Matters of the heart are very compelling and often evoke potent emotions as well as delicious memories of long ago. When I was about 12 years old, I was riding in a car with my mother. As she drove, we listened to the radio eagerly, waiting to see if they played a song I requested. At some point, the radio disc jockey of WORC, a local and popular radio station at the time, announced that he was playing the Bee Gees’ top hit ”How Do You Mend A Broken Heart?” He went on to say it was for Darling, Darlene. What an enchanting moment it was for my mother and I. We smiled and laughed with joy.
February Celebrates The Heart
As we know, there have been songs, poems, and stories written about the subject matter of the heart throughout history, and February is the month that cherishes its purpose literally and figuratively. Last week, we celebrated Valentine’s Day with the heart symbolizing all aspects of love. The week before, National Wear Red Day was a reminder of the fatal impact of cardiovascular disease. Although heart attacks and congestive heart failure come to mind when talking about cardiovascular problems, we may overlook the category of Broken-Heart Syndrome.
For many years, I, along with others, thought that Broken-Heart Syndrome is a figure of speech for those whose grief was so overwhelming that they died from a ”broken heart.” Although such pain certainly can cause trouble for the heart, it is not the only precursor for the broken-heart syndrome. I became enlightened when an acquaintance of mine told me that she suffered this due to extreme stress in her life. She had not lost any loved ones and lived an extremely healthy lifestyle, including diet and regular exercise. The issue that rose for my acquaintance was that she listened vigorously to others but kept her anxiety and problems to herself. Consequently, her heart was taxed, causing her to develop Broken-Heart Syndrome. Thankfully, this lovely woman sought therapy, where she was able to disclose her concerns and eventually recover.
A Broken Heart
Not long ago, a very close friend suffered from a broken heart in the figurative sense. She is a teacher in a private school where she has been for several years. When she talks about her work, you can hear enthusiasm and passion for her vocation come through loud and clear. Sadly, for the first time in my friend’s long and illustrious career, something occurred, which created much angst for her. A benign series of statements she made became convoluted and reached a few elite coworkers who took it upon themselves to cause havoc. Unbeknownst to the holier-than-thou individual spearheading this, my friend knew of some unholy deeds this woman did herself. Recognizing that everyone makes mild errors, my friend never disclosed this information.
As I reminded my friend, every human being is flawed and that she should take comfort in the quote familiar to many of us about casting the first stone if you have never erred. Although my friend’s heart is on the mend, she views the situation as a betrayal by others who took it upon themselves to share before revealing it to her. This mishandled action resurrected for her a betrayal from long ago by a relative whom she thought loved her but later discovered that was not the case. My friend understands that this relative may have felt affection toward her, but a fiercer loyalty was to another.
How Do You Mend A Broken Heart?
Whether you have Broken-Heart Syndrome or a ”broken heart, ” you must mend it physically and emotionally to survive and, eventually, thrive. All of us suffer from broken hearts at some point in our lives. So to return to the question in the poignant song, ”How Do You Mend A Broken Heart?” Well, I believe the answer lies in a simple response I heard in the late nineteen-seventies and never forgot. A professor of mine declared in an undergraduate psychology class, ”Time does not heal all wounds. Instead, it is the intervening events.”
What About You?
What say you? How do you mend a broken heart? Do you agree with my college professor? If so, what intervening events do you entertain when you get mini and not-so-mini cracks in your heart?