“…heartbreak may be the very essence of being human, of being on the journey from here to there, and of coming to care deeply for what we find along the way.”
- David Whyte, Poet
"...I could still feel joy even though I was in
so much sorrow."
-Lisa Solis DeLong
Have you ever made inner vows after being hurt?
“I’ll NEVER let myself fall in love AGAIN.”
“I’ll NEVER get married AGAIN after that horrible divorce.”
“I’ll NEVER speak from my heart AGAIN.”
(I've said it.)
In her interview, Lisa DeLong believed that she could NEVER have joy AGAIN after losing her beloved eldest son Justin to Leukemia. Her pain and grief were so acute that she started barricading her heart with her second son. She didn’t want to risk feeling that magnitude of love or agony of loss ever again. It's too much!!!
What is happening? Here are my thoughts...
We learn from pain. Once we experience the scorch of a hot iron, we learn to avoid that possibility in the future. Our brains collect this information to help us survive. That is how we’re wired. It's normal.
Now, when our hearts get broken, we experience emotional pain that hurts much like touching a hot iron.
When we lose someone we love—to death, divorce or when there is betrayal or abuse—our hearts close down in order to help us survive. We learn to avoid people or circumstances that remind us of that pain. We NEVER want that to happen AGAIN.
There is some wisdom there, mind you. It’s not wise to place ourselves in harm’s way with an abusive person or situation. Clearly there are circumstances where we must guard our hearts.
However, there are times when it is the better choice to allow ourselves to open up and love AGAIN.
Though we may be protecting ourselves from future harm, we are also preventing the extraordinary beauty of life that we can experience right now, which requires the risk of our hearts.
And sometimes our hearts get broken. It’s inevitable.
Lisa learned that her heart could break, close off, and also reopen and start to heal. She could love her second son.
And she could find joy again too, though it didn't seem possible or accessible at the time.