Heartbreak Motel: Checking Yourself Out.
Broken hearts come in many different shapes and sizes. They can be attributed to a world of things beyond just the romantic heartbreak. You’ll have your heart broken by significant others many times but you can also have your heart broken by friends, family and even people you may not know very well. There’s a sentiment I see often on quote blocks and on Instagram about not letting the “people that don’t matter” affect you. While that is true and totally badass, it is easier said than done. A broken heart is simply disappointment on a grander scale, only, this time, it feels like an attack or an attempt to break your personhood. So in essence if we lived in a world where we were allowed to be stinking honest, our hearts are often broken “by the people that don’t matter” and that’s okay. You are not any weaker or emotionally unintelligent because of it.
I wanted to talk about heartbreak because I’ve had my heart broken many times by people that I love or have loved and even by people that I probably shouldn’t be perturbed by. But I really really wanted to talk about it because we all sorta go through it and deal with it in different ways. You might have had your heart broken by someone you cherished who passed away or by the guy who you thought would be the one. Maybe your dad or your mom broke your heart a long time ago, and you just can’t seem to let it go. People will break your heart in grander, bolder ways too. They may say something behind your back maybe, or have an opinion of you that makes you feel insecure. You might have lost a child or multiple children like we did…you might have said goodbye to a friendship that was at one time completely fulfilling.
Heartbreak can also make you feel like sh**. I mean that’s the general consensus, right? If you could only pick out one word that defined the feeling…thaaaat would probably be it. But, for the sake of inclusion it can also make you feel sad, lonely, like the biggest cry baby in the world. It can make you feel angry, isolated, really really really angry, lost or confused. It might make you conniving or insecure or heartless. It can get you to the point where that’s all you can think about. And sadly, not all the time, but most of the time we become bitter and resentful.
Bitterness and resentment are one of those adjectives that define the victim of heartbreak rather than the perpetrator. It’s a load that we tend to carry, it makes the journey harder but half the time we don’t even know that it’s there. It’s like a leak in your gas tank (I really know nothing about cars. Can you even get leaks in your gas tank? Anyways I promise the analogy works..now if you know anything about cars and how they work this might be a dumb analogy—but you’ll survive.) Anyways so from point A to B your car keeps stopping. It says your tank is running on empty. You think it might be something wrong with your gas meter, but guess what? You fill it up and 30 minutes into the ride your car stops again. So you fill it up (again) and try to keep up with your journey. And then it stops again, and you get upset and you keep repeating the pattern because you have no idea you have a leak. And you just keep partaking in this really tiring and crazy incessant thing of filling up the gas tank. Imagine if you have to do that for the whole ride? You would probably make it to point B really really late and really really tired or even worse you may never make it.
That’s how bitterness and resentment work. You find yourself trying to move past the heartbreak issue, but you find that constantly you keep getting stuck. And in those moments, we feel helpless and annoyed…like, ” Why am I back here, I thought I had moved on?” and it keeps repeating itself at different stages in your life. Till eventually something clicks and you feel like you have to fix it.
Now, it is one thing knowing that you’re bitter or resentful towards a person but it is another thing to completely erase that feeling in your life. And if you need a reason, here’s the simple and honest case for getting rid of the famed B&R…it takes up way too much mental and emotional space in your life. You will find that because that space in your life is occupied by good old B&R, or occupied by what that person did to you…you end up becoming a person who rejects things. You reject love or kindness and even your faith. You reject new friendships without even realizing that that is what you are in fact doing. You reject a plethora of things. And worst of all you reject yourself. You limit your potential for happiness. You make your bitterness the reason why you can’t accept goodness in your life. And you end up hurting yourself more than perpetrator could ever hurt you.
It is so important that you let it go. How do you do that? Well, for one, the act of letting go must happen not once but all the time. Because when someone or something hurts you, you don’t just remember it once. For some of us it feels like we think about it every day and in order to fight back, you have to let it go each and every single time. Until that one sweet day where we come to the light and those thoughts seem to disappear.
A friend of mine went through a really hard break up once. It tore her up completely because she gave of herself so effortlessly and so gracefully and was still the one who was left discarded. She felt like she could never get past it. And in all honesty, I was scared that she wouldn’t either. I feared that she would become a rejector. She didn’t become a rejector because, like many of us, she began to see her true value and rebuild herself. One night she texted me about how heartbroken she was. I felt so deeply for her, but I was also slightly frustrated with her. Why couldn’t she “just let it go?” I asked myself, “Why didn’t she see how amazing I thought she was?” So I responded with this:
“As clumsy, growing, stumbling human beings trying to grasp some piece of understanding of ourselves and this world we make mistakes. And at the receiving ends of those mistakes are other human beings. This time, you are that other human being. The truth is that life is messy and crinkly and dirty. And some moments are so heavily soiled and broken that they cannot be cleaned or put back together or ironed out into the state in which they were originally found. And the point of clarity that you really need to get to is to realize that you cannot wait for another person or moment or even a long hoped for word/phrase to repair the damage.”
When we get disappointed by life events or people in our lives the saying is true that we are left with the broken pieces. And as sad and miserable and lonely as that is we, you, have to do the work to fix it. Not the other person. To do that we must recognize a few things:
1. The perpetrator is only human
If we are liable to hurt someone, someone is liable to hurt us.
2. You must fix it
You have to recognize your value, you have to forgive or make peace with the situation every time it arises. You have to do the grunt work. Waiting on someone else to recognize their fault won’t fix it or waiting for someone to say sorry to you won’t either…at least not for the long haul.
3. Let it go every day
Take small steps to “let it go”. If it pops up, recognize that it has and verbally speak it out of your life every time it comes up. Sometimes it’ll feel useless and a bit dumb and crazy and awkward talking to yourself all the time but eventually, it will make sense. I don’t know how it does, but it does. So say to yourself, “I am more than the sum of my parts, my happiness is worth more than this situation and so I’m letting it go.” The reason why we need to emphasize on ourselves when we say this and not the other person is because you can only be responsible for your actions and the kind of person you become.
So if you’ve been heartbroken in any way, it is okay to recognize that the situation or person sucks big time but you don’t have to. Don’t trade yourself in, you’re priceless.