The Mindset of HeartBREAK or HeartACHE?


Have you ever had your heart broken? Of course you have. In some way or another, most young adults, by the age 18-20, have had a broken heart. It may not be from a romantic relationship, or it might be, but you know what I'm talking about. I've been through heartbreak, caused by relationships and cause by other events, and let me just say it ain't fun. But duh, we know that.

I spend a lot of time deep in thought. I have so many thoughts constantly moving around in my head that sometimes I feel like there is absolutely, positively no room for another thought. And then usually comes another thought. It's overwhelming. Recently, on a night drive, I found myself once again deep in thought. All the sudden as I was driving down the highway, it occurred to me that my heart is really aching, but I'm not broken. There is a difference between heartbreak and heartache. Hear me out. I know in the midst of heartache it feels like it is so much more than an "ache" and if one more person tells you that it's just heartache and time will heal, you might EXPLODE, because it most definitely feels like a "break". But a new perspective randomly creeped into my brain, at the most perfect time. There is a difference between aching, and breaking.

I spent so much time feeling completely broken after the Route 91 tragedy in Las Vegas. I let my pain completely consume and define me, and I considered myself broken. After healing from that, I was terrified of experiencing heartbreak again. I had convinced myself that if I ever had to deal with that kind of pain again, that it would kill me. So I tried to completely avoid putting myself in a risky situation. And as I drove down that highway, I thought about all of this and then I stopped. How little do I think of myself? is the question that circled my mind. To think I couldn't handle another challenge. That I wasn't strong enough to make it through something hard. Nope, not me. I can handle another challenge, and I am certainly strong enough to make it through something hard. Otherwise, when and how will I grow? I'd be stuck playing it safe, scared, and in my comfort zone? No, thank you. My mindset changed right there. There could be so much that I'd miss out on if I stay where I am: comfortable out of fear of the uncomfortable.

In all honesty, I don't like being alone. Ever since I was a kid, I have always been uncomfortable with it. I would sleep in my little sister's bed, and as weird as it sounds, until I was like 8 years old, I would have someone go to the bathroom with me and just stand in there with me. I know it's weird, but I've always preferred the company of people. Over the last few years, I have focused on getting comfortable being alone. I'm used to it, until I started spending a lot of time with someone again. Then, I'm back to being comfortable with someone's presence and uncomfortable without it. When the company is no longer there, I start to panic and think I can't be without it. I have gotten the feeling of being sad and missing someone confused with believing I can't be alone. Maybe you have felt this way before. But the truth is, both can exist simultaneously, and that's the point I was missing.

It's okay to be sad, and it is okay to miss someone, all the while knowing you're just fine on your own. Heartbreak does not have to completely break you. Your heart can hurt more than anything you've ever experienced. It can be excruciating and miserable, but you can ache without breaking.

It sounds cliche, mushy-gushy, and like typical advice. And it might be, but I think it is important for young people to be reminded of these things. We need support, reminders, and affirmations that we are not alone. We are figuring life out, in a crazy world, and sometimes we need a little something to give us a different perspective. I know that I need more than my own mind to rely on for advice and suggestions, so I look for resources that give me truth when I can't see past my pain. For those of you that are Jesus seekers, I read something today from the famous and amazing Beth Moore. In her workbook study, The Quest: an excursion toward intimacy with God, she talks about how we are as strong as our source of strength. If your source is God, then you have all the strength of God. When you choose to connect your identity with God, it's no longer about your strength or lack thereof, it's now about HIS strength.

Hear this: you are strong enough to do hard things. Give yourself some credit. Let that heart hurt, feel sad and cry. But do not panic and jump back to what is comfortable out of fear. Mindset changes behavior. The mindset we take on contributes to the way we live. So consider your mindset, and consider if it is contributing to the way you want to live.

Much love,

T


Citation:

Moore, B. (2017).The Quest: an excursion toward intimacy with God. Nashville, TN: LifeWay Press.