I have good reasons to feel “heart-broken” right now, for the first time in my life. I didn’t really know what people meant when they said their heart was “broken” before, only that it seemed very dramatic, poetic, and definitely something to avoid. There are so many songs, poems, books inspired by broken hearts and now I know why.
The feelings of betrayal and of loss are so compelling and they make us go deep inside and touch the source of our most vulnerable self. When we go to that tender place we touch a sweetness and an innocence that is definitely song-worthy. Sometimes it takes feeling violated to remember the powerful beauty of our heart. We break open in ourselves and see just how much we need love. It is scary to know how much someone else’s actions can hurt us, but at that point there is a choice:
“Will I close down and protect this tender sweet heart that feels broken or will I keep living and loving?”
There is definitely a time of mourning and healing that needs to happen. But then, you have a decision to make and that decision will affect the rest of your life. Some people shut down after a break-up, and go years being emotionally distant and wondering why no one comes close. Some people just stay angry, or fearful, or sad.
Because I have no desire to emotionally disconnect or dwell in my anger at someone or grief about the family I thought I would have or fear about the future, I choose to keep loving! An important key for me in doing this has been the realization that
“Ain’t nobody can break my heart!”
For someone to be able to break my heart they would need to have had it in their power and possession in the first place. My heart is mine. I never gave it away. Maybe it’s because I’m an Enneagram Type 8, but I’ve never understood the idea of giving your heart to someone. It doesn’t make sense. The body can’t live without it’s heart, and it only needs one. We are each meant to house and care for our own hearts first, and then use the spirit that flows through our emotions to care for and bless other people. We give our partners our love, which is an infinite thing. We keep the finite and vulnerable heart in our own possession.
So the loss of a loved one hurts, no doubt. It can feel like a crushing weight, like an endless void where they used to be. And so many other analogies. But let’s get clear. Although songwriters can use “he/she broke my heart”, it’s just laziness to talk that way about your real life. Because you are the only one responsible for your heart. It hurts–it hurts really bad. But it is not broken. It is a whole heart. And it is strong and designed to withstand a lot. Stop telling it that it’s broken, and it won’t be.
These are the messages I tell myself now, and anyone suffering this kind of pain. What other people have done is their business. I can only control what I do now. I want to look back and say “That was the time I could have become bitter. But instead I turned into the even more loving woman I am today”. I know that my son and future friends and lovers will be glad I did.
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I am a coach, facilitator and program director in Denver, Colorado. I bring a high-performance mindset from 18 years leading in global corporations, startups, non-profits and Higher Ed. I’ve also honed skills in emotional intelligence and practical spirituality through training with ICF, Shadow Work®, Insights Discovery and motherhood. If you’re ready to do powerful inner work, and also get tangible results in your external environment, please follow my blog and reach out to talk about coaching!