They say you heal from a broken heart. I disagree. I think a broken heart is a teacher that stays with us, for as long as we live. And as we learn to live with it, it becomes fuller and larger and whole, with heightened capacity to love and to be connected.
Whatever the reason for the broken heart, a separation from someone you love, a break-up, a divorce, a death, the pain is real: physically, emotionally and spiritually. What healing means is not that you come to feel no pain, but that you learn how better to live with it. Pain comes in different sizes, shapes and dimensions. But it always leaves a scar, a reminder somewhere in the psyche that something once there is now missing or changed. It leaves a reminder for us that we have been willing to take a chance, to follow our heart’s voice, and to risk that perhaps, we may suffer the pain of loss, or we may have the pleasure of a union, however temporary or permanent that may be. The lesson of love, itself, never dies. The scar is only a reminder that we miss the physical presence of that person we love.
Scars don’t have to be bad. They can be a reminder to ourselves that we’ve had the courage to be vulnerable, to open ourselves to love. A badge of walking into life with open arms. Scars are a visible reminder that we have truly lived, have been willing to step out there, without guarantee. And scars don’t mean we must stop, there, in our tracks. Scars don’t have to mean we can’t move on. Moving on means that we have the courage to be vulnerable, even when we know we could feel pain, again. Scars can be the teacher who helps us reflect on how deeply we all are connected, and the teacher who helps us see who we really are.
I believe that love is always worth the risk. Whatever becomes of that, whatever form that takes, we always learn from love. It is the greatest teacher there is.
©Janet Mitchell, June 2012