Monday, November 28, 2005

'Tis

Sie asked if it really was better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all? I can only reply yes, yes and yes.

The first time I ever made a mint julep, I had to listen to an ongoing argument between two friends and connoisseurs of that Derby Day delight. The preferred receptacle was in agreement, a silver cup. They both agreed on the brand of bourbon and how much sugar should be added. What raised their voices was whether the mint should remain intact or be crushed. I eventually sided with my friend who said that crushed leaves release the sweetness and flavor of the mint into the drink just as a broken heart releases the sweetness into life.

After a heart has been broken, we value hearts more highly and treat them with more tenderness and respect. We have a greater knowledge of what they can do, because nothing lifts a life into joy more than loving, and nothing hurts more than a broken heart. When you're not sure of just what your heart can do, it's easy to give it to someone. We are born knowing how to love. Withstanding great tragedy and loss almost immediately after birth, it's almost impossible for a child not to love. We think we train ourselves out of that as we grow. We compile a mental list of qualifiers that make a person lovable. We succumb to that demon chemistry that makes that mental list null and void. We let acquaintances grow into friends. We let friends become loved ones. We have lovers. We take on husbands and wives. We have children.

And then, somewhere along the line, we get betrayed or we lose someone we love. Whether it was a person's hurtful or stupid choice or just the garbage life throws in the way, most hearts get broken, and everything in our lives gets turned upside down. The emotional pain is so intense that even our bodies get involved with their own hurts. Sometimes we get much more guarded. Sometimes the pain pushes people into a danger seeking wildness that validates every negative feeling oozing out of the cracks in our hearts. Some turn cold in the greatest loss of all, abandoning the life that is still available.

A broken heart changes us permanently. My life has had its ups and downs, but there have only been two times that my heart was broken. One happened when I was young with a rape, a betrayal that left me literally bruised and bleeding, wary and afraid to trust and love. It took years for my heart to feel that I was able to let anyone close enough to hurt me again. I moved so slowly in dealing with people afterwards, particularly men, that I took my time discovering them. I gauged their worthiness on their ability not to hurt me, but eventually, that process transformed itself into the delight of just learning another person. What had been a way to hold people off became how I came to see people as lovable and trustworthy again. During the time I was holding people at a distance I was also learning to value my own worth. I'm not sure that I could have come to the knowledge of just what a person I am and how I deserve to be treated if I hadn't gone through that pain. It was a hard way to learn, and I wouldn't recommend it, but because I had to work so hard on that lesson, and despite depression's attempts to convince me otherwise, I know in the very core of my being that I am a person of great value. This may not be the way the Bible meant it, but I am a pearl of great price, and I've been blessed because the people in my life who are closest to me know that.

The second time my heart was broken was during my daughter's illness, which I have to put into the life's garbage category. Though I still have resentments against some people on the margins of that story, there is really nowhere to cast the blame. Terrible things happen. It's just a consequence of living. My hurt and rage was directed at everybody from kids to parents to institutions to God/dess. I discovered people the first time my heart was broken. The second time, I rediscovered my Deity who lives in the broken places of people's lives. When it seemed that everything I held dear in life was disappearing, God/dess found me. I didn't know how or where to look. I was too busy with the details of survival and too full of anger to want to look. When I was more broken than I had ever imagined possible, I poured every sour and negative thing into the most rage and sadness filled prayer of my life, an inarticulate spew of bile and need. I couldn't tell you how it worked, but things started changing. We found strengths in places that were revealed to us and support from places we couldn't have imagined to go on and begin to heal.

Just as ground must be broken to sow a plant, I think that a heart must be broken for life to grow. At winter's end and preferably at the beginning of a new moon, fields are opened to receive seed. It's ugly then with vast expanses of ruptured mud, but it's just the start of the lush harvest that can come.

11 Comments:

Blogger Tina said...

Cynthia ... this is beautifully stated, and full of truth. You have a wonderful way of summing up life's delights, and it's challenges. And a real ability to take a negative, and turn it into something to be gained from. This is the essence of a successful life. There are so many things here that I can relate to ... thanks for sharing them. Onemoretina

November 29, 2005 12:23 AM  
Blogger Sie said...

Very eloquent.

November 29, 2005 7:01 AM  
Blogger Gabreael said...

Yes....

Gabreael


http://gabreaelsbodymindandspirit.blogspot.com/

November 29, 2005 7:04 AM  
Blogger Gaboatman said...

Cynthia
Wow! This was so well written and expressed! I liked your analogies and your reasoning on this. I'm sorry that you had to learn these truths the hard and painful way, but you have grown into something that is beautiful. A talented writer who has a voice and knows how to use it. Thanks for this beautiful entry!
Sam

November 29, 2005 9:53 AM  
Blogger IndigoSunMoon said...

Aw Cynthia...what a great entry!
Love,
Connie

November 29, 2005 11:36 AM  
Blogger V said...

Cynthia,
This is beautiful and wise.

I especially like the words:

..... When I was more broken than I had ever imagined possible, I poured every sour and negative thing into the most rage and sadness filled prayer of my life, an inarticulate spew of bile and need.........

Hugs,
V

November 29, 2005 3:45 PM  
Blogger kas said...

Cynthia...I love this entry. And I am so sorry about those times your heart was broken. I think that having a broken heart is a way to learn how to be cope and recover and be strong. It's never easy, but I think it's a necessary part of life. Just beautiful!

November 29, 2005 6:14 PM  
Blogger ckays1967 said...

During the time I was holding people at a distance I was also learning to value my own worth.

and

Just as ground must be broken to sow a plant, I think that a heart must be broken for life to grow.

I once heard a parable that talked about how it is thru the fires that the pottery actually becomes strong. Without the fires we cannot hold up to everyday use...I think too that that is what God does with us. Puts us through the fires so that we can stand up to heavy use. Any cracks allow His love to shine outwards.

I am sorry for your past pains my sweet friend. I am.

xxoo

November 29, 2005 9:11 PM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

Cynthia, your writing has really kicked up several notches lately. (I have my own theory as to why that is, but I'm not going to share that with you, because you would think I was full of crap.) Excellent post, excellently written. Lisa :-]

November 30, 2005 1:25 AM  
Blogger Joseph Smith, Jr. said...

Interesting blog. Enjoyed reading it.

Sincerely,

Joseph Smith Jr.
Stake President
http://www.whatismormonism.com

January 13, 2006 7:12 PM  
Blogger Joseph Smith, Jr. said...

Interesting blog. Enjoyed reading it.

Sincerely,

Joseph Smith Jr.
mormonism recovery
http://www.whatismormonism.com

January 13, 2006 8:20 PM  

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