What If Hearts Are Made to Break?
What if hearts — your heart, my heart — were made to break? What if that rending, painful, rip-you-apart feeling was by design?
We generally assume that we’re unlucky if we feel this. That it’s an aberration that we hope will go away as quickly as possible.
But if we really look at life, everyone’s heart breaks.
Well, everyone who loves experiences heartbreaks.
As if hearts breaking and hearts loving are part of the same movement, just like the sea moving in and out on the shore.
The only way to save yourself from heartbreak is to be numb. It’s to never love, to never open, to keep yourself locked inside for fear of being hurt or changed.
One of the most liberating things that happened to me was realizing that I wasn’t as fragile as I thought. That I could get hurt and be okay. I could get rejected and be okay. I could feel my heart break and be okay.
It meant I didn’t have to hold back anymore. I suddenly had an infinite currency with which to play. I could break again and again and again.
And I could break open.
My heart could break open. It could grow. It could get strong and fierce, and tender, and warm.
That there was no prize for making it to the grave untouched or unchanged, in mint condition.
For to not change, to not bear the marks of big love and big loss, and joy and sorrow, is to have not really lived at all. It’s to have kept ourselves so guarded, and so cut off from life, that it might not have touched us, but we never really touched it either.
What if a heartbreak was the sound of your heart growing?
You know how muscles break a little bit as they’re getting stronger, or how the baby chick has to break through the shell of the egg. What if our hearts could use this break to grow? If they could take the space left by a lover or friend and fill it with you, so that your heart could be more full of you?
What if those we meet on our path are really just there to help us get to know ourselves better, that they hold parts of us we can’t hold yet, or penetrate places we’ve yet to tread, and then give those parts back to ourselves, or move out of our way so that we might penetrate these unknown parts of ourselves too?
What if heartbreak was actually heart-growth?
Be it as you watch the love of your life walk out of the door and realize that you can no longer look to them to provide you with a good feeling, instead you’ll have to find it in yourself…
… or as you watch the news and see someone in great pain and loss…
… or when you sit with a friend who has just had a miscarriage.
What if it were entirely natural, and a sign that you are getting intimate with life, that you’re letting life in and allowing it to change you? That you’re brave for letting it break?
There’s no weakness in loving and living so fully and truly that sometimes your heart can’t take it and comes apart.
There’s no shame in so letting someone in that when they leave, they bust a hole in your chest.
I think the trick is to let your heart break open.
Let every heart break, from the deeply personal to the collective, and make you more compassionate. Let it grow you, increasing the size of your heart so that it might love the whole world.
Your heart is precious, but not fragile. It’s not made of glass. It’s all muscle. And a strong one at that.
Yes it hurts, yes it bruises, yes it takes us into the depths of ourselves.
Anything that we use often gets nicks and tears, it’s a sign of being used. An untouched, unbroken heart probably wasn’t used very much, or was kept behind such a restrictive barrier that it only glimpsed at life, like the princess in her tower, above life, safe but sterile.
Let your heart break. Let it break often, sweetly, and open.
Jade Doherty is a healer, traveler, and writer. She laughs loudly, cries often, and loves devotionally. She would like to live in a world where form and spirit dance freely together, really going for it and making the most of this little time on Earth. With her mum, Avanti, she runs a healing and meditation course designed to give you the space to explore yourself and take a breather from the busyness of modern life. You could contact her via her website, Instagram or Facebook.