Hearts broken open have a larger capacity to love than those that have never been broken. It is through heartbreak that we more thoroughly open ourselves to the hurts and pain of another. We develop more empathy and are less black and white, which makes us more accepting and open to others. And that openness and compassion increases our capacity for love in a profound way. When a glass breaks, it loses its capacity to hold a liquid. When a heart breaks, its capacity to hold another, to love and to empathize increases rather than diminishes. It becomes a more useful container than it was before it broke.
Hearts that have been broken open offer an opportunity for deeper self-reflection, transformation and growth. Heartbreak offers us a glimpse of the contents of our internal world. When a full container is broken, the contents of the container spill out. When one's heart is broken open, we can more clearly see the "stuff" that is inside--maybe "stuff" we were not aware of or had forgotten about. Prior losses that have not been fully grieved, insecurities, distorted thought processes, coping mechanisms that are no longer adaptive are just some of the "stuff" that may flow out of a broken heart. Heartbreak creates a mechanism and motivation to once more undertake the work of healing and transformation but at a deeper level.
Broken hearts do heal but on their own timetable; there is no rushing the process. When a heart heals after having been broken wide open, it has an enlarged capacity to give and to receive love, a deeper self-awareness, and greater compassion and empathy for others who similarly hurt. Healing a broken heart is not easy work, however.
- Healing involves choice--not all who experience a broken heart choose to allow the pain to transform them but rather transmit that pain to all they come into contact with.
- Healing requires a change in perspective--rather than focusing on the specifics of the breaking, the healing heart focuses on the growth potential the breaking offers.
- Healing demands surrender--surrendering the right to exact revenge, demand justice or hold onto bitterness. Surrender involves accepting those things we cannot change and holding it all--the circumstances and pain surrounding the heartbreak and the future--with open hands rather than clenched fists or tight death grips.
- Healing becomes redemptive when the heartbroken seek to reach out to others in compassion, kindness and love. The heartbroken become the very best of healers--wounded healers