When Your Hearts Breaks Open
The past few weeks in my life have been shitty. Not bad. A lot of good things have happened. In fact, great things have happened, but I'm having a hard time and can barely enjoy them, read: shitty.
For the past few months I've been in transition that started as self reflection, and in very short order became a major life change. Little by little, this process has been breaking my heart. I tried to stop it. I was afraid. I’d been patching it but my patches were wearing thin, and I knew I could only hold on so much longer. Nothing made sense anymore. Everything felt like a lie. I felt like a fraud.
Then one night I finally broke. I was crying in my living room over something that I "shouldn't" have been crying over, and I got angry. Not at the situation, at myself. I started to ask questions. Questions that I wasn't sure I actually wanted the answers to. Inspired by a conversation with a dear friend, I didn't stop when things began to feel... uncomfortable. I lost it. It was like I could literally feel something shattering in my chest.
My poor stitched together heart couldn't take it anymore, and it just broke. But much to my surprise, it didn't break apart, it broke open. We don’t talk about heartbreak enough. And when we do, we frame it as something to fear, to avoid, to be angry about. It hurts, yes, but let’s talk about the growth and change that comes from opening yourself up enough to allow your heart to be broken. Let's talk about the trust and strength that that requires. Let's talk about anything at all.
I've said this before, but I tend to be incredibly guarded. I'm very selective about who I share parts of myself with, and even then I've perfected the art of sharing just enough that I seem like I practice what I preach when it comes to connection and vulnerability, but not enough that I'm actually giving of myself to people. One of my closest friends said to me "I know you so well, but I don't really know anything about you."
To live this whole hearted life and live it well, you kinda have to exist with your heart on the line daily. You have to love people relentlessly, risking it all. Risking rejection, risking failure, risking hurt, risking exposure, risking discomfort. You just put it all out there. But what you get in return is so good.
All of a sudden (and I mean that quite literally) things were pretty clear, even though they didn’t quite make sense. I understood that brokenness, when you really understand it, and when you allow it to change you, is a really really good thing. I understood that the power that is created from living and loving whole heartedly is always worth the potential heartbreak. I understood that there’s something to saying out loud how people and experiences make you feel. I understood that this is what makes it ALL worth it.
"We craft love from heartbreak,
compassion from shame,
grace from disappointment,
courage from failure.
Showing up is our power.
Story is our way home.
Truth is our song.
We are the brave and brokenhearted.
We are rising strong."
- Brene Brown "Manifesto of the Brave and Broken Hearted" from Rising Strong