It lay in pieces on the cabinet shelf and floor leaving me totally wordless and full of sadness…again.
When I was growing up, Saturday was “Day Of Endless Cleaning” and I dreaded it. I just wanted to sleep in late and be lazy, but my mother is Mr. Clean’s sister so being a sloth was not an option.
You would think after I broke the first knickknack that my mother would ban me from ever touching anything in the house, but it took her until my VERY late teens before she decided that having Sherry clean her glass treasures was a bad idea.
Besides being Mr. Clean’s sister, my mother is also a glass knickknack queen. Everywhere you turn in her home, there is something glass that is easy to break. Sometimes it feels like walking into one of those stores that has a sign, “You break it, you pay for it!” posted right at the entrance. I don’t even enter those stores because items hop off the shelf and break right before my eyes. Seriously!
Needless to say, glue is one of my best friends.
Tonight I called Mom as asked her to take a few pictures of her knickknacks and especially any milk glass that I had broken. Thanks for all the pictures in this post, Mom. Through the years I have tried to replace many of the pieces I’ve broken, so it was nice to hear her say, “I don’t think I have any broken milk glass.”
I specifically remember one small milk glass basket with a handle and wriggly edges that my dad had broken first. Unfortunately, over the years, I broke it too, not once, but two times or maybe even three. The first time I broke the basket into the same pieces that Dad broke, but the second time I added an extra break to the piece. The basket was glued back together every time, but it was VERY obvious that it had been broken.
“You put the pieces back together
restoring it almost to the
you’re never quite the same
as you were before the break.”
~ Sherry Riter ~
Glass has something in common with hearts.
They both can break.
The essence of life.
Hearts have a duty 24/7 to pump blood throughout the body. The effort and contribution the heart makes to our existence is taken for granted by most people until something happens to it.
A blood clot.
A leaky valve.
Something about the heart physically breaks.
Thanks to modern medicine, many times these physical ailments can be fixed, healed or repaired to a condition that is almost as good as new.
“Almost” is the operative word.
But wait. What about the other function of the heart?
“What function?” you ask. “The heart pumps blood!”
Yes, the heart pumps blood, but it also loves.
Love – Another Heart Function
The heart loves and because of that love, it also breaks. When a heart breaks, no words can heal it. Compassion from family or friends may help you bear the moment, but nothing takes away the pain of the break nor can anyone glue the pieces back together. This is a concept that has been understood throughout time.
“Macbeth: How does your patient, doctor?
Doctor: Not so sick, my lord, as she is troubled with thick-coming fancies that keep her from rest.
Macbeth: Cure her of that! Canst thou not minister to a mind diseased, pluck from the memory a rooted sorrow, raze out the written troubles of the brain, and with some sweet oblivious antidote cleanse the stuffed bosom of that perilous stuff which weighs upon her heart.
Doctor: Therein the patient must minister to himself.”
~ William Shakespeare, Macbeth ~
Oh yes, nothing compares to the brokenhearted ache.
The overwhelming pain of a broken heart engulfs your mind, wrenches your soul, exhausts your body, and hurts your heart so badly that you think you will die from the pain.
Each person has a breaking point. Personality, childhood, environment, community – all these factors contribute to the “when” a heart reaches the moment of total brokenness.
When your heart reaches that point, no words can console you.
No hug can comfort you.
No book can make it not hurt.
No activity can bring peace to the pain.
When you love someone you give them respect, trust, and a piece of the best part of you. Love, like your heart, shouldn’t be taken for granted. It is the gift that is priceless. Love and knowledge are the only two things we can take with us when we die, so obviously it is worth far more than all the possessions you will ever own, power you will hold, or status you will attain.
“Love is not a thing
you can pick up and
throw into the gutter and
pick up again
as the fancy takes you.”
~ Elizabeth von Arnim, Fraulein Schmidt And Mr Anstruther ~
Once a heart is broken you never let it happen again, right?
How Often And Why Does A Heart Break?
Unfortunately, the heart can and will break over and over again as long as you give love to others. Events will happen throughout your life that will cause that stabbing, throbbing, painful piercing in your heart. Some of the events are out of your control. For instance, people you love will die. Their death not only affects you at the moment of the loss, but it will forever change a little piece of you.
When my father died, my heart hurt so badly I didn’t think I would be able to bear the pain. I sat on the church pew trying so hard not to look at the little urn that held his cremated remains. Everything about the church, the words spoken by the preachers, the smells, the sunlight, the flowers…it all hurt.
Had I rather not love him to avoid the pain of that day?
Of course not.
Death is part of life albeit a very painful part of life. But there are many other things or events that can break your heart and forever change the way you live and feel.
A car wreck.
Being cheated on by your partner.
A house fire.
Being laid off from a job.
Getting into a fight.
Watching someone die slowly from a terminal disease.
Losing a limb.
All of these events and many more can be the cause of your heartbreak. Like death, most of them are unavoidable which means having a broken heart multiple times during your life is just a fact. It is going to happen, so what are you going to do to fix your broken heart?
No matter how bad your heart is breaking, the world does not stop for your pain. Actually, most of the time, your pain will be completely hidden from everyone except maybe one or two people. The pain you are feeling from your broken heart is not something you even want to voice because saying it out loud just makes it more real and therefore it hurts more.
“It is strange how often
a heart must be broken
Before the years can make it wise.”
~ Sara Teasdale, The Collected Poems ~
Healing a broken heart is no small task, but it can be accomplished.
19 Ways To Heal A Broken Heart
Like you, I’m not a stranger to a broken heart. Some heartaches last a long time. Actually, most of mine last a long time. Apparently I’m a slow heart healer.
