There is heartache that comes from a love with a partner, there is heartache that comes from loving your children, from loving your brother, from loving your mother, your father, your friend, from seeing someone with no home or someone who can’t be in their home.
How do you avoid heartbreak? You turn away from what hurts like it isn’t there. You do things that don’t feel right, and your heart breaks another way.
You do them because you are trying to change something. Make something new happen. But you still feel left out. You still feel undone, unfinished, unsure, and you do it anyway. You feel aches that you never knew were aches, you tie shoes, you go grocery shopping, you have conversations, and you still feel heartache.
Whose heart do you break beside your own when you do things for the wrong reasons? Whose breaks when you do something wrong for who you are? Whose heart breaks when you don’t do something wrong for who you are?
Hearts do ache, that is part of their job, besides love, besides expansion, besides contraction, besides aching.
Part of what hearts do is tell you something else needs to happen, something needs to expand, something needs to be considered, something needs to speak from the heart.
You study Buddhism to learn to turn towards the ache, to not turn away, not run away and it all still aches, it gets better, and then the ache comes back with a new cut, intended or unintended. And eventually, not soon, but later, you can learn to distract yourself from the ache, to learn what is about ego and what is about heart, where to focus, where to pay attention, and where to draw your attention away.
My mother, Florkila, told me to get a tougher skin, but I never figured out how to do that. I knew there was something right about that, but I couldn’t figure it out. And so, heartache is a challenge and takes me to find articles about how heartache actually is a thing that affects you physically, Broken Heart Syndrome.
I want to leave this with a ray of hope, with the hope that aches go away and never come back, or aches heal and never need attention again. There is hope, but it is different than that. The hope lies in the heart, the heart that aches, and loves, and aches and loves, and keeps beating, keeps pumping life into our veins. There is hope in knowing that everything, Everything always, Always changes.
~Thank you to Carol L. and Lara S. for always being “with” when things have to travel deep and Thank you, Maira Kalman, for the inspiration to just write as things are, to be quirky, to let things land where they land, be complete or incomplete.