A surprising epiphany came to me as a result of a brief relationship that didn’t work out.
I felt heartbroken, yet felt surprisingly uplifted. With gratitude, I wrote a short quote about my experience, “A broken heart is an opened heart,” knowing my life will never be the same again. As each day goes by since then, my world continues to unfold in magical ways, welcoming many new and wonderful relationships into my life, both business and personal. Having my heart broken was the best thing that had happened to me in a long time.
What if we’ve been looking at heartbreak all wrong? What if what we typically call a heartbreak is actually just our heart opening up to a new depth?
The feedback we are often given is that heartbreak is a horrible experience. It is sad, painful, devastating, and debilitating. It is to be avoided at all costs. So most of us spend our adult lives protecting ourselves from heartbreak. We look for safe and secure relationships and situations so we don’t have to put our emotions on the line. Though ironically, as soon as we feel completely safe and secured, we also become ready to grow again, whether we are aware of it or not.
For most of us, our first heartbreak happened in our teens when we naively entered the fantasy world of love and promise not knowing how to navigate through a relationship of the hearts. We would give our heart freely and completely to those we held special, and when we were rejected or betrayed, we were devastated beyond consolation. We experience heartbreak in such a profound way that sometimes we make life decisions from that experience. If we haven’t received healthy support or guidance, we may associate love directly with heartbreak and decide to close our hearts to love altogether.
In order to allow love to enter, our heart will have to be open to it. The wider it is open to receive, the greater the love will enter. The chance of heartbreak and disappointment will always be there; there is no way to avoid it, no matter how hard each of us tries. Our mind cannot separate us from love; it can only create fear. And while fear puts up barriers, it does not remove our need for love. Our heart will always be looking for it; it is our destiny as humans to connect and love one another.
Sometimes we’ve habitually put up so many barriers around our heart in our adult life that it takes a strong force to cut through and blow open our heart space. And sometimes that force breaks our heart in the best way possible.
When our heart is open, it is in motion and our livelihood is activated. When our heart is involved, everything we do has passion and vitality—from personal relationships to our professional work. Everything we do has meaning, and life is more colorful.
Seeing the beauty in heartbreak
As we get older, our life becomes more stable and we accumulate more and more experiences. We come across many things that are within our expectations and we don’t leave much room for surprises. When we break into brand-new territory of being, however, we can’t be sure what will happen next and how we will handle it.
In my case, I recognized that I had asked the universe to show me a path to a greater capacity for love—the kind of love beyond my existing known way of love. I didn’t know in what shape or form it was going to show up, but I knew it wouldn’t be a walk in the park and it would take courage and patience to experience it fully.
When my heartbreak occurred (which, by the way, I have been referring to as “heart-opening”), I realized it was exactly what I had asked for and exactly what I needed in order to open up to a new possibility of love. And the universe delivered. I felt loved, listened to, and I marveled at how quickly and magically the universe responded.
Sometimes we are not consciously aware of what we are ready for, but our heart and soul send out a signal that we are ready for more and our desires are felt. If our desires are strong and persistent then a surprising event often happens synchronistically. That event is a gift to us. How we respond to it is up to us. We can either see it as a beautiful gift or a traumatic incident. I chose to see it as a beautiful gift because it showed me a new depth of just how much compassion and unconditional love I was capable of. Because of this experience, I now know I will always leave room for that type of “heartbreak.”
Don’t waste a good heartbreak
Whenever I encountered any kind of heartbreak before, I always wanted to mend it as quickly as possible so I could live my life as usual. This time, however, I found myself savoring this as a cherished experience, knowing it was a special gift upon my heart’s request.
I realized how much more rare it is to be mindfully vulnerable enough to experience a heartbreak. As I have mentioned earlier, most of our adult lives are stable and in control, so we hardly have the opportunity to experience love beyond our known capacity. When we are shown how much love there is within us and how much more love we have to give, it is a divine experience in itself.
I want to clarify that I’m not just talking about romantic love but love in all nature and forms. When a new depth of love is revealed, it affects our whole capacity for love in general, whether it’s for romance, friendship, family, nature, or humanity. Love envelopes all life forms and all relationships. When a bigger space for love is created within us, we will be more open to give and receive all forms of it in new greatness. And we will be shown all of those forms as soon as we are ready to experience them.
Uncompromising love and self-worth
One of the most important realizations I’ve made about myself in my heart-opening process is my desire to explore the full capacity of love.
For the longest time, I was starting to think I have commitment issues when it comes to entering new relationships. But more and more I realize that the kind of love I want to experience is unlimited. That’s the biggest commitment I have made to myself—to give and receive love freely and fully without the illusion of security or the confines of societal expectations. Under the umbrella of that overarching commitment is also a commitment to uphold and respect everyone else’s commitment to their own agreement of love.
Whenever I think about the relationships I have walked away from, how easy it would’ve been to stay for the promise of love, I realize the satisfaction would only have been temporary. Deep inside I know that I would have settled for much less than I desire, and that is a terrible feeling to live with.
Society conditions us to settle, to compromise our full potential for good enough. We end up handing over our life having never found out what we are truly capable of and what it is to be truly alive. What we actually compromise is our self-worth and realizing our total human potential. If we want to explore our full capacity for love, we must do that on our own terms and not within the confines of someone else’s.