I purchased this bracelet while I was traveling a few weeks ago. I liked the way it sat on my wrist and seemed to remind me that love is all around us. I wore it out of the shop and every day thereafter. About two weeks later, it broke. The heart charm snapped away from the bracelet. I was sad as I realized there was no way it could be fixed easily. I needed a replacement heart.
I held the broken heart in my hand as I called the shop to make the exchange. On hold, I wondered how many times a heart breaks during the course of life. When it happens, wouldn’t it be great to simply call customer service and order a new one?
But alas, we are given but one heart and it's ours alone to honor and share with others. We make the choice to love someone, and I have found that it usually begins with taking a risk - trusting someone and trusting yourself. From there, lean into it and trust the universe that it has a reason for you to experience this love. I looked at the bracelet, now sitting on my desk alongside the information I had been given regarding its replacement.
So, what happens when the heart breaks? There may be a moment (or several) that involves a rather large glass of wine (or two), a late night text (usually not a good idea), some Oreo cookies (or thin mints) and ice cream (just sayin). We experience sadness and sometimes anger. We blame the other person; we blame ourselves for not being better. There can be doubt that we are capable or worthy of love. Fear that we may never know it again. We may vow that we will never love again because it hurts too much, it’s not worth our time, and/or there is no real reward in the risk.
We find ourselves needing this thing called “closure” because it needs to be “over”. But does it? What happens if instead of trying to push that love out of our lives, we allow it to live within us, just in a different form. Can we allow love to seep into a quiet corner of our heart when it passes from our life? Can we find the best way to appreciate the experience for what it has taught us? Can we embrace how - despite any hurt or pain - our heart becomes stronger and more ready for the next time? Is it possible to believe the heart actually grows stronger after each break?
Today, the replacement bracelet arrived. The sales person wrapped it as a gift complete with a ribbon. When I opened the box, I noticed she had included a card, one that had not been given to me with the original purchase. Here’s what it said,
“A lifetime is filled with heartfelt moments – each a piece of an unpredictable journey that leaves an imprint on the soul. These warm experiences and beloved people have been chosen with a purpose. Embrace love’s evolution and allow your heart’s intentions to guide your path as a reminder that each day is a blessing. “
It was then that I realized why the bracelet broke. It wasn't because it was weak or not worthy, rather, it was to remind me of something I had forgotten about love. The heart is resilient. It seems no matter how many times it breaks and we swear it off, it will seek to love again. There’s no need to call for a replacement, it will mend and ready itself in due course. The risk is always worth the reward regardless of the outcome.
The bracelet and the quote included in this blog post are parts of the Alex & Ani collectio