Learning From Love

When I was little and I heard the word “love”, I used to imagine fairytales and princesses and princes and happily ever afters. My young five year old mind thought it worked like magic, and that you met your match and you just knew; forever was always a thing. I guess you can say I was a little naïve.

Things happened as I grew older.

I learned that people don’t just pop into your life. It’s more of a search. Actually, it seems like a word search with symbols of a language you’ve never seen.

I learned that when you find someone that you think is a match to the piece you’re missing in your heart, you’re not always the match for theirs.

I learned that heartbreak is real, and it’s not as easily describable as the books make it seem.

I learned that people leave. You can basically open your chest and hand them your heart, and you’re trusting them to handle it with care. But that’s the thing about trusting people, you’re giving them the ability to know every part of you, but you’re also giving them the chance to run away and smash it with a hammer. And yes, that’s exactly what it feels like.

I learned that people that fall in love, fall out of it, no matter how long that love has occupied every inch of your mind. I don’t quite understand this, but it’s the most terrifying thing to me.

I learned that heartbreak is so much deeper than an emotion: it can be physical. It can feel like your heart is so demolished that it doesn’t work properly anymore. It’s like air isn’t enough to keep you alive, because that person took the working parts with them.

I learned that you can be broken by more than just a significant other. It can be family or friends. And sometimes, just witnessing heartbreak can break a part of you, too.

I learned that the world keeps moving no matter how much you feel like you’re cracking. It keeps turning and you have to take a break to pick up as many pieces of yourself as you can but you always have to get up and keep going. It’s not stopping.

But the truth is, no matter how much I learn, I still believe in fairytales. I always will. Maybe I’m too naïve. Maybe I’ve been broken too many times and I’m delusional. I will always believe you have to experience the heartbreak. You have to know what it feels like to be so empty because someone ripped you apart without even touching you. You have to feel like you’ve fallen into the deepest pit of sadness for a little while. Because without that, you won’t know what happiness really feels like.

Broken by Life

Broken

When you see that word, what do you think of? What do you feel?

Broken. Like when when a baseball hits the window and it shatters instantly.
Broken. Like when you drop a glass on the floor and it leaves a crack, but over time, that crack takes over the entire cup before it’s eventually unusable.
Broken. Like when you were a kid and you got a new toy, but you abused the directions to the point that it just stops working the way it was intended to be used.

I never like to think of us, as people, as objects, but I think it’s an easy comparison.

Some people have such strong personalities. They can take criticism and speculation of others, and it’s like it just rolls right off of their skin. It’s as if it doesn’t phase them and they are able to continue their days as if the comments didn’t exist. But time deteriorates everything.

There’s some people whose skin isn’t so tough. It’s as if the outer layer to their heart and mind is made of tissue paper, at times. Any critical comment seems to be able to break through that sheer barrier and those words can bounce around in their head for any length of time.

These are two very different kind of people, and I think we all can filter ourselves somewhere between these variations. But no matter where in line you stand, not one of us is invincible. We all have breaking points.

We all have soft spots. You know, things that when you get on the topic of them, you get an excess wave of emotions, whether it be passionate, excitement, or sadness.

We’re all getting broken. We’re all being worn down just by living. And I think the fear of breaking is what holds people back from really experiencing things. I know that’s what it’s doing to me.

Not one of us can live this life without getting broken by something. But you know what? Broken pieces can be fixed. Windows can be repaired. Glasses can be cleaned up. And toys can be taken apart and put back together again. No, it’s not going to be brand new. No, it’s not going to be as perfect as it was to start with. But it’s as good as it can get.

That’s how we have to start living. Don’t be afraid of breaking, be afraid of not living enough. In the end, hopefully we’ll all be 80 and wrinkly together and you’ll be able to see that everyone has some battle wounds. That’s the result of life.

So don’t look at that hole in your shield as a sign of you losing, look at it as a sign of living.