March 24, 2017
Top 10 Reasons to Get Your Heart Broken
“You want inspiration? Just go get your heart broken,” she said with an air of nonchalance…. So I did.
And, it was exhilarating. But, never did I suspect that, casually over breakfast at The Cottage, we would tap into the source of some of life’s most significant inspirations.
While reminiscing about my heart’s greatest adventures, after sifting through some left-over shards of love, I discovered the highlights were a rather serendipitous mosaic of the following:
1) INSPIRATION: Because this is how we stumbled upon this topic in the first place… Nothing. Absolutely nothing is more inspirational than a shattered heart. Love, being one of the most powerful forces of nature, is magnified (for whatever torturous reason) as it is taken away from us. History’s greatest artists are notorious for having been some of the most broken-hearted souls (Shakespeare, van Gogh, Hemingway, Socrates, Picasso, Twain, Michelangelo, etc.), and the proof is beyond evident in their masterpieces.
2) STRENGTH: Let’s face it, sometimes love really is a battlefield. Somehow, feeling as though we’ve “lost” strengthens our sense of self; we become more aware of our true needs (not wants), our own self-worth, and of what we desire from Life itself. Getting your heart broken is a monumentally empowering experience. As someone who has personally survived wars, accidents, hurricanes, assaults, injuries, and disasters aplenty, I can say (without question) that nothing hurts quite like a broken heart… And, if I can survive that, then there is nothing left to fear.
3) VARIETY: Longing to start that new project? Immerse yourself in a new hobby or sport? Finally take that trip to Europe, backpack through the cobblestone streets of Lucca, or drift lazily down the Rialto in a gondola built for two (you and the gondolier, of course)? A broken heart gives you the proverbial kick-in-the-pants you need to jump-start something new or break out of an old routine. Some call it “escapism,” but I like to think of this added spice as a natural part of the healing process. Why else would we be at the soft opening of the hottest new night club, dancing with strangers on a random Wednesday?! Embrace the changes, and enjoy.
4) WISDOM: Sure, you’ll probably gain plenty of it by simply aging and learning from life in general. But, nothing teaches us a lifetime of lessons in the blink of an eye quite like a broken heart. Mastered the art of graceful disagreements? Developed a keen ability to sleep soundly on the corner of a mattress while someone else is sprawled out in the middle of the bed? Learned to tolerate (and possibly even appreciate) someone else’s loony family? Congratulations. All of that only makes you wiser, and wisdom is an attractive quality in anyone.
5) REBOUNDS: First, get your mind out of the gutter (or keep it there, if you prefer) – “rebounds” can simply be new friendships. This may not exactly be the most conscious side-effect of a broken heart, but there are a plethora of others who are wildly attracted to your broken heart. There’s no easier way to fill a temporary void than by allowing one’s self to be wholly adored by someone exciting and new. Sure, these beautiful creatures may not be our soul mates, but this symbiotic relationship (in whatever capacity you choose to explore) may be exactly what we need to lift our spirits when the heart brings you down.
6) TOLERANCE: When you’re in Love, chances are – you’re sharing some of your deepest self with someone else, which can be uncomfortable for anyone. When that someone else sees us (and loves us) for who we truly are, it’s extremely disarming; we feel at ease, sometimes fully at peace, and always more appreciative of this person for cherishing you “as is,” imperfect, and perfectly human. When the heart is broken, having been on the receiving end of this helps us to be kinder to others, thus being more accepting of them, and less judgmental of ourselves and those around us. And, that’s a beautiful and ever-so-worthy quality.
7) MUSIC: Of course we all have our favorite artists and musicians, but music is more significant with a broken heart. Some artists, especially, cater to those in perpetual post-love predicaments (Sade, Adele, Elvis, Toni Braxton, Mariah Carey, George Michael, etc.). Just as we can have a new-found appreciation for music while we are in Love, interestingly enough, when Love has escaped us and the heart is broken, we listen to music differently; we have a deeper understanding of certain lyrics, we tend to notice more layers of instruments or sounds in the music itself, and somehow (for reasons unbeknownst to scholars and Swifties alike) more and more songs seem to be written especially for us; they are precisely about our broken hearts and all things related. Why wouldn’t they be?
8) EXPERIENCE: When we are in Love and, to any degree, content, we often forget to take certain (sometimes necessary) risks because we fear disrupting the comfortable reality we cultivated. However, when the heart is broken, suddenly those risks become more appealing. Considering a potentially dangerous adventure, perhaps that hike up Kilimanjaro? Contemplating a career move that would require “frequent travel to Shanghai”? Always pictured yourself in an Italian beach house (instead of your current Downtown loft), waking up to the rustling of Tyrrhenian waves (not morning rush hour)? Too Drastic? Faaagettaboutittt! Embrace the freedom (without being self-destructive, which would defeat the purpose). Let your broken heart propel you into bold new experiences.
9) VULNERABILITY: This term sometimes gets a bad rep and it’s time we set the record straight. Let us not confuse “vulnerability” with “weakness.” There’s an undeniable strength, an innocence, renewal, and a certain vibrancy that develops within us when we are heart-broken. Your ability to truly “own” your broken heart is an immensely noble quality which only makes you that much more attractive. It lets others know you’re capable of depth, of feeling, and of embracing whatever life may send your way (positive or otherwise). Besides, one can only do so much when the other is heavily guarded behind his or her walls.
10) FALLING IN LOVE AGAIN: You survived, perhaps just barely, but still… You met someone special. You made the connection. You felt the energy. You got butterflies (maybe even some jitters). You handed over your heart for someone else to hold while you flew around on Cloud Nine, as if Cupid himself were leading the way. And, it was amazing! Exquisite, Glorious, Fulfilling, Charming, Splendiferous, and every other outstanding adjective you can possibly fathom. Sure, your broken heart may be thumbing its nose at me right now, but if your heart had never been broken, you may not have gathered all those attractive qualities, and bundled them up in the sexier, smarter you who’s reading these words. Being present with your broken heart is the ultimate test of growth and emotional evolution. Though that time when the heart is broken may seem (and very well be) turbulent, the metamorphosis is quite extraordinary, as we become better, more capable versions of ourselves. As if you need another reason to take a hands-up, guards-down free-fall, right into Love… This new, improved you will be the best lover yet, and what’s not to love about that?
“The heart was made to be broken.” – Oscar Wilde