(This may or may not be based on personal experience.)
You’re in Europe! You’re on a trip you’ve always dreamed of. Perhaps you’ve already been to Paris, Amsterdam, and Munich. Or perhaps you’re still in the planning stages. You’ve built up your travel fund to a point where a Euro trip is no longer just a dream but a very real possibility. You’ve arranged for (paid!) time off. Now all that’s left to decide is where to go — yay! Exciting!
But your life is a complete mess. Your heart is drowning in grief, broken and betrayed by the one person you thought would protect it and nurture it and keep it safe. Right now, you’re going through the motions: getting out of bed, going to work. But in truth, it’s just your survival instincts keeping you afloat. You’re treading water; you’re trying — but there’s no land in sight, and it’s all you can do not to give up and go under.
What do you do?
“Go to Italy!” says NaDean of ExploringWanderer.com. “Italian men are the most flattering creatures on the planet. You can never feel ‘less than’ around Italian men.” In her post All the Single Ladies, she talks about how she was asked out 4 times in her 7 days in Italy and flirted with more times than she could count. Too bad she’s married!
See, there’s no quick-solve cure-all for a broken heart. I wish there was, but it just doesn’t work that way. This is a cliché and you’re probably fed up with all your friends good-intentionedly telling you this, but time really is the best healer. Until you get to the point where you realize it just doesn’t hurt that much anymore, the trick is to take it one day at a time. And if harmless flirtation with handsome Italian men doesn’t make you feel at least the teeny-tiniest better, I don’t know what will!
So go to Rome. Visit the ruins and ruminate on the fickleness of life. Indulge in Italian food. (The waiters are such flirts too!) Attend the papal audience; even if you’re not Roman Catholic or religious, the atmosphere of cheerful anticipation as the crowd waits for Pope Francis to arrive is decidedly infectious.
And if you are Roman Catholic, drop by a church — there’s one in every corner. A heartbreak is one of those things that remind you how so much in your life is actually beyond your control. Renew your faith. Ask for help. Reflect on God’s faithfulness.
Then toss a coin into the Trevi fountain and promise yourself you’ll come back under happier circumstances.
(To be continued)