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.
Jill Alman-Bernstein is an Intuitive Empowerment Coach, Soul Realignment Practitioner, inspirational writer, freelance editor and writer’s coach, deep sea soul diver, mother, and mermaid. She is the creator of the platform I Must Be A Mermaid focusing on inspiration, empowerment, personal growth, and transformation.