Empathy for a Broken Heart

“It’s like you don’t care about my feelings.”

“I’m sorry. I do care, but just not in that way you want me to anymore.”

I really felt awful saying that. I was disappointed in how I felt, but you can’t change how you feel about people. I felt her pain though, being heart broken is the worse of all pain because the only cure is the cause.

When we enter a relationship with someone, it’s like a business deal. Two people enter an agreement to share their lives with one another, with the hope that they continually make each other happy for eternity. When one side doesn’t live up to their end, the deal slowly crashes with both parties going their separate ways.

I know a older woman who is madly in love with her husband/business partner. She’s very passionate about love and bringing her best into their relationship, maybe it’s because she’s Spanish so she isn't jaded by love based reality tv or other trivial love topics.

Her husband is nerdy and doesn’t know how to show love because of how he grew up. He went through a horrible divorce that left him alone and broke, until he built a new business empire, so he’s very self reliant and skeptical of people that may love him.

I knew something was wrong because they quietly stopped working together and she stopped posting her wonderful articles online.

She recently came out of seclusion and apologized for not posting lately. She said she was feeling horrible, that life threw her a curve ball, and while she’s in deep pain, she will see where life will take her. Her husband makes no mention of any pain and continues working like nothing is wrong.

Seeing her words was very sad, but brave. It takes a lot of courage to tell the world that you’re not feeling good and only the strongest souls can admit that they’re vulnerable.

I thought about sending her a message, but didn’t want to intrude upon her privacy. I sent a simple message of encouragement and she replied with a smile emoji. When you care about somebody, it’s better to tread lightly and respect their wishes whether they want to be left alone or not.

When I suffered heartbreak, I wanted to be left alone. I surfaced on weekends to drink insanely to numb the pain, then laid in bed all week. People will say get over it, and if we could that second then we would. Eventually the time and space got me over the pain, memories, and regret.

We relearn who we are without that presence that was with us for so long. Words are little relief, but actions reinforce the foundation that you are a capable and great person, regardless of the rejection. Slowly I came out of my zombie persona and got myself in the gym, back being funny in class, then started traveling.

It takes this type of pain to reveal a better version of ourselves, like caterpillar to butterfly. While I can’t message my friend directly; I promise that she'll emerge from the cocoon of heartbreak more radiant than ever and the world will be better for it.