these days…well, let’s just say another guilt-ridden star is born..xoxo

      2. The Jewish Mama rises early – but shuts down early too!!! 🙂 We never grow through our comfortable moments honey – we just sit back. I think one has to be uncomfortable in order to move, switch positions and re-align. And thus, the crappy day was born… xox

      3. sounds so simple, and so logical, yet not as easy as it appears. thankfully, I’ve had some damn good mentors come into my life in the last couple years…learning to accept, embrace, and love every part of life, good and bad, knowing all of it serves its purpose, is the blessing I can now see. Thank you SK…I dedicate my next crappy day to you…with love

  10. i think this is a lovely way to see things. there will be easy days and days that are more challenging. we have to accept each and move on to the next day ready for whatever comes. sometimes it’s harder than other times though. hugs )

    1. Exactly – to deny days like these are to deny that life moves in rhythms and waves, as opposed to a trajectory that just rises. They may not be the easiest days, but the are necessary. Better to honor them and roll with them, than negate or diminish their value. Hugs

  11. Very smart. We have to accept our emotions, lest they go underground, and out somewhere in our emotional China…or worse, our emotional Bermuda triangles!!

    On days like those, I tell myself: “stay external”–realizing nothing good is inside my swirling thoughts. I try to really stay in the manifest world–running, doing errands…out on the patio. Just anywhere but dwelling.

    That’s me. I realize they are what they are…and try to get through that way. Busywork to take my mind off my mind–physical activity to tire out the whole machine…

    1. I too make it a point to notice the external, though arguably I need to feel the salt of my own tears a bit too. Remaining external while honoring the internal – it sounds harder than it is!

  12. So wondrously, achingly wise. Loved this post, which was so enormously resonant. Remaining external while honoring the internal is hugely difficult, especially when the demand is that you do the former, and only the former.

  13. Dear Mimi – I can totally relate to your feelings of the heart. It may be that the change of season and obvious shortend days, remind us of all the other changes we have gone throufh and all the people, places and things that we have lost. When we lose something that we love and/or enjoy we have no choice but to eventually carry on, but those feelings, although not always on the surface, stay in our hearts and memories.
    I was recently telling a friend that deep down inside, my heart feels heavier because of the accumulation of change and loss, and the constant adjusting. I realize that it is out of my control and part of life, so I carry on and let my heart heal. We should embrace ourselves and buy a fabulous pair of boots and forget about the glorious summer until next year.
    Your words are a comfort to me today and it helps to share these mutual feelings to strengthen our souls. I know that you are grateful for all that you have and all that you are. Thank you. xoxp

    1. Hi Fran, You articulated these thoughts far far more eloquently than I ever could. The times to take stock and consider somehow coincide with fall – the trees shed their leaves; we ‘shed’ a certain lightheartedness as we begin to feel the vulnerability that comes with that first chill in the air. And then we realize all the beauty there is in this particular moment – as one season morphs into the next – and all those losses, all those thoughts that challenge us to smile, seem to readjust in our heart – and we smile again. No one is exempt from days like this – they’re important too. Thank you my friend…xoxo

      1. Thank you, Mimi, but eloquent is your middle name. You just summarized and confirmed my feelings. I just love these communications. Have a great day. xo

  14. A beautiful post, Mimi. We have a saying, “going down for the sake of going up”. And what it means is that we can’t enjoy the peaks of life without descending occasionally into the valleys. Those ups and downs are all a part of life. And I really appreciate it, that you chose to go with the down this time. I know there’ll be ups too along the way.

    1. I know that expression well Shimon – and it is true. Though I prefer to think that one doesn’t have to travel to far down in order to ascend once again. These days are as common to us all as the sun – and yes, they pass . I choose not to write about them too regularly – far better in my view to share the moments worthy of our gratitude. That said, I’m glad this post was one you liked – that makes me smile.

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