Monday, June 24, 2013

How to Prepare for a Broken Heart

We often try to prepare ourselves for major events in our lives - graduations, weddings, parenthood, etc.  We might condition parts of our bodies such as our brains for learning, our lungs for running a race, our muscles to carry heavy loads.  But how does one condition a heart to be broken?  

The first thing one must understand is that there are two parts to a broken heart - the physical organ and the shattering of the soul.  The organ itself is an amazing object.  It draws blood into itself and pumps it back out to every vein in your body.  It supplies blood with oxygen and helps to clean out the bad stuff.  Without it we would die.  Doctors have discovered many ways of repairing this ball of tissue and vessels to keep us alive.

Then there's the soul part of it.  The mystical thing we tie to this life-giving muscle.  The part that separates us from other animals.  The part that makes us who we are.  The part that actually breaks.  The part that doctors can't fix.  Only God can repair this half of the puzzle.  

We can condition the physical part of the heart by working out.  We can prepare ourselves for battle.  But the only thing we can do for the soul side is build lots and lots of imaginary walls around it.  Walls that keep us from getting hurt (or so we tell ourselves).  Walls that keep us from giving all that we are so we don't get hurt (and in the end makes us the cause of our own pain).  There's no way to exercise it.  No matter how many times we are let down or have our "hearts broken".  

What can you do when you really know you are in for a killer of a broken heart?  Our first instinct is to withdraw into ourselves.  Hide in our shell and wait for the blast to come.  The problem with this tactic is that it shields us from seeing what good might be around us.  It's not a one-way mirror.  

How about pushing the issue and bringing it to a head so you can deal with it on your own terms?  Perhaps a better idea, but only if you are absolutely sure of all of the variables.  Did you read all of the signs correctly or are you filling in the blanks from your own fear.  If you get this wrong, you have just ended a perfectly good relationship.

Or do you just wait?  Wait for the inevitable.  Not knowing the time or place, but knowing all of the signs are pointing to that one moment - the moment you know that again you are simply not the right person.  All of the time and effort you invested in this relationship is wasted.  All of your hopes and dreams thrown away.  All of your self-confidence shredded.  Because you're not good enough - again.  No amount of woman's lib can fix this one.  It will be a long time before you can trust the person you are is good enough.  

 For me - I'm in between waiting and pushing it forward.  I'll know the answer soon enough either way.  The ending - no matter what the subject - will always be bittersweet.

That moment when...

(I wrote this March of 2012.  I knew then even though I was afraid to say it)

Don't you hate that moment.  The moment when you know.  Beyond a shadow of a doubt.  That it's over.  Before they even realize it themselves.

It's like you're on the outside looking in.  Reading a novel.  Knowing what is just around the corner but the characters can't see it.  Scanning ahead quickly so you can get past the inevitable.

I saw it in your eyes that night after Cub Scouts.  It was a tough night.  But I walked out of the meeting and just knew.  I felt every bit of the frustration you tried to mask.  I mean, taking on three kids and an overworked soccer mom is a lot to ask for.  I knew at that point it was just too much.

But you stayed.  At least together.  You left for the night and I broke down in tears.  Because I knew.  I knew at that moment the tide had shifted.  You just didn't realize it yet.

Because I love my children more than life itself.  And I can't fix them.  They are who they are and what they are regardless of my interference.  And I am who I am in spite of trying to re-invent myself.

And I heard it in your voice today.  Well, not today because I won't be posting this blog just yet.  Today being March 5th.  Just barely less than a year from when we met.  But soon it will be yesterday.  I'll wait until you figure it out.  Until then I'll wait.

Because I know my heart will shatter again when you do.  And you will hesitate to tell me because I know you still care.  It's just too much.  You will tear yourself up inside trying to figure out the right time to tell me.  How to tell me without admitting the real reason why.

So for now I will be still.  On edge knowing that the time is coming.  Never knowing when the words will come spilling out.  Writing this now because I can hold back the tears (barely).  I won't be able to then.