broken heart

What Becomes of the Broken-hearted?

Every day my heart breaks just a little. Usually it is from an expectation and then a profound disappointment – be it a friend, a family member, perhaps one of my children, or even my life itself, I experience that deep hurt and shock that starts in my gut and permeates my soul daily.

I was thinking back on being heartbroken, and how I have probably experienced the pathology of a broken heart from a very young age, yet did not know how to identify it as that. Did it start with my parents having my siblings? Was my heart that was solely my mother’s and father’s, and their hearts mine, first fractured at the tender age of three?  Did it begin when my paternal grandparents demonstrated a lack of caring and love when they showed favoritism to my cousins and aunt and uncle, placing conditions on their affection and behaving emotionally abusive in the process? Or was it life’s other disappointments? There were boys that did not adore me, teachers that did not choose me in auditions, jobs that did not turn out as I had hoped, and of course relationships that imploded, crashing and burning a fiery death, reduced to the ashes of the intense passion and soul connections.

Heartbreak comes in many shapes and sizes. I know that I broke some hearts.  And at the time, maybe I knew how much hurt and pain I had caused, maybe I didn’t. Maybe I cared and felt remorse, but maybe the anguish and suffering was just all part of the lessons and the growing, and learning how to open my heart.

And there in lies the root of all heartbreak. Hurt, pain, anguish, and suffering… all are no strangers to those who have felt the crack and shattering of their very souls. Within the brokenness of a heart, there are only shadows, only darkness. And within the shadows and darkness, are the soul’s lessons to be perceived and understood.

We experience these lessons in order to learn to love – not necessarily others, but ourselves.  These experiences come to us in such intensity and with an uncontrollable orbit whose trajectory is perhaps wished for but will always remain unknown while we are traveling its course.  One of my “psychic friends” as I have referred to my group of healers and advisers, would remind me that free will changes everything. I never liked hearing that little phrase because I believed in destiny, fate, predetermined outcomes, and expectations met.  But the truth is that we exercise free will in every moment of our existence.  We choose our course, our path, and for the most part, who will be joining us on that journey. So it stands to reason that we can employ our free will to shift from feeling broken-hearted at every step, to understanding the heart opening lesson that we are to learn from that set of circumstances and people. Tough thing to hear, I know. And even more difficult to rationalize and accept. The heartbreak is part of my soul contract – the destiny, fate, and predetermined outcome for my soul. That I have interpreted it as painful and sad and full of suffering, well, that is a different story. Let’s go back to expectations for a moment. What if I re-frame my outlook for each day and am determined to not let any of the things that in the past have upset me, but instead look at every moment as a teaching moment – for me and those in my life.  We use to joke about those “teaching moments” when the kids were little, learning the vital lessons that souls learn as toddlers and in nursery school and kindergarten. Everything was a teaching moment! But the truth is that everything IS a teaching moment for all of us. And if we look at it that way, then it is perhaps ever so slightly less painful when we experience things that break our hearts open.

I don’t have the answers. I write from my heart and speak about what is making me sad, or worried, or causing me pain or confusion. I am working through those teaching moments, looking fiercely for the kernel of the big lesson. But the one thing I do know, is that when my heart is aching, I am in trouble. I cannot see things clearly through the glasses of despair and anguish. I look desperately for the answer to why something happened and try to find the logic and rational reasoning for the way things went down. I cannot focus on the present moment as I am so caught in what was and what could have been, what I might have wanted it to be. And I can’t let go or breathe or move forward.  To live in the land of the broken-hearted means that you are stuck in the minutia of a particular set of circumstances from the past. And so I compel myself, and you, to return to the land of the living.  Return to the present and vital place where you can breathe and move on. Accept that your heart was broken open and drink up the lesson as an elixir of hope and faith and love and life!  It is the only way to find peace, and to love yourself.

Every day my heart still might break a little, but now instead of letting that cripple me, I look for the path that will lead me out of the darkness and into the light.


  1. Dianne Angelo on October 8, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    Well said, I think one of my first heart breaks was the favoritism my grandmother had for my cousins who lived close by to her. My understanding is that she was resentful when her son & wife (my mom & dad) moved away from her and she favored the ones that didn ‘t move away (her daughter, husband & their children-my cousins). Perhaps she was broken hearted too. It comes in many forms as you mentioned.

    I also recently received a severely broken heart when I reunited with my high school love after 37 years. We had plans to get married while trying to substain had a long distance relationship. Turns out, he lost patience and found someone else local and it was unknown for a year. He told me in an email. His lies continued even after the break up so the fraction of our remaining friendship also ended due to the dishonesty. I have broken some hearts along this journey in life as well, sometimes I think of the old saying, wha

    Your links on ‘Mermaid’ & now this blog have helped me along with taking up something I have always loved…SWIMMING fitness program & the therapeutic benefits of the water so I was attracted to your posts!

    I am an artist and I would like to send you a mermaid painting that I will do!

    Yours truly,
    Dianne Angelo

    • Jill Alman-Bernstein on October 8, 2013 at 12:48 PM

      We all have such similar stories and experiences. Thank you for sharing yours. And I would love to see your Mermaids! Please e-mail them to me or post them on my fb timeline. 🙂

  2. magaly knobel on October 11, 2013 at 3:30 AM

    Looking for the path that will lead me out of the darkness and into the light
    to find Peace and to learn all about Self-Love.
    Love and Gratitude,

  3. Gale on August 10, 2016 at 3:02 AM

    I lost my father 6 weeks before my wedding, my mother blames me for his heart attack. I broke his heart. I’ve had 3 miscarriages, both my brothers died,followed by my mother and sister within two days of each other,I have a sister who has survived cancer and we see each other once a week, we were never close but are building a new relationship. These things are the main ones ,so much more has happened, when I new I was in pain losing my last baby I had to dig a grave for my little kitten who died and that pain was as servere as any other. I’m a Catholic but lost my faith a long time ago.not because of anything that has happened but a realisation that I didn’t ask for .that we are alone here. I have a husband who loves me and a daughter that I adore but my heart is completely broken into so many peices I can’t find them all.if something good happens I think it’s a mistake and not meant for me. I’ve tried to fix myself but I’m not sure how, all I know is that I don’t want to feel this way for what time I have left in this world. X

  4. Anonymous on September 4, 2017 at 11:28 PM

    This might be my favorite post to ever exist. I really needed this. thank you.

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