I have found a cure for all that ails our hearts. It’s called living with a broken heart.
Give me a minute of your time — it gets better.
The History of Your Broken Heart
Anyone who is living wisely will have their heart broken — regularly, routinely, effectively. It’s a natural consequence of offering love to another warm thing.
Some are quick to say that this broken heartedness is more common now than ever, but I know better. History is filled with sad tales. The one we are in is not better nor worse than what came before; it’s just a progression from all our previous heartbreaks. Trace it all the way back and you’ll end up at that time we first stood up on the savannah and wondered why.
We Are Meant to Be Permeable
Even though history has been written with a broken heart, we haven’t learned what to do. We still think we can protect our hearts from breaking more. We try to glue them back together, but our handiwork is amateurish. Our hearts spill apart with the slightest nudge and we find ourselves, once again, holding the precious bits in our hands.
This is why the self-help doesn’t work. We are sold on the idea that diets, years of therapy, job changes, romantic flings, and all the other forms of self-immolation will make us into statues of solid gold. But we are not impenetrable fortresses whose towers are lined with cannons. We are soft. We are meant to weep at the death of a child, mourn the loss of old growth forests, and miss each other so much it hurts.
Living with a Broken Heart
The heartbreak cure is different from other methods. It is a way to manage our chronic pain by gazing upon our wounds with the kindest of eyes. Because behind any place where we have remained open enough to feel pain is a pile of brilliant and shining diamonds. These gems show us what we value, which, in turn, shows us who we are.
So don’t try to cover it up. Instead, gaze kindly upon your broken heart and tell me what this pain says about your glory.
If you need a hand, ask yourself any of these three questions:
- What values are you expressing in your reluctance at having to show up to work every day in the midst of a global existential earthquake?
- What kind of person feels torture at not being able to hug a friend?
- Why do you mourn the loss of dancing so close to strangers that you go home with their sweat on your clothes?
If none of these questions hit up against a scar covering your heart, you’re not rocking it — you’re numb.
When a limb becomes numb, the medical world calls it pathological. If we’re lucky, they’ll cut the whole thing off before it infects the rest of our body. But if it can feel pain — if you accidentally slice your finger open while cutting up a carrot and notice that it hurts — that’s a sign that things are working.
Numb is not the way out of this. The answer is not to avoid heartbreak, to shut down to any possibility of deep love. No, child. Devote yourself to your soft and tender heart. It’s the only cure that has ever worked.
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