I’ve been thinking about all the different ways that a heart breaks, not just from the big, terrible life blows, but in a hundred little everyday ways. When we reach for someone who doesn’t reach back. When we work up the nerve to say that thing we’ve been holding in our heart, and we are misunderstood, or (worse) unheard. When we trust someone we shouldn’t, love too much or too soon, look outside ourselves for validation, definition, absolution, worth. When we leap and the net doesn’t appear.
I think maybe it’s the tiny heartbreaks that do the most damage because they so often go untreated, unnoticed by any but the brokenhearted. They don’t require a period of mourning, paperwork, lawyers, or carefully worded settlements. In fact, careful words are rarely a part of the littlest heartbreaks. Instead, everyday heartbreaks are made of slights and misperceptions, the things that get lost in translation. They’re all about the silences and unfilled spaces, fervent lost causes, the sudden realization that what we thought was real isn’t.
I wanted to write about heartbreaks, because they are the inevitable downside to living a love-filled life. They are the reasons some people stop loving, or at least stop loving easily. They are the reason I’ve had to dig deep, talk myself into staying up here, outside the cave, in the middle of my life, getting jostled and bruised and lost and overlooked.
And, I think maybe, they are the proof that we’re doing it right. That we’re staying open – to experience, to joy, to surprise, to expansion – risking our hearts, daring to leap. Truly living.
I believe isolation is the enemy. We’re made to find each other, to reach out, to touch, affect, to hold and be held. We’re not supposed to be invisible. We’re not supposed to feel alone. And whatever the risk of loving, however painful the heartache, it is worth it because there are also moments of sweet connection, soul to soul, heart to heart.
And as we search for meaning in our lives, I think we should entertain the possibility that the answers we are looking for are there, in our moments of (nearly) fearless love.