Discover more from Headspace by Christian Ray Flores
What took me from heart-break to heart-fullness
The Five Things That Mattered Most
I was 26 and heartbroken. This breakup was different because it involved a baby. My daughter Diana was to grow up in a broken home. Just like I did, and my mother before me. Three generations of broken homes felt like a curse. On the outside, I was riding high on a series of top 10 hits as a pop artist. I was playing large venues to tens of thousands of adoring fans. With girls in 15 countries in Easter Europe knowing my name, loving my music, and hanging posters of me on their walls - getting a date was not a problem for me.
The heartbreak came from my seeming incapability to build a family.
I have now been happily married for 23 years and have three lovely daughters whom I adore. My wife tells me that some men need a team, others a fan club. Apparently, I needed a fan club long after I left show business to pursue other callings.
I am a very happy man.
I am writing this to those with a broken or bruised heart.
This too shall pass.
It always does; just don’t let a perfectly good crisis go to waste. Use this pain, channel it, grow from it, and don’t shrink from it. I want to share, in no particular order, what mattered the most in my journey to reach long-term heart-fullness. We all want this but tend to leave it to “chance.” We spend countless hours and small fortunes on educations that we may never use and don’t bother to invest in learning love as a skillset.
It’s never too late to start. So here goes:
Faith matters - two flawed humans can thrive if they both yield their lives to a purpose higher than themselves. I recently discovered that the word surrender ( commonly used in the Christian vocabulary) is never or rarely used in Scripture in relationship to God. You surrender to an enemy, but you yield to your King. Being under the protection, provision, authority and guidance of Jesus - is by far the most important factor in our heart-fullness as a couple.
Chemistry matters - Deb and I had instant chemistry. By the end of the week - I knew she was the one. The more profound question is why? I submit to you that our Hollywood movie chemistry was the fruit of years of rewiring our understanding of love, relearning what to look for in a potential partner, and rebuilding our social ecosystem. Change your inner game, and your outer game will follow. This brings me to the how of that.
People matter - both Deb and I had expert guidance for years leading up to our magical encounter. We treated our mentors as coaches, not casual advisors, to keep in the loop about what was going on. I cannot overstate the importance of this. A big part of why both Deb and I coach other people is a deep sense of gratitude and experiencing the transformative power of applied wisdom. From long before we met to today, we invest in, love up on, and listen to dear friends and guides in our life.
Resilience matters - both Deb and I had failed in love many times, learned and grew from it, and had demonstrable resilience skills. Marriage and parenting are by far the most challenging things you’ll ever be called to do. I recently spoke to a Team 6 Navy Seal who said the same thing. Here’s my advice - don’t date, court, and never marry someone with no resilience skills. Don’t develop an interest in someone who folds, gives up, or shrinks when faced with suffering. Just don’t.
Rhythms and Rituals matter - life always trends toward chaos. Our ability to create order is central to human flourishing. Shared rhythms and rituals are the backbone of a flourishing family. Here’s a far-from-complete list of our rituals. Daily prayer, meals together, weekly sync-up times, weekly dates, time with friends, Sabbath rest, and Sunday worship. We also have monthly, quarterly, and yearly rhythms. These are all order-creating, nurturing, restorative practices that, in concert - produce the rich harvest of a happy life.
You can, and you will be heart-filled after being heart-broken.
Start by shifting your perspective and ask the right questions - it’s not your luck, it’s not a curse, and it’s not the guy ( girl ) that brought on the heartbreak. Not really.
May this heart-break be just another step towards learning how love, the most treasured thing for all of us, actually works as a skill.
You can and will learn it, and you will thrive.