Question #1: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?
And how can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?
How can you mend this broken man?
How can a loser ever win?
Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again.
Songwriters: Barry and Robin Gibb, 1971
The musical group, the BeeGee’s was popular in the 80’s and 90’s, particularly with their disco hit, “Staying Alive.” Their harmonies were tight, and their songs were memorable. “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” was a hit in 1971, and as writers, the BeeGees chose a topic that could “connect” with just about anyone who had ever fallen in love and had that relationship end in a breakup. Connection could also be made with anyone who ever grieved the death of a loved one, or who had become estranged from a loved one. People could identify with the topic of relationship loss, and the feelings that life would never be good again.
The BeeGees song throws out so many questions that plead for answers. Some well-meaning people might say, “You’ll get over it,” “Someone better will come along,” “Time heals all things,” “Your loved one is in a better place.” “It was for the best.” Oh, how these words seem shallow compared to the deep abyss of heartache, and these platitudes which sound so empty don’t convey compassion and empathy! However, they are an attempt to console the inconsolable, but oftentimes, people just aren’t that good at consoling.
The only way to avoid the experience of a broken heart is by never letting yourself love another person. While it is an extreme choice, it is the only way to get out of this life without experiencing the tears, loneliness, sadness, and grief that accompany loss. However, if we choose to love another person, we also choose -by default- the possibility that there will be disappointments and loss. In our human condition, we are always vulnerable to hurt.
My faith tradition has given me hope and support when my heart has been broken. I have remembered the promises of Bible Scripture that remind me of the God who created me, sees me, knows my name, who cares about my sorrows, who loves me, and who does not call me a “loser.” I choose to love others, and to be open-hearted and vulnerable, knowing full well the risks. I think it has been worth it.
Book of Psalms Scripture Promise # 1
God is near to the brokenhearted..
(Our Creator God understands our human vulnerability to broken-heartedness, so He will comfort us.)
Book of Psalms Scripture Promise # 2
...and He will raise you up on eagle’s wings,
Bear you on the breath of dawn,
Make you to shine like the sun,
And hold you in the palm of His hand.
(Our Sheltering God will raise us up as if we were on eagle’s wings, and will hold us in His protective hands.)
Book of Revelation Scripture Promise # 3
He will wipe all tears from their eyes,
and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain.
These things of the past are gone forever.
(Our Loving God promises that, in the next life, our eternal life, there will be an absence of broken-heartedness.)
What I Have Learned
1. Healing from a broken heart is possible, even though sadness can continue for a long time, even a lifetime. Tears can still come years later in remembrance of a loved one who died. A familiar place or song can remind you of a relationship that ended.
2. Moving forward from a broken heart is an intentional act. In the Jewish tradition, there is a 30-day mourning period after the death of a loved one, and then the daily activities of life are resumed as much as possible after the period of mourning. After 30 days, a broken heart doesn't automatically heal, but the intentionality of moving forward will allow the brokenhearted person the hope of beginning a new life chapter. The new chapter may not look anything like the previous chapter, but it can still contain good and unexpected, productive things.
3. The inability to work through brokenness alone is a real possibility. Seeking the counsel of a wise and trusted person, and/or a professional therapist is a positive, self-care thing to do.
When you feel the first stirring of hope in your heart, grab it and hold onto that hope like a lifeline because it is. God can mend our broken hearts, and can turn our scars into strength for the journey ahead. Healing is a process that happens little by little, and over time, but with prayer and faith, a broken heart can be mended, and life can be good again!
I pray God's blessings on you as you move forward.
August 1, 2019
A Prayer for You
May God heal you, mind, body and soul;
May your pain cease, may your strength increase.
May your fears be released.
May blessings, love and joy surround you. Amen.
(Prayer and Blessing by Rabbi Naomi Levy, “Talking to God. Personal Prayers for Times of Joy, Sadness, Struggle, and Celebration”)
© Copyright Shirley Myers