Lenea Sims is a writer, explorer, healer, and confidant who’s infinitely curious about the ways we heal, cope, and thrive. She’s also the founder of Inner Play + Outer Work – dual education networks for personal growth and collective change. We asked Lenea about her experience with heartbreak and she opened up about her favorite post-breakup advice.
If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?
“My advice to myself would have been to remember that there is always more love. Back then, I thought I had to cling onto every possible chance of love like it was my only hope for water in a barren desert. But as I get older, I realize that love isn’t a finite energy, but instead an abundant one so there’s always another chance at water if you just keep moving forward.”
What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?
“I think all there really is to learn is that you’re a tough bitch. Jokes but also not jokes. Heartbreak is horrible, but it also shows you just how strong, resilient, and adaptable you are. My best friend’s dad once told me that after his divorce he was sad, of course, but also ecstatic because he would have his own life again. And that’s an experience we all need to have: a chance to learn who and what we are when we are alone.”
What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?
“Does talking all your friends’ ears off count as a ritual? When I’m having a tough time with anything, I always find it best to share with the people who get me most. Not only to get things off of my chest and find clarity in the chaos of my feelings, but also to be reminded that I’m always supported and loved, even without a partner in my life.”
Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?
“I’m one of those ‘love never dies’ people so absolutely. There’s a tiny piece of my heart devoted to everyone I’ve ever loved and I don’t think that magically disappears. That said, I’m not necessarily going to dial them up for coffee every time we’re in the same city, but I do think it’s nice to remain friendly and cherish what was once between us.”
What is your favorite song about heartbreak?
“‘Cranes in the Sky’ by Solange. Haunting and painful yet strikingly beautiful and marked by liberation – hallmarks of a typical breakup and of all the great songs.”
What is your favorite movie about heartbreak?
“I don’t know if it’s really about heartbreak, per say, but Two Weeks Notice starring Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock is low-key my favorite rom-com as of late. It has like a 40% Rotten Tomatoes rating but my friends and I are obsessed with how perfectly bad it is.”
What projects are you currently working on, and looking forward to most?
“Right now, my biggest project is Gooey Girl, an online publication I founded and edit that is dedicated entirely to self-care. On the site, I interview inspiring women about what people, practices, and products they turn to for self-care and also give my own tips for how to cherish and love yourself. It’s been really dope to curate a space for women to explore our healing and our growth with dignity, with humor, and with each other. So stoked to see how it grows!”