Fixing a Broken Heart
“To fall in love is awfully simple,
but to fall out of love is simply awful.”
Audio of Fixing a Broken Heart
Bess was crowned Miss America in 1945. She is the only Jewish woman to hold that position to date. In a few short words she has managed to explain so well the journey of love in all its many colours, and that could cover the personal, social, and political.
To ‘fall’ in love is simple. Why? Because gravity says so! But to pull one-self out of the pit of pain, takes time, courage and self-respect. Although hearts can be broken due to a number reasons, we will focus on the heartache caused because of the loss of a loved one which could be due to divorce, separation or death.
Death is one of the greatest fears that people hold. But, I do not wish to undermine the tremendous sense of loss and grief that the bereaved experience. I just want to highlight, that which is out of our hands, there is a different sort of closure or lack of closure compared to divorce or separation. Death is final, and you know you will not see that person again, and there is nothing you can do about it. But with divorce and separation, there will be the similar feelings of loss and grief, but somehow there is the added twist because that partner has moved on without you. There can be feelings of betrayal, rejection and abandonment. It is all too personal!
Losing someone through death perhaps we cope in a different way, we understand with death that natural forces were at work and it was really not in anyone’s hands. That is, someone did not ‘choose’ to leave us, obviously there are a range of exceptions, but we are just trying to keep the comparison simple here.
We can feel secure knowing that they did not leave us because we were not good enough! We were OK. We were lovable. We were not the problem! In a way all these factors can make it a little easier for us to let go. Of course, that loved one can never be forgotten, it’s just that how we deal with the pain may be a different one. We are still left with that soul’s absence in our life and the healing will take love and time.
But when a loved one has left us hanging out on a limb, and perhaps run off for someone else, that comes as a bitter truth to digest. It makes us question if we were ever good enough; whether what we shared was real and genuine; suspicion, disbelief and lack of confidence hit us hard; we question often; what they told us – was all true or not? It makes us vulnerable, insecure or filled with self-doubt. Some people may even become suicidal.
And beginning anew for everyone can be tough. Either way one has to learn to start one’s life over again. The pain makes us doubt ourselves as much as them and the relationship that we shared. Our self-confidence takes a hard knock.
We may even have the added pain of seeing them out and about, enjoying their new life without us!! No wonder wounded people end up hurting others. How can empty people fill others? They didn’t get their needs met; so how can they be in a position to fulfil another’s needs?
Wasn’t this the advice your mother gave you as a teenager? For you not to give your heart to just anyone to break it. Well do we choose who we give our heart to? Or is it destined? That may be a deeper philosophical question to answer and best left for another topic. Suffice it to say, we were well warned about opening our hearts and sharing them with others. And if we did, we must know the full implications involved. We must take full self-responsibility, because if we don’t, we will forever live blaming the other person; and we will never get ahead in life.
‘In 1991, Japanese researchers first recognized takotsubo cardiomyopathy, also known as stress cardiomyopathy or broken heart syndrome. The condition is characterized by sudden chest pain and shortness of breath and is often triggered by a tragic event, such as living through a car accident or receiving emotionally difficult news. Researchers from Minneapolis Heart Institute studied 200 takotsubo cardiomyopathy patients’ medical histories in order to identify symptomatic clues to get a better understanding of the innards of a broken heart….’ Extract from Medical Daily
There are many interesting articles available proving that when people say they are suffering from a ‘broken heart’, they literally are!!
At the University of Virginia Robert Emery and Jim Coan, two professors of psychology, published some interesting articles in this area of research. “Terms such as “heartache” and “gut wrenching” are more than mere metaphors: they describe the experience of both physical and emotional pain. When we feel heartache, for example, we are experiencing a blend of emotional stress and the stress-induced sensations in our chest—muscle tightness, increased heart rate, abnormal stomach activity and shortness of breath. In fact, emotional pain involves the same brain regions as physical pain, suggesting the two are inextricably connected.”
The reason for all this evidence is to raise the concern that when we allow our hearts to get hurt, we get sick. There really is something called psychosomatic illness. Once we become emotional or stressed, we become vulnerable and even sicker especially if our immunity was down already.
From a spiritual and karmic standpoint:
- When a relationship ends then that simply means the give and take is over between the two parties. Much like a debt that was owed and is now settled. We should separate happy heartedly and not half-heartedly, or down-heartedly.
- If we can look back and take the lessons learnt, then we will grow from that and be thankful to them for being our teachers.
- Let us learn not to put all our eggs in one basket and demand that that is the one person who can fulfil all our needs. It is such high pressure and this is an impossible demand to put on any one person.
- No one is perfect. If I am not perfect, how can I expect the other to be either?
- We need to accept that the end of a relationship is not the death but the start of something new. A new me. A new you.
- No one is giving me sorrow. I am choosing to take the sorrow. Let me take my life and my happiness into my own hands.
- Feel the feeling… not the pain. As we feel the feeling, we become real people. We begin to live authentic lives, and can understand the pain of others.
- We are not alone. We have everything within us to survive. We are never alone, the whole universe is with us! We came naked and will leave naked, not holding anyone’s hand!
- We are free and we should value our freedom! Freedom is priceless!
Sadly, there are no quick fixes for the heartache. But when we practice the gentle art of meditation and take out moments for silent reflection, then we can begin to manage our thoughts and emotions on a consistent basis. We can then be better equipped to deal with the challenges when they arise.
We should never underestimate the power of the mind and body link. Our body will be directly affected by our emotions, this is why so many diseases and illness begin in the mind. So we should be careful about the type and quality of our thoughts and make an effort to keep our mind and body well. This is what we mean by well-being – looking after the being, caring for our mind will mean that our body will have a better chance at being well too.
It’s Time… to look after our hearts and minds. Remember, that freedom is priceless!
© ‘It’s Time…’ by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK