Allowing Our Hearts To Be Broken

Allowing Our Hearts To Be Broken

The Union Path Podcast

"Allowing Our Hearts To Be Broken"


It's terrible to have our heart broken, it's excruciating, it's painful. In some ways, at least for a short time, it really feels like it ruins our life, completely diminishes our spirit, can push us into a depressive state, can just squeeze all of the warmth, all of the color, all of the joy out of life, and instead get subsumed into an experience of pain.

And to experience the pain so great, it can take our breath away. We can be swamped by it. We can be overwhelmed by it. Broken heart is not a trivial experience. It's not something we can just shake off. It's not something we can just walk off. It's not something we can pretend didn't happen. Didn't matter.

Didn't hurt because it did happen. It did matter. And it most certainly did hurt. One of the unfortunate lessons we can take. From having our heart broken, is thinking, is learning, that we need to avoid all potential heartbreak in the future. That that pain is so great, that's so excruciating, that we need to avoid it at all costs.

And if, especially if we absorb this lesson when we're young, this can really have a stunting effect on our life. Can really alter, can really change, not only our perspective about life, but our trajectory and path through life as well. Heartbreak can have serious and deep and long lasting effects because of its intensity.

Because it reaches so deeply. Because it seems to just reach down into our core and just take a big scoop out. And even though there is a bit of a hollowing effect, we don't need to be hollowed out by it. We don't need to have our life hollowed out by experiencing heartbreak. Because I think we can all see, I think we can all admit, or at the very least we can all entertain the idea that a full life, that a life lived fully Has to involve heartbreak.

Has to involve disappointment. Has to involve pain. Because otherwise, we were never really going for anything that mattered. Otherwise, we were never really striving after something that really mattered to us. We were not really trying to grow. We were not really trying to change. We're not really trying to live a full life if we experience life without heartbreak.

without pain. So this is a negotiation. This is a deal that we have to strike with ourselves is how full of a life do we want? And the answer is as full as possible. Then how do we find a bit of comfort, a bit, a bit more ease, a bit more acceptance, a bit more tolerance for heartbreak, for pain. One of the things we can know is typically Every time our heart gets broken, it hurts a little less.

That just by virtue of going through the experience, there's a bit of a resilience that builds up. A bit of a callous that develops. Of where I think we can all remember back, the worst heartbreaks we ever had were usually the first ones. Those were the ones that hit us so deeply, usually because they caught us completely unaware.

We had no idea this depth of feeling even existed. We had no idea that this was even a possibility. This, this was on the menu as something that could be experienced. And so after going through heartbreak, not only do we develop a bit of resilience, But we develop some experience, we know what it's like, and the best part of that experience is when we're able to completely traverse and transcend that heartbreak.

We know that it isn't permanent, and unfortunately for some people, the heartbreak is so great they never get to this place. I think we can all find great compassion when we witness this, when someone goes through something so horrendous. That they never really fully recover. Their heart just never seems whole again.

Their energy never really fully returns. The spark is never not diminished and dulled, and that really is sad. It really is easy to find a lot of compassion for, for people who were simply broken. Broken by life, broken through going through an experience. And even though we've witnessed this, even though we see this in others, it doesn't mean that this is the way it has to be.

It doesn't mean pain needs to be permanent. It doesn't mean being broken is without a fix. It doesn't mean that pain that we experienced is somehow intractable, is somehow going to be resident within us and express through us and constantly felt for the rest of our life. No matter how great the pain, we can traverse it.

We can get through it. We can experience it in return to wholeness. And again, this is very easy to say, and a much different thing to actually go through. But just as a bit of knowing, as a bit of ground state, I think it's an important thing to realize, it's an important thing to know. No matter how great the pain is that we experience, there is a path through it.

This is not hopeless. We are not helpless. We are not permanently broken. This pain is not permanently irredeemable. We can't allow it to move through us. And absolutely will it change us. Absolutely will it shape us. Absolutely will it alter who we are as a person down to our core. But it doesn't need to break us.

There is always a resilience. There's always... Healing that we can find. That's one of the beauties of living in a world that's always changing. That's always growing. That's always adapting. That there's always room for hope because change is the only unavoidable aspect of life. Nothing stays the same forever.

Everything that exists will someday not exist. And this truly is a benefit. This truly is the best part because there's always room for hope. There's always room for faith, there's always room for courage, there's always justification to try, to lean in the direction of healing, to hope for more, to strive for better, to keep going, to heal and become whole again.

Because if we've been hurt, we've had our heart broken, we've absorbed the lesson that the best thing we can do is to avoid heartbreak ever again. That in and of itself has a stunting effect on our life. That, in and of itself, will cause us to compromise away from what we really want, will prevent us, will build a limiter on us ever reaching our fullness, on us ever expressing our fullness, because we're too afraid.

We're too unwilling to ever experience that kind of pain again. And this can play itself out in much more subtle ways. This can play itself out in habits. This can play itself out in just the way that we approach life. We can approach life with a very tepid and non committal attitude, but where we never really try.

We never really invest ourselves into something. We never really go for it. We never really try to do what we want. We never really invest ourselves fully. We never really have that full throated effort to really go after the full version, the complete version of what we really want. We never... Have the courage or seize the opportunity to express ourselves fully because we're scared.

We're scared of that heartbreak. We felt that pain and we don't want to invite that in. We don't want to invite that rejection. We don't want to invite that loss. We don't want to invite that grief if held long enough. We don't want to invite that depression. It's all too much. It's too hard. But I think it's interesting, or at the very least useful, to think about when we strike this sort of deal, what we're trading away.

Because we're trading away fullness to lock ourselves into a partial existence where we're always just kind of in the middle. We're always just kind of neutral. We're never really that happy because we're trying to never really be that sad. That we've lowered the ceiling of our life in an attempt to raise the floor.

But this just leads to us getting stuck in the middle. And the thing with living a wanted life, and the thing with doing what we want, and the thing about finding full expression, is that's never expressed, that's never defined, that's never lived in the negative. Life is what it is. Life is lived in the positive.

It's not lived in what it isn't. And the avoidance of pain, the avoidance of heartbreak, if installed as a focus, if used as a primary reason for doing or not doing anything, has this effect. Has this negative, negating effect on our life. That we're not really going for what we want. We're settling for the middle.

We're settling for the mediocre. We're acquiescing to the adequate. And thus we're removing. A lot of the opportunities in life for joy, for happiness, for excitement, for thrill, for passion, for the feelings that we really want to feel, that because we've tried to cancel out pain, we've also canceled out pains opposite, that are avoiding and eschewing pain has caused us to eliminate joy as well.

And that's obviously not what we want. But even more than that, we've decided, we've asked for a life lived in mediocrity, lived in the middle, lived in, it's okay. It's fine. Of course, there's nothing wrong with okay and fine, but it's hardly a worthwhile ideal. It's a very limiting ceiling of our lives only rising to pretty good.

What happened to good? What happened to great? What happened to what we really want? What happened to energy? What happened to passion? What happened to joy? What happened to fulfillment? What happened to meaning? What happened to connection? What happened to all the things that we actually really, really want to feel?

Because these things are the best part of life. That we've eliminated through our efforts to avoid pain, to avoid heartbreak. Because if we look at our life and we just see a mundane, banal, routine existence, if we just look at our life and just see that things are just far more bland, colorless, without vibrancy, without life, without energy, then it's important to look at our role in this.

It's important to look at Are decisions in this, and are we the ones who are asking for this? Are we the ones who are requesting this? Are we the ones who are placing the order for the blandness, for the mundanity that we're experiencing? Or if we find ourselves stuck in a situation, we find that thing stagnant, that yeah, it's fine, but it's never really getting any better.

It's not... Growing, it's not changing. It's just kind of stuck. Well, are we the ones creating and perpetuating the stuckness? Are we the ones waiting for something else to happen? Before we really try? Before we really invest ourselves? Before we really go for what we actually want? Are we setting the intent for the mediocre and the mundane?

And that's, that's what we're experiencing, that's what we're getting, that in a lot of ways, if we look out at our life, are we actually getting what we're asking for? What we're really asking for, what we really want, despite what we think we want, what we think we're asking for. If our life feels limited to us, Are we the ones who have imposed and installed and enforced those limits?

Are we the gatekeepers? Are we the rule enforcers? Are we the ones doing it? Are we the ones creating it all along? Because it can be hard. It can be hard to go through life knowing heartbreak is a possibility. It can be hard to go through life knowing rejection and pain are on the menu, are possible. It can be hard to go through life knowing that loss happens, grief happens, disappointment happens.

Failure happens, but I think we need to ask ourselves. Can we ever be as successful as we really want to if we're afraid of failure, if we're trying to avoid failure? Because to my way of thinking and my experience and my observation, it seems to me the most successful people that I know are the ones who are the most comfortable with failure, who are the most comfortable with knowing that that's a possibility.

And then doing what they want anyway, knowing they'll figure it out, knowing they'll deal with that, but they're not going to squander, they're not going to not seize the opportunity in front of them because failure is out there lurking. They're going anyway. They're going to arm and equip themselves the best they can and see what happens.

They're going to leave the confines of their safe and secure shelter knowing that wild beasts are out there. Knowing they'd rather deal with a threat of the beast than with the limitation of the security of the shelter. They'd rather try. They'd rather live. They'd rather go for what they actually want than limit themselves to what is merely acceptable, what is merely adequate.

And for all of us, we get to choose. We get to choose what intent we set with our own life. We get to choose what we ask for, and thus we get to choose, ultimately, the answer that comes. Because the answer is always in response to the question. The order is always in response to the request. And we are the ones setting the intent.

We are the ones asking for what we're asking for. Again, just because this is easy to talk about doesn't mean it's easy to do. Pain is real. A lot of times if we get hurt badly enough, that pain is still accessible for the rest of our life. It's in there. It can be triggered. And when it gets triggered and we relive that pain all over again, that automatically forces us to backpedal.

That automatically forces us to recoil. Because of course it does. We've had that experience of touching that hot stove. And we don't want to be burned again. But we don't have to let this reaction from this triggering stop us. We can use these past experiences to our advantage. We can learn and we can grow.

We can use these experiences to develop a bit of resilience. We can use these experiences to develop wisdom. We can use these experiences to develop strength. Use this pain to help us grow. To become stronger, to become more wise, to actually become better in what we're trying to do, rather than absorb the lesson that because we experience great pain, we need to never, ever, ever try to do anything like that ever again.

Because great pain will shape us. Great pain will change us. There's no way we can avoid that, but we don't have to let it stop us. We don't have to let it limit us. We don't have to let. The experience of great pain causes us to avoid pain at all costs in the future. We can accept that pain is part of life.

We can accept that experiencing heartbreak is one of the aspects of experiencing and living a full life. That's kind of like the idea of dealing with fear. Of realizing we'll never come to the point where we eliminate fear. What we can do is develop the strength and the courage and the wherewithal to feel the fear and do it anyway.

To let the fear inform us. To let the fear come along. Help sharpen our senses. Help make us more aware. Help inform us. A potential danger, while at the same time informing us of what really matters, of what's really important to us. Because typically, great fear comes along with what matters the most, because if it's change that we want to create, if it's growth that we want to experience, if it's a more full and rich life that we want to inhabit, we have to find a way to deal with pain.

We have to find a way to experience heartbreak. and keep going. Of course, we can be gentle with ourselves. Of course, we can find grace for ourselves. But it's the progress that matters. It's the continuing on. It's the trying again. It's the keeping going that really matters. And if there's more to life that we want to experience.

It's important for us to look at ourselves, look at how we've been doing things, look at our own perspectives, our own beliefs, our own approach to life itself. Look at the decisions we've been making, looking at the way we interact and talk about things, and ask, are we holding ourselves back? Are we not getting too invested in things?

Are we not getting too intertwined in what we want? Are we kind of sitting on the bench waiting for something else to happen? And that's missing out on the game that we're trying to play. Have we become too passive? Have we become too much of a spectator on our own life? Because we're scared of heartbreak.

We're scared of really going for what we want. We're scared of really investing ourselves on what we want. We're scared of really even acknowledging what we really want. What's really important to us. What really matters because we can sense the possibility of heartbreak that we know on some level, if we never.

Actually go for or try to express or try to experience and try and inhabit what we really, really, really want, then we'll never be able to have our heart broken. But we can hear the flaw in that, right? Because what's the alternative? Not ever experience what we really want? not ever pursue what's really important to us, not actually live the things that really matter to us.

It would really bring the sense of fullness and richness and completeness and connection with our own life. It seems like a terrible bargain. That seems like a bad idea. That seems like less for the sake of less. Which ultimately causes a deep hunger, a deep ache. A palpable and sensed void. That we're not really experiencing all we could experience.

We're not really living all we could live. We're not really doing all we could do. We're not really being all we could be. Because we're holding ourselves back. Because we're holding ourselves back out of a fear of heartbreak. Out of an avoidance of pain. On some level, to inhabit something fully, we have to go with it.

We have to go with it fully, with our full selves. We can't hold parts of ourselves back, especially our hearts, especially our passion, especially our enthusiasm, because we don't want to get hurt. Cause if we pretend things don't matter, if we live as if things don't matter, then we won't actually live things that do matter.

And these are the intents that we're creating. These are the intents that are being fulfilled and paid off in our life, that we're getting precisely what we're asking for. And so maybe it's a worthwhile step to just be able to admit this to ourselves, just be able to know it for ourselves. No one else needs to be aware or know any of this, but the very least we ourselves need to know what we really want, what really matters, what we're actually excited about, what we actually have passion about, what makes us smile, what makes us hope, what makes us dream, and know this for ourselves.

And embrace it. Love what we love. Let the heart want what it wants, even though a heartbreak is a possibility. Live life with an open and full heart, even if that means that that open and full heart might get broken. It's worth it. It's worthwhile. It's limiting to our heart and our soul and our experience of life to separate ourselves, to avoid the full share of love and joy and enjoyment that we could experience in our life.

That we cut ourselves off from enjoying and experiencing things fully if all we can think about is the loss of that thing eventually. Yes, it's true. Everything in our lives that's alive will die. Everything in our lives that's made, that's physical, will eventually go away. Everything is ephemeral.

Everything is temporary. Everything is transitioning from being to non being and back again. We can't stop it. There's nothing we can do about it. We can't freeze things into being, trying to prevent them from ever going back and returning to non being. Everything manifested, everything real, everything experienced will return to its origin.

And then new things will emerge, and the cycle will go on and on and on and on. And that this is life, and we have to allow ourselves to live. And to live fully, experiencing everything life has to offer. And we do this, we start doing this by at least admitting, if only to ourselves, what really matters to us, what we really want, what we really desire, what we really crave, what we're really attracted to.

Because ultimately all that matters is that we know. All that really matters is we're not unnecessarily avoiding the good that we actually want in our life. All that matters is we don't place artificial limitations. On the good we can experience, out of a fear of pain, out of a fear of loss, out of a fear of heartbreak.

All that really matters is we find a way to stay open, to be open, to be accepting. To live life fully and allow life to fully be lived through us. In my experience anyway, in my belief, living a good life is far more about removing limitations and obstacles. That it is trying to create anything new, try to make something happen.

Life is far more about allowing than forcing. Life is far more about allowing than controlling. Life is far more limited by the limits we put in place than by the limits life places upon us. And we're the ones who can remove these limits. We're the ones who can clear these obstacles. We're the ones who can allow life to fully flow and allow ourselves to flow fully with it.

And one of the ways we can do this is to not install and enforce limitations because we're trying to avoid pain and heartbreak. Of course, that doesn't mean doing anything foolish. It doesn't mean not learning from past mistakes. It doesn't mean just going headlong. And jumping after every impulse that we have.

We can live life with an open heart and an engaged brain at the same time. That's part of what fullness is. But it's important that we don't artificially limit our life. It's really important that we don't artificially limit our life by compromising and settling for the mediocre, for the mundane, for the okay, for the fine, for the adequate.

When there's more that we actually want, when there's more that's actually calling to us, when there's more that actually feels like us, that feels like the full version of who and what we really are, and through living our life. Setting the intent, having the intention to actually experience it. Finding a way to transcend the fear and allow ourselves to go.

Allow ourselves to flow. Allow ourselves to step into and assume the full version of who and what we really are through the pursuit of the full version of what we really want. Allow ourselves to feel joy. Allow ourselves to feel enthusiasm. Allow ourselves to feel hope. Allow ourselves to feel eager anticipation because we want something and not feel like we have to suppress these feelings out of a fear of heartbreak.

Allow ourselves to feel joy. Allow ourselves to be joyful. Allow ourselves to let the pain go so that we can be grateful. We can have gratitude. For just being alive, just getting to experience what comes next, just getting to pursue what we want. Just having the opportunity for more, for growth, for change, for opportunity, for everything that lies in front of us.

And the less we limit ourselves, the less we limit our pursuits, the less we engage with and entertain and use fear to guide us, the more open we are. The more full we'll be and the more full we are and the more full of a life we'll experience. And for some of us, the lesson we need to learn is that the full life that we want, the full life that we want to experience allows us to remove some of the limitations on fullness that we've installed of some of the partial that we've been pursuing.

Reinstalling and returning what we've eliminated from our life, out of a fear of being hurt, out of a fear of being heartbroken, and letting ourselves feel these feelings again, letting ourselves pursue these feelings again, letting us want what we want fully, and then going into life fully pursuing it, knowing that heartbreak It doesn't need to be permanent.

No matter how deeply and how painfully that heartbreak is felt, that heart can heal. That wholeness can be returned to. And then in time, that heartbreak can help us learn and grow. Can help us be more than we were. Can help us be more resilient. can help us have a broader perspective, can help us have more wisdom, can help us to learn and grow, can help us be able to better experience a full life while maintaining a full and open heart, knowing that it might get broken again, but that's the cost we're willing to pay.

If we want a full life, if we want a heart centered life, if we want a joyful, passionate, enjoyable, full life, we have to live it through ourselves fully. We have to engage and entertain and include ourselves fully. We have to be willing to go for what we want to go for. We have to be willing to want what we want.

We have to be willing to pursue what we really want to pursue. And know that it's okay. It's good. It's good to feel enthusiasm. It's good to want things. It's okay to risk heartbreak. It's okay to risk pain. For the things that really matter, for the things that we really want, that risk is worth it. And we can use our past experience to help us find a way.

To help us find a way through and to what we really want. To the life that we really want to live. We can do so not being so scared of heartbreak. Not letting fear make so many of our choices for us. That we can accept and live and experience a full life, heartbreak and all.

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