On a Broken Heart.
A heart breaking is a strange thing. It is often silent to the world, but to your world it shatters glass with its piercing shriek. It leaves you paralyzed, but leaves your body feeling as if it had just ran a race. It is painful, but leaves you feeling entirely numb.
What I find most interesting about the broken heart is how instantaneously it can break, and how stealthily it does it. Often times I don’t even realize my heart had broke until I hear the crunching shards of its remains under my feet; and then you really feel it. I remember being a kid, playing and laughing and running about, only stopping to catch my breath to yell, “Tag! You’re it!” only to continue to run. I remember how at the end of the day you could look at your elbow, your knee, your hands and find scratches and scrapes and think, “Hey…when did that happen?” And up until that point, pain hadn’t even been a distant thought, let alone a reality, but at that moment, in that single moment of looking down and actually seeing the injury, pain was realized. A broken heart is sort of like that sometimes; you’re so caught up in everything that until you look down and see the broken pieces, you weren’t even aware that you were hurt.
And it feels broken. If I close my eyes and concentrate on the feeling, I’m sure I can feel the pieces; sharp and cold, and attacking your insides with every breath. You keep on breathing though, if only because you have no other choice, and every time you do you remind yourself with a painful sting that you will never be the same.
Even when the pieces are lovingly and carefully put back together, you are forever changed. Scars will appear where a once smooth and perfect surface used to be, and every time you see it you will remember how it used to be and how it will never be again.
But while I stare at the broken pieces of my heart, don’t think for one second that I am helpless. For it is in those moments that I can cut you most deep. Maybe that’s why hearts break…so that while you’re hurt and reeling from the pain you will have, at the very least, something with which to hurt another. After all, it is in those vulnerable, broken moments that you’re most likely to cut another, and what better to do it with than with a piece of you that hurts the most?
And what breaks a heart, exactly?
A lover saying, “I don’t know.”
An phone call that that was not returned.
Watching someone hurt so badly and you without a pain killer.
Or even worse sometimes, knowing.
They all break a heart. And how lucky are we at the plethora of causes of one of the most painful experiences one will endure?
It means that we are real. That we are alive. That we are surging with blood, and emotions, and love, and life, and all of the unbelievably beautiful gifts that life has been so gracious to give us. We are lucky.
So with every breath, with every stinging reminder of what won’t ever be the same, let it also be a reminder of how strong, and beautiful you are, and how, while things will never be the same, they can be better.
And they will be.