Is heartbreak one of our greatest teachers?

This Valentine's day season I am becoming aware of how heartbreak is really all about love. If we didn't love so deeply we could never experience heartbreak. I believe love and loss are connected through our ability to make meaning out of each experience as gifts that help us grow and develop. Each time we risk love we are opening ourselves to the possibility of loss.

Love changes us, but so does heartbreak. It is up to us if it changes us for the better or the worse.   When heartbreak enters our life, yes, it sucks. Big time. Feel the pain, the hurt and mourn what may never be as we imagined. Then we move gently forward with our tender, bruised heart into the land of blessings, gratitude and future joys. We begin walking a new path, we live into the changes that heartbreak teaches us.

What lessons have you learned when your heart hurt the most?  How do you let the ache guide you to a new path, that winds around deeper and deeper into your center?

My heart is still beating today after heartbreak and loss. And at times it fears breaking again.

I think back on the big times I had my heart ache: my sister's death, my best friend's death, an awful break-up, infertility and miscarriage, divorce, and now just this month, the sudden death of by brother in a car accident. At times, I deal with them well, and at times I deal with them miserably. Loss takes us to new places by new roads each time. What roads has my broken heart taken me?

To answer that question, I wrote this poem.

Final Departure

two year old poet graduates haiku training

leaving behind the 5-7-5 template

escaping prison of rules and rigidity

belonging to another

eager to doddle outside the lines

where no rules exist except to express her universe within.

Scribbling maps with roads labeled "County Road Love and Interstate Heartbreak"

in invisible ink upon her seeking heart 

while freedom pokes and jobs at tip of her pen

until she is willing to risk

composing vulnerable verses

revealing an itch to become enchanted with life's messy ways.

Empowered now by her own fuel of truth

trusting an interior GPS residing within a bruised yet grateful heart

offering optional directions to journeys not yet taken

her face freckled by the sun's promise of hope

she rises to depart.


Terry Anderson February 10, 2018