The Only Person Breaking Your Heart Is You


Every day as I scroll through my Instagram feed, I happen upon many pictures of brilliant landscapes and other seemingly unrelated photos with captions of quotes about scars and wounds and hearts being irreparably broken. Every day, I give it an eye roll and continue to scroll. But today was different. Today, I woke up on the sympathetic side of the bed and decided to stop and really think about what’s going on and what I can do to stop it. The only way I know how to do that is to write about it, so bear with me.

There’s this idea in our society that a broken heart is an irreparable wound — a wound that no amount of time or love can heal. I would like to politely disagree. Actually, I would like to very impolitely disagree. I want to shout at all of the people who believe their broken heart is infinitely broken. I want to tell you that the only reason your heart is still broken is because you keep breaking it.

I’ve been through the high expectations, the infatuations, and the many different variations of love with the same outcome. If I have learned anything, it’s that the past does not travel with you. If you’re embracing it with all of your strength, it is going to keep you firmly planted there, forced to relive it over and over again. Your fear of letting go is keeping you somewhere you no longer belong.

My intention is not to ostracize you or diminish your pain. Instead, I want you to know that pain is not a one-size-fits-all type of deal. There are many ways to cope with it, some of which hold you down, while others bring you to life. I want you to be optimistic and fuel your pain into positive energy. I need you to celebrate your broken heart. Keep a journal. Write a song. Play a sport. Anything and everything to refocus your energy and put you back on your feet. Never believe you aren’t strong enough to live through it. Always know that climbing a seemingly impossible mountain leads you to new heights with a much better perspective. I don’t mean to be cheesy, but instead wildly optimistic and confident in your ability to break free of your past.

I’m also very optimistic about love, and the idea that we have to go through many trials and errors before we get it right. But each time we get a little bit closer, and the only way we can find the right one is by letting go of the wrong one. Breakups and fall-outs and sadly-ever-afters don’t have to end in broken hearts. Instead they can end with the knowledge of being followed by something much better. Don’t hold on to the past, but learn from it. Take the lesson and keep it tucked away in your pocket as you walk into the future with a little more armor and a little less baggage.

And maybe stop posting depressing things on Instagram.

featured image – Lauren Rushing