When my dear friend Alexis Hyde first told me she was the new director of The Museum of Broken Relationships in Los Angeles my heart skipped a beat: this was big huge art!
The artifacts of breakups and broken hearts, the stories, the details, the memories… all donated so that heartbreak could become art. In my feng shui mind that meant things like: transformation, space clearing, catharsis.
And… when I visited, here’s what happened.
I walked in with a donation in my hands. A bittersweet moment. A real eternal love that did what many great soulmate situations do: tore me to absolute shreds only to rebuild me better afterward. It was a small thing in my hands. A something I promptly handed to Alexis and promised a story about. It’s a story I still haven’t written.
Things that linger long after they are welcome can reflect themes that linger in your heart or your mind.
Above, you can see the mirror that the former owner believes played a role in the breakup of her 9 year relationships. He got famous and left, she lives with two cats, and now, no more mirror. In fact, she tried to donate the mirror to a neighbor but it was returned to her after his relationship also promptly broke up. She donated the mirror to the Museum so that she could regain hope and new love in the future.
Her story struck such a chord, and it’s one of like a hundred on display.
I saw a wedding dress in a jar. A pickle jar. Smushed in there and sealed tightly. Her almost-husband who pushed for marriage suddenly changed his mind. “Probably” didn’t love her any more. So the dress made it’s way into a jar, then, finally out of her house.
Do you have this stuff lingering in the corners of your life?
They could be not actually holding you in the past, but, rather, reflecting the past that still has a hold on you. It’s not that every object or photo will pin you to the past… but, I recall a boyfriend who held onto a tomb of old love memories displayed everywhere, stuffed all over the place… everywhere… and couldn’t understand why I always felt ill at ease, like there was just no space for me anywhere with the past looming everywhere.
Objects do have so much power.
Denying the power of objects to trigger memories is counter to all we know about the brain and it’s mysterious powers so far. Simply seeing objects from the past triggers the past. It’s why we feel so good around the comforts of home and have a hard time parting with a favorite chair or sweater or, in my case, crocheted blankets from my godmother that I will have with me forever.
(Image courtesy of the Museum of Broken Relationships)
From instruments to rolls of film discovered and developed long after a relationship ended, costumes to bras to a salad spinner, so many memories, so much history and this common thread…
These relationships were broken.
But the love wasn’t really broken.
Clearing the objects helps break the negative attachments. The heartbreak. The persistent absense.
Love is what binds us together, after all.
And that love isn’t simple at all.
Not one story was the same. Not one heartbreak looked like another.
At the end was a big book in a Confessional area. It’s a private space to sit and let things go, writing on the journal pages. I read everything from curses to tears… and wrote something special to someone I may never see again. And something for others I know for sure I’ll never see again in this lifetime.
It’s all the same though. Whether you see people or not…does real love ever go away? I don’t think so. I know we can do so much to transform it in our own ways: clear the negative attachments (there’s an abundance of sage wands available in the gift shop!) & let go of stuff as best we can. And, of course, keep finding ways to let go more and more.
Everyone who donated an object to the museum with a story created a vaccuum in their lives of more clear space for love to arrive again. I hope each of them has that love now, abundantly. Your stories were a next-level experience of human connection and I thank you all.
Off I go to write a little – big- story of my own donation. No matter how long ago a heart is broken, there’s always space to let go. Write out your stories, donate your objects (or recycle them, or sell them…) and realize there’s always room to make for more love.
You can visit The Museum of Broken Relationships in Los Angeles at 6751 Hollywood Blvd. , Los Angeles, CA, 90028.
Love, love, love!!! xoxo Dana
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