The Benefits of Heartbreaks

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How could heartbreaks have benefits you may wonder?  It is almost an oxymoron concept. In many ways it is; for heartbreaks are deeply painful, confusing, angering, full of tears and the desire to just be swallowed in pain.  All true! But with every pain, there is a gain somewhere and heartbreaks do bring some gains with them.

There is a Sufi saying that says, “Oh break my heart. Oh break my heart again so I can love even more.”  I loved this saying when I first heard it for it suggests such passionate commitment to love. I had said so many times in a warrior like manner not fully knowing or maybe not remembering the pain of a heartbreak.   But when the heart got actually broken, I was left confused at that saying.  How could I trust love again? How could I open up to love again and be even more committed to love when heartbreaks hurts so much?    But at one point, I started noticing all the things that were happening, the people who started reaching out, the steps I had taken and suddenly I thought hmmmm, there are benefits of heartbreaks and I was slowly starting to understand the Sufi saying.

To start with and at the very vain level there is weight loss! Nothing beats that in my opinion.  I had been struggling to lose few kilos in the last few months and suddenly they all disappeared in a matter of a month.  Wow! I thought to myself as I started to feel better at least about my body.  That triggered the second benefit of a heartbreak:  a new look.   Though again on the vain side, a new look is always uplifting and fun to do.  The loss of weight encouraged new buys for a new look from makeup style to clothing and shoes.  I went for things I was always curious to try but didn’t get to it from black nail polish to a different eye shadow.   Enough of a difference that I started loving the exploration process of what is the new me looks like. This allowed for spasm of fun moments and allowed for new remarks I was getting on my new look and where I was able to hear and take it in.

A heartbreak leaves one so vulnerable and at one point, one has to do something with that vulnerability.  In my case it started with a dream where I told fear “I release you” and all of sudden fear had no role in the circle of my life and walked out.  That morning, I woke with a lightness to my heart and I decided to embrace the dream in my daily life.  So every time I encountered fear, from fear of loneliness to judgments I kept on telling it “I release you!”  Within a month, I started noticing a lightness to the heart.  If fear is what keeps us stuck in our own beliefs about ourselves then releasing it gives us the freedom to just be, accept and explore.  And there’s nothing more fun than the exploration process of self to find one’s center again. Sometimes we lose ourselves in others, around us or in the work we do.  We stop asking when we last danced, when we last sang, and even when we last visited friends we love.  A heartbreak is like a cleanser of the soul.  It leaves us empty looking around to see where have we been and where are we in this emptiness.  That starts a new journey of exploration of “who am I, where am I and am I where I want to be, with who I want to be with and what I want to be.”  The emptiness, like the weight loss, allows for new arrivals of visions, learnings and dreams free of all inhibitions and restrictions with the sky as the limit if even.

That’s when love shows up over and over again.  And that is when the Sufi saying started making sense for me.  Love came from so many directions.  From friends who reached out in the most kind, loving and generous ways.  Each reach filled my trust in love and each a reminder of the beauty of this life despite all pains and challenges.  Love came with every sunrise and every fresh breath of air and every time I encountered nature from mountains to seas.

Heartbreaks are a part of life that is unfortunately unavoidable.  It is most painful when it is least expected and from people we love dearly.  But it is also one of the big teachers of life.  For it is in these moments that we have a choice whether to close up to love thinking that we can protect ourselves from all the pains that it may bring with it or to open up again and again and knowing that with each opening there is a risk of a heart breaking and the benefit or a tremendous heart expansion.   There have been many heartbreaks in my life, from the loss of my mother, my country, to romantic loss.  In all cases, I found myself on a cross road of a decision of whether to close my heart to love or to risk love again.  I say:

I will not close up to love

I will always love and love again

I will always be there

In love

 

Standing on a cliff

Not knowing

Falling forward or backward

Or standing still

 

I will always see love

I will listen to the tunes of love,

I will see it in the sun rising

For the sun rise up again and again

I will always soak in the bath of love

For water flows and flows again.

I will Love over and over again.

About Zainab Salbi

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