It truly is a privilege to have your heartbroken. Coming from a person who has had their heart shattered by approximately three boys, one dog, two best friends, and one boss, heartbreak, however painful, lonely, and gut-wrenching it may be, is a sign of love.
Those who move through life casually—parting ways from people with only a short expanse of loneliness afterward—did not have the privilege of real, true love. Real love is not always pretty or kind, and more often than not, it ends in heartbreak. This seems like something that would be considered common knowledge, yet so many still feel immense apprehension towards even the thought of it.
It’s because of this that heartbreak is so often treated as the dreaded end of a relationship—the thing that both parties try not to think about for fear of the terminal result. Each person that we give our hearts to takes something from us but leaves something in return in a venomous exchange of infuriating infatuation. Both parties—both flawed yet trying people—experience heartbreak, but both parties also gain some sort of realization, good or bad, no matter the intent at the start of it all. And these intents, human and sometimes imperfect, vary.
“If you’re not dating to marry, then you’re dating to get your heart broken.” In a way, yes. But heartbreak isn’t something separate and sovereign from love. Marriage isn’t a priceless protection from it, and the absence or presence of heartbreak doesn’t determine the depth of love either. The sacrifice we willingly and knowingly choose to make when we enter into a relationship is that, for the duration of that relationship, our hearts will be full, and then, at some point, no matter if it is in 10 months or 50 years, our hearts will be empty.
With this notion in mind, “Lucky to have people in my life with the power to break my heart,” is a song lyric that crawled out of my speakers a few weeks ago and has attached itself to me ever since, an ominous plague in my mind and heart. The idea that people having the power to break your heart is a blessing instead of a curse had never, ever, occurred to me. But really, when you explore yourself—the good and the bad, the devotion and the heartbreak—the idea makes silent thoughts clearer, and it puts life into a whole new perspective.
The people closest to us are special to us: our friends, family, significant others and everything in between. They know our lowest lows and still see us through to our highest highs, daring to stay by our side. This ultimately hands them the key to our hearts. The key to love us and also stop loving us. Being surrounded by people who have your heart, your whole heart, is an act of faith and confidence.
Why would you want to have people in your life that don’t have the power to break your heart? By acknowledging the fact that they are so present in your mind and so vital in your everyday world, we surrender ourselves completely to those around us. Big risks yield even bigger rewards; by giving people the power to break our hearts, we give them the power to fill them, too.