September 8, 2015

Hearts Heal & Make us New Again.

David Goehring

The body knows how to heal—we have platelets, T-cells, histamines and so on. But a healing process for the heart? Not so simple.

The heart cannot simply be “reassembled.” The pieces don’t quite fit the same—the heart isn’t a jigsaw puzzle.

Just like the kids in the TV show, who do an earnest but terrible job of gluing their mother’s broken vase back together, repairing a broken heart is like trying to re-align something whose individual components are fundamentally changed. You cannot retrofit pieces of a broken heart to be unbroken. You just can’t.

Yes, the heart mends, but it looks different at the end. Bruised. Swollen. Tender. More susceptible to breaking again, and chances are, it will. But the heart has both a memory and a learning curve—and it will heal.

With each break, comes an increased capacity to love—more deeply, more authentically, more passionately, and hopefully, more freely. All the while understanding that, even if love is not reciprocated, loving is still a beautiful thing. It’s who we are.

I remember searching on the internet for the answer to “How to heal a broken heart.” There are, apparently, five steps. (Or seven, depending on which website you land.) I found my experience to be completely different. I would venture to say that you can’t heal a broken heart, in the sense that you can’t cure it. Heartbreak is not a disease that you treat with medicine or prevent with vaccination. It’s a fact of life. It is a loss. And unlike financial losses, emotional losses cannot be recovered.

The heart can, however, grow over the spaces that were ravaged. Being broken opens up a part of the heart that was never before exposed. The experience of being “opened”—when you set aside the devastating circumstances that caused it—is a gift.

The key is recognizing the experience as such. It may seem counter-intuitive to gain an appreciation for pain, but it really is possible. There were times when I didn’t know what to do with so much pain—I didn’t know if I could take anymore, because I had no place to put it all. And then—it somehow became more than just pain. It became an opportunity. As cliche and as uncomfortable as it sounds, pain is part of the journey.

My pain is my own. It validates my experience. That I was here. That I lived, battled and survived. It’s not a road I’d send anyone else down. Yet I am grateful for it. I am grateful that I was taken out of a situation, kicking and screaming—a life that I was content to stay in, never really living.

I am grateful that I chose to deal with it on my own, in the best way I knew how, and with class. I am grateful that I was naive and trusting, and still deeply in love, because it enabled me to proceed with trust and love (misguided as that was).

I am proud that I was that girl—the girl who believed and hoped for the best, but who also worked harder when the “worst” happened. I am grateful that the curtain was lifted.

How it hurt—looking at reality was like staring directly into the sun. But once in the light, there is no going back to the darkness. No matter how safe ignorance seems.

That “worst” turned out to be the best.

And the end turned out to be the beginning.


Relephant reads: 

Hearts: Beating, Beating & Repeating.

This Is How We Listen to Our Hearts. 


Author: Kavita Battula

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: Flickr/David Goehring

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