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  • Crystal Rice

The Hope in Heartbreak

There comes a time in everyone's life when you want to punch another person in the throat, and it's oft when some fool is trying to talk all sunshine and "meant to be" after your heart has broken. But as tough as it is to accept, relationships that end are a time to learn a thing or two. Yeah, I get it. No one wants to hear that. You just want the pain to end. It's like having a fork in your eye and someone trying to show you a pretty garden. Could be gold-covered fairies in that grass, but damnit, you couldn't care less. And we can't seem to influence our heart with our brain as easily as we do the other way around. So short of memory erasure, what's the forlorn to do? The trick is, you gotta focus on the fairies even if through the puss covered tines. Now, hear me out.


Maybe we tried too hard to make it work when it was a lost cause. Maybe we put ourselves out there too quickly. Maybe we just need to stop picking up losers. But whatever it is, there’s usually a little knowledge hidden in heartbreak. We''re totally smart enough to see it, but with the heart pumping so much sorrow, we reject the lesson like I reject cilantro. Think about it.

It simply wasn’t a good match. Believe it or not, who we lust after is not always "the one." That whole chemical reaction that occurs when we first fall for someone serves one purpose. To help us safely procreate. Yet, with sex not strictly for baby-making nowadays, it's not necessary for us to solely focus on sniffing out genetic variance. In a world of 6 billion folks, I guarantee there's more than one DNA match for you and healthy offspring. Yet, we still let this primal brain override smart thinking and forego all warning signs that the person you're with isn't a good match for making a relationship last, which has tons more to do with commonalities, shared interests, and similar conflict resolution styles than with some primitive hardwired sensation. 

You totally ignored ‘To Thine Own Self Be True. In an effort to be desired, we allow ourselves to come off a little less than truthful at the start of courtship. We’ve all seen it. The one who pretends to like camping only to complain about having to deal with the bugs, humidity, and sheer yuckiness of the outdoors not a year in. Or the one who claims they love travel only to get skittish months later when you suggest trying out the Waffle House in the next town over. It's maddening. So a breakup could be a great time to get back to enjoying the things you love.

It’s all about perspective. Did you lose at love, or win at not wasting time in a relationship that wasn’t working? Think of it this way. Would you rather get a papercut today, or slowly get eaten alive by fire ants over the course of several years? Sure, pain sucks. But it sure sucks more to live through years and years of a crappy relationship Ask anyone who has ever done the latter. It's way, way worse. 

Misery loves company. Ok. So we probably shouldn’t bond over negative stuff, but we do. You go to work in the morning and what's everyone doing? Talking about how we wish we'd won the lottery, how we wish the boss had come down with typhoid, or shaming skimpy-dressed Jenny from accounting after her boob popped out during karaoke. No doubt, we’re a pretty cynical society. But we’re also a rallying society. So when your love goes in the tank, believe it or not, it’s a great time to bond with others. Friends and family usually come to the rescue, and new friendships are developed as people just "get it." It’s a pretty miraculous time, and it’s usually only during the greatest heartache that we also feel the greatest affections from those around us. 


Now you might say to me, "But Crystal, it's too hard. I literally cannot focus on anything but sadness." To which I would say, it's because heartbreak has become a drug. It is the thing people are willing to lay down their life to. In sadness, our heart is rogue. It withstands reason. It maintains the primal. But in our world, grief can't buy you a lick of time in seclusion away from responsibilities. We're in a time when we have to do more to stop spreading the disease of loneliness, contempt, and hate. Even if it means doing something when we have nothing left to give. If there's something we need to focus on to try to bring ourselves back from the brink of madness. If there's something that will let us see the fairies even when all we want to do is hide. Well, damnit, we have to try.

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