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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

World Heart Day: Turning the heartbreak around with love and compassion

Repairing a broken heart requires a lot of effort but nothing is impossible. If you’ve been rushing yourself into feeling your best ever, and still haven’t got around to feeling even a wee-bit of normalcy, just remember that it’s alright to take your time.

sex-and-relationships Updated: Sep 29, 2018 10:51 IST
Saumya Sharma
Saumya Sharma
Hindustan Times, Delhi
Your heart and mind are close friends, the ones who like to play their own game of good cop and bad cop.
Your heart and mind are close friends, the ones who like to play their own game of good cop and bad cop.(Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash )

You are stronger than you think you are, especially your beautiful heart.

Your heart and mind are close friends, the ones who like to play their own game of good cop and bad cop. One will never seem to want to agree with the other, and the one facing the dilemma (you) will never be able to figure out what exactly is going on here.

Do you luuurve, loave, luff love or the idea of love? Do the sound of the imaginary violins and the romance in the air make your heart skip a beat? Your life has been all about the arts and its romanticism, and you don’t know how it is to be suddenly out of love. Left alone to deal with it. To cope with a surge of emotions, good and bad.

Before you read any further, I want you to start by believing that you are capable of falling in love again, finding all the happiness you need and living your life to the fullest, but it all has to begin with you. The first step.

Learning to swim:

If you’ve been rushing yourself into feeling your best ever, and still haven’t got around to feeling even a wee-bit of normalcy, just remember that it’s alright to feel broken and perfectly okay to take your time. We’ve always read that time is the best healer, but it was all bookish till you or someone close to you were in hot water one fine day, learning to swim, nursing those burns and boils along the way. This was experience. Teaching yourself that like all things gained, loss too is a part of life, and it can come in any form, mostly unexpected. In reality then, time and loss is a great teacher and a subsequent healer.

Vicious cycle:

The thing about a broken heart is that we often brush it off saying it’s nothing or let the outside world trivialise it by making you believe how your pain is not worthy of being addressed. It’s probably the fear of being judged that makes us humans hide ourselves away and curl up in the darkness that’s growing inside us. Every heart is special and the only medicine that can nurture and protect is, is love with a hint of compassion.

Broken heart?

There are a few theories about what a broken heart goes through. Scientifically proven and called Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy, or broken heart syndrome, can cause major changes in way your heart beats. Hence, keep the stress (emotional, physical, mental) from getting to you in a way that it becomes a default programming of your system. There are studies, but no proof yet on how to treat this condition.


Love: Probably the roller-coaster ride

JK Rowling has spoken about love in various places of her memorable work. Love made ‘just Harry’ the Harry Potter whom we know, love kept him protected from Avada Kedavra and also walked with him wherever he went, “Always”. Not to forget his friends and well-wishers who got together to keep the dark forces out and eventually, won.

An overtly-emotional person once said, “I wear my heart on my sleeve”. Little did OEP (overtly-emotional person) know that wearing their heart on their sleeve could either be the best idea or the worst mistake of their lives. When they entered the real world and started meeting people from different walks of life, in school, college, workplace, so on and so forth, their thoughts and feelings went through a paradigm shift. They had been cheated. “The real world was not a place to project your emotions the way you do,” said a voice in the crowd. And the voice sometimes boomed close to their ears, or would reverberate afar. At the crossroads of life, after years of disappointment that ensued, OEP finally had a choice to make – to keep listening to these voices and go on till the mediocrity of mundane life got to them, or to drown out these voices by letting their inner voice take control?

Obviously it was time to follow their heart. And so they did. The voices kept coming, but the sound was easy to adjust. Life gets better when you have control over your own, doesn’t it? OEP was starting to understand love of a different kind, the relationship they always needed to have with themselves first.

Not sure about love

Love comes in all shapes, colours, forms and sizes. Did you also know that connections of the heart go far beyond who you confess your feelings to, go on dates with, and have sex with? A heart wrenching story, an experience that changes you, a song’s lyrics that tug at your heart strings, your dog when he hugs you, or when your cat purrs when she is in your lap, the meal you share with someone or keep someone in your thoughts and prayers, all contribute to building another form inside you, which then goes onto spread sunshine to anyone who might need it. Like Maya Angelou said, “be the rainbow in someone’s cloud.”


Authors like the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Leo Tolstoy, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Haruki Murakami; chick-lit writers like Sophie Kinsella have given us enough food for thought on the topic of love. When we talk about self-love, we must always keep the teachings of Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey and Chimamanda Adichie Ngozi in mind. It is because of the voices of these ladies that so many of us are able to speak up and learn how to stand up for ourselves and for someone else.


Japanese philosophy contains a concept called Kintsugi or Kintsukuroi which tells us to accept and embrace the flaws in something. Similar to Wabi-Sabi, the ‘broken pottery’ is filled with gold dust and given a new life, so to speak. Eventually it’s not just love or time that will repair, kindness in a supporting role plays an award-winning role here.

Healing the world has to start with one step, and love and compassion, first towards yourself and then towards those around you will go on to play a pivotal role. Just like a Sufi Saint, we should attempt at befriending the soul before what meets the eye and becomes the first impression.

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First Published: Sep 29, 2018 10:50 IST

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