“You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.” ~Rumi
I saw this quote today and instantly felt as if it had slapped me right across the face. Heartache has become one of my greatest fears, as well as one of my greatest inspirations. I’ve been walking the line between wanting to live in solitude and wanting to be loved. In other words, I don’t have the capacity for another heartbreak in my life, so I avoid love like a child avoids the monster under their bed. I hide under the covers. But while I am under those covers, I sometimes wish someone was in there with me, but only sometimes. I have soaked myself so deeply into solitude, that I fear I won’t ever be able to leave it.
But this quote isn’t about relationships with anyone else. That quote is about the relationship with the self. Rumi is advising us to break our own heart, repeatedly, until it opens. He’s encouraging vulnerability, to the point where it doesn’t sting anymore. He is challenging us to cut directly to the bone of our heartache infested selves, and then to pull out of ourselves our most terrifying ideas about who we couldn’t be. And then we must fall in love with those short comings.
When a relationship ends, and you blame the other person for everything, the opportunity for growth is unavailable. Growth comes from understanding that it all comes back to yourself. From the moment we seek out a relationship, the responsibility for choosing the other person falls solely on us. If you end up in a relationship with a complete psychopath, that sucks. But you chose that psychopath because there’s something inside of you that needed that psychopath. And you have to keep digging at that little something until you finally understand it. Only then will you be able to grow, and trust, and finally open your own heart.
I believe that opposites attract because there is an opportunity for growth in every disagreement. We learn about ourselves through experiencing other perspectives from the people around us. We manifest our own lessons. And the only way to stop getting lessons is to test out of them, to rise above them, to annihilate them. Relationships are designed to teach us about ourselves. They are an experience to be had, to be thankful for. They were never intended to hold you forever.