Christina Lonsdale is the Portland-based visual artist and founder of Radiant Human, a fully adaptable aura photography laboratory. Christina was raised on mysticism and believed in science and spiritualism equally. We asked Christine some questions about heartbreak and she shared how changing her perspective on breakups helped her stay #onthemend.
If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?
“I wouldn’t bother. Knowing younger me and the grief I was in, there is nothing I could have said to make anything better. Advice is a mental exchange based on the retrospect of a personal experience. For that advice to work, the receiver has to be mentally available and so often the case, heartbreak is another dimension where mental clarity does not exist. It is an emotional override to your life. It is a vision quest of your own heart and it is yours and yours only.”
What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?
“I can survive anything.”
What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?
“I treat heartbreak like an acid trip rather than an illness. There’s nothing you can do to fix this. The best thing you can do is turn off your phone, find a safe space, good music and art supplies!”
Thinking back to breakups you’ve had, did you have any breakup vices (checking your ex’s Insta, etc) and how do you conquer them?
“I’ve done that a few times, checking IG when things are still fresh. I’m lucky that I’ve mostly been with people that are very considerate of the situation so nothing too traumatic there. It just sucks because it makes me miss them more and grieve the dream we built. So I just don’t do it until I’m really ready. I never unfollow. I just avoid. I honor the grief, then focus on moving on as soon as possible. I’m a rip the bandaid off type of person. I know for some people they have to be hurt, to get mad, then hate, to get over it. Everyone has their own process so there’s no right way.”
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?
“Biggest Lesson: I’m still learning.”
Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?
“I’m friends with all but one, and that one wasn’t official anyway so it’s kind of poetic that even after our time together we remain ambiguous and awkward.
“I have two favorite exes; my very first and my very last. They are family members rather than exes now and our love feels more stable and enriching then I could have ever imagined. Let me be clear, we don’t have sex, and it is probably because of this that I can say with absolute certainty that I will know them for the rest of my life. If you keep having sex you’re not letting the relationship evolve. There is a special bond through the death of dream love that is irreplaceable once you get to the other side. There is a uniquely primal experience to three things in life; birth, great sex and death. In a true love affair you experience all three. Anyone sharing that experience with me I feel is a lasting relationship worthy of considerable effort. They have seen me through so many stages of myself and held witness to so much! They have seen me at my worst and at my best, and still they remain supportive and loving. Unconditional because we have survived all the conditions.”
What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?
“Hope and humility.”
What is your favorite movie about heartbreak?
“Any cheesy disposable rom com or binge worthy series. Also: Eternal Sunshine For The Spotless Mind.”
“Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankle. A psychotherapist’s personal account of Auschwitz, discovering we are all inherently optimists. Great for putting things in perspective. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran ‘as love crowns you so does she crucify you.’ The Missing Piece Meets The Big O by Shel Silverstein. Something tender and cute, cuz duh.”
“Heartbreak is like birth; it’s uncomfortable, it’s a weight to bear for quite some time. It’s really painful and messy, but after you get through it, you’ll have a brand new life to take care of that is more rewarding than you’ve ever imagined!” -My Dad