The Kind of Love that Comes from Heartbreak


This is a short story about how I came to feel even more full on the other side of empty.

At that moment, I was as empty as I’d ever been.

And it wasn’t a bottom-of-the-barrel emptiness, but one devoid of expectation. Emotional charge. I felt like an empty vessel in which all types of possibility could emerge.

I’d suddenly magically synchronistically been able to end the debilitating pain I’d been experiencing, and now felt simultaneously empty and limitless.


I’ve been grieving most of the last 6 weeks. Deeper grief than I’ve ever experienced, perhaps other than a weird psychedelic experience where I was taken by the voices to heal collective grief, future collective grief and then walked to hell to heal that.

That psychedelic-induced trauma was a torturous experience, and strange as hell. I knew it would wear off and so seemed bearable at the time. During the entheogenic journey, I’d had a precognition that I was learning to experience grief in ways that would be important in the future.

And yea, the last six weeks have been reminiscent of that.

When my partner finally joined me after moving to CO this summer… well, let’s just say it didn’t go well. After a few weeks when he acknowledged some of his egregious behaviors, he eventually called it a mental breakdown. Whatever it was, it profoundly restimulated my childhood trauma.

Unlike the profound grief where I was taken to heal collective trauma during that psychedelic experience, which I could watch as that distant witness… which I knew would end as the psilocybin wore off… I couldn’t predict when this would let up. I was waiting for him to return to his normal loving self, to see if there was a breakthrough possible.

The events would subside and we would reach some kind of truce or awareness, and then the trauma would happen again.

And like other times in my life, I knew I had access to tools that would help.


I knew I’d contributed to this mess… through my own energetic resonance with whatever was here for me.

So I decided to take my own medicine. To try out some of the methods I’d been developing for my clients, and create a new reality for myself. I pulled out the magic tool chest I’d been stocking for others.

In that process, I released five huge Core Beliefs (and their sub-beliefs) that I’d been tackling since childhood. Unlike anything I’d experienced before, it allowed me to release the energy of each belief and create a new reality.

I became limitless in each scenario related to the belief.

As I eliminated the emotional charge related to that belief, it also helped him. My partner softened around his own beliefs, as if there was no opposite energy to resist.

The polarity had vanished, and he had no option but to let go into the void between us.

The last Core Belief was about my heart. Before last week, each time I had experienced a traumatic event, my heart would shut down slightly and I would feel the distance, both from others but also within myself. The heart shutting down was a protective mechanism leftover from deep childhood abuse.

After all these years, the shutdown was not so strong that anybody would overtly notice, but it created an energetic distance and also shut me off from my own love. I realized I was abandoning myself in the process.

While I had little hope that we’d reconcile, I knew I needed to be available to help us through the process.

I wanted this to be my last great failed love affair.

I had to walk away with my heart intact, along with true forgiveness of each of us for our frailties.


Ah fuck, though.

In the last traumatic experience of this ordeal, I wasn’t able to constrict my heart at all. LIterally, it was like I had no “off” lever to reduce the pain.

Now I see why heartbreak is often called “wrenching,” which doesn’t begin to describe the simultaneous fiery and vacuous experience. It was torturous.

I put my phone on 911 just in case I reached the edge.

For about 6 hours I literally felt the full effect of that agonizing grief. The ending of deep love. Unlike any pain I’d ever felt. There was no escape but to endure it.

Because my heart was propped wide open, with no way to shut, I had no ability to resist.

As the sobbing subsided that day, as I lay staring out at the oak trees and the golden-pink hues of the sunset, cats nestled in the crook of my legs, I literally felt the warm glowing life force coming back into my arms, then legs and into the core of my being.

And then, I became empty. Just a vessel.

Because I’d had no resistance to the grief, it was done. Kaput.

A tear-stained pillow case and a near-empty box of tissues were the only remnants of those several hours of grief. A small price to pay to be more whole, clear and powerful than ever.

Nothing taken away. My heart was wide open. No resistance through which to lose any part of me.


I watched with curiosity about what would happen next, never having been so empty of grief or sadness or anxiety or…whatever else we hold in our hearts that we describe as heartache.

It took several days for my heart to fill up again, which I knew it would.

Brimmingly full, in fact.

In a nutshell, we ended the love affair that I thought was my last.

While tinges of sadness still exist, mostly I know that I’m rejuvenated by my ability to move on and find joy in the simple things. And, I know that my capacity for love is now limitless.

In fact, after working through one limiting belief after another, I truly believe I am (we are) limitless.

The consequence of being present with the true grief of life, and working through whatever belief systems have kept me small in the middle of it, is that I am more clear about who I am and my powerful purpose than ever.

Perhaps for the first time since childhood, I can literally say I’m intact.

Whole hearted.

And now I fully get it. I feel like I’ve broken the code.

Smashed the prison walls.

Whatever it is that stops us from living fully, from being the wide-awake wide-open unlimited beings we truly are has no chance in hell against the power of this.

Recent Blog Posts

About The Author

I’m the Author of the bestseller, The Golden Thread: Where to Find Purpose in the Stages of Your Life. Download this free audio course to learn about your own Golden Thread of purpose.

I am a purpose activator and catalyst. I warn people they shouldn’t be near me unless they want to become a new version of themselves. That scares some people, delights others.

I’ve spent my life imagining a world where we could all become who we’re meant to be, awake and alive in a way that allows us to express our most innate, natural and purposeful gifts. I’m the creator and dreamer behind the Purpose Flywheel™.

Stay tuned or contact me to get started now.

Emergence Institute

Holly Woods, PhD

ⓒ 2020 Emergence Institute