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I Don't Know How Else to Say This, But...

(Wait for it)

I am in love with someone else.

Maybe “it’s not you, it’s me” resonates more. Whatever the words, it takes few to splinter a heart. So, from one heartbreak survivor to another, I ask: when a heart breaks, does it break open or closed?

I was introduced to this question for the first time last October. On an otherwise ordinary Wednesday morning in my poetry class, the words of Mary Oliver left me dumbfounded. How was it that I thought I understood heartbreak, but never once stopped to consider its directionality?

When an egg drops, its thin shell jumps outward and the yolk is exposed. When a rock hits a window, the glass recklessly crashes inward. Matters of the heart, though an imperfect science, can’t avoid the laws of physics.

Still sitting in class, I considered my own moments of pain, past and present: a struggle with perfectionism, a fear of disappointing myself, a yearning for meaningful connections, an increasingly turbulent relationship with my body… heartbreak is not graceful, nor is it reserved for romance.

I then recognized this question from long before October. Beyond that, I knew that my heart broke best when it broke outward.

So, I’ll crack my heart open for you: my worried thoughts vanish when I can put words to them; having a plan, in my own way, lets me embrace uncertainty; I know time to be my ultimate healer; my mind feels better about my body the moment I move it; when I reconnect with myself, I can deepen my relationships with others.

To know myself is to allow my heart to split open and in search of solutions. When we grant ourselves permission to feel, without denial or shame, our hearts no longer shatter-- they stretch, bend, and expand.

Just like that, heartbreak becomes a little bit easier.

"Lead" by Mary Oliver

1 Comment

Carolina Pino
Carolina Pino
Jul 14, 2022

Currently wiping tears in my cubicle. This made my heart smile :)

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