Sara Evans, a popular country music recording artist, sings a song with the following line:
“I know my heart
will never be the same,
but I’m telling myself
I’ll be okay.”
~ Sara Evans ~
That’s exactly what happens when your heart is breaking. You keep telling yourself that you will be okay and that life will be normal again. You need hope that once again happiness will flood your life, so the self-talk focuses on life after the pain.
Does that really help you get over a broken heart?
How do you heal a broken heart?
Can a broken heart mend?
Healing a broken heart requires action.
Here is a list of tried and true things to do to help heal a broken heart.
- Remove yourself from the situation that is breaking your heart.
- Make sure all the talking in your head remains positive. Ensure that your self-talk encourages you to feel hope.
- There are many steps and phases of grief, so take your time and grieve completely.
- Find someone who will listen without condemnation and keep your confidences.
- Think it through thoroughly. Analyze it. See your mistakes in the situation. See what strengths you contributed. Accept your humanness. Understand why your heart is breaking.
- Cry as much as you feel the need. There is no shame or weakness in crying. Society teaches men the wrong information about crying. Ignore society. Cry. Crying is cleansing and therapeutic.
- Surround yourself with peace to allow your heart the space to self-comfort.
- Work to renew your hope. Watch uplifting movies. Read motivational books. Listen to positive music. Incorporate inspirational experiences into your activities like meditating, yoga and prayer.
- Keep your heart open and don’t become bitter. Love heals, so let other people care for you even if you feel you have nothing to give back to them.
- Spend time in nature. Sit on the beach, in the mountains, at a park…Go somewhere that you can see the miracles of nature and stare at the vastness of the sky.
- Exercise. Do arm lifts with cans of green beans. Walk around the neighborhood. Vacuum everything from the tops of the curtains to the baseboards and every inch of flooring behind or under the furniture. Exert enough energy to sweat so that you will release the tension that a broken heart builds up in your body.
- Laugh even if you have to fake it. Watch funny movies, television shows, videos or go to a comedy club. Laughing will release endorphins in your brain which will make you feel better. Even fake laughter will release these wonderful chemicals, so just laugh even if you cry at the same time. Yes, it is possible to laugh while you’re sobbing. Been there and did it many times. Just make sure no one is around to see you because you will look totally crazy. Just saying.
- Cope with it one minute, hour or day at a time. Do not stuff it down and try to ignore the pain. Pain stuffing is detrimental to your health and psyche. At one time or another you will have to cope with the heartbreak, so now is better than after it has demolished you emotionally, physically and mentally.
- When the thoughts in your head start to overwhelm you and threaten your recovery, turn up the radio. Make sure the volume on the radio is so loud that you can’t hear yourself think about anything except the music and the loudness of the music. This will give your mind time to regroup instead of allowing the negative thoughts to take over and control you.
- Make plans for your future. Write down the plans and spend time day dreaming about them. What will it take to make these plans become reality? When can they come to fruition? Do you need assistance to make them happen? Who will you ask for help? Really take the time to dream of a happier future.
- Recognize what you learned or gained from the situation or person that is currently at the root of your heartbreak.
- Give yourself some slack. Allow time for healing your broken heart. That constant aching thud in your chest won’t disappear at the snap of your fingers no matter how hard you snap. Be kind to yourself and recognize that healing is a process.
- If forgiveness is necessary because of a wrong someone has done against you, seek to work through the process of forgiving. This won’t be an overnight process either, but it requires conscious effort in order for you to feel the release of true forgiveness.
- Remain fixed in reality.
- Someone died – Death is a natural part of the life cycle.
- You were fired – Change your behavior, vow to be a better employee, and look for another job.
- Someone raped or molested you – Report the event to the police in order to hold the perpetrators responsible. Seek counseling so that you can heal from the trauma.
- Suffering PTSD insanity – Find a therapist that specializes in PTSD recovery and believes that you CAN heal PTSD.
All of these things are devastating and can cause your heart to break. Recognize them for what they are and be proactive in putting steps in place to end the pain. You can sob uncontrollably for hours everyday if you feel the need, but first get on the path of healing so that you won’t be plagued with a broken heart for the rest of your life.
To The Broken Hearted
Having a broken heart is very bad, awful, terrible, dreadful, horrible, horrendous, dreadful, atrocious, horrid and wretched. Did I leave out any verbs?
When suffering a heartbreak, the last thing I want to hear is, “This too shall pass.” Sure it will pass eventually, but hey, don’t minimize the pain I am suffering NOW. So my advice to the brokenhearted is to feel the pain. Let screams of anger, wrenching sobs of agony, and the river of tears flood your home.
Release the pain.
People have disappointed you.
Some people have used you.
Other people have emotionally, physically and/or mentally hurt you.
Still other people have taken advantage of you.
Let the hurt, hurt.
When you have cried a river and your body is recovering from the shaking caused by the sobs that took over, start over again.
Splash some cold water on your face.
Drink some cold and refreshing water.
Walk outside and feel the sun on your face or the wind blow your hair.
I promise that eventually you will be okay. Eventually the pain will cease and you will be better than you’ve ever been. Yes, that’s true. This heartbreak will make you wiser, but it will also make you stronger. You will not only build up a little more emotional muscle, but your heart will be a little less permeable.
Right now, grieve and hurt for what you’ve lost. While in the midst of your agony, set things in motion to allow for your healing. Whatever happened, happened.
Grieve, repair and move on.
“To love at all
is to be vulnerable.
Love anything and
your heart will be wrung
and possibly broken.”
~ C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves ~