Eventually, every relationship, no matter what form it takes (acquaintance, friend, family member, co-worker, neighbor, teacher, lover, partner/spouse), will break.
Your heart will break. Your ideas of who people really are will crumble. Your illusions of what your relationships consist of will shatter. Even your thoughts about yourself will fracture. Over the course of your life, your reality will be shaken and stirred up like the dirtiest martini ever made. And yes, you might cry as emotions run wild. And yes, you might feel betrayed as quiet (or not so quiet) rage becomes a part of your general make-up. And yes, you might begin to doubt all you thought was sacred because you thought a break like this only happens to people you don't know. Despite, or perhaps through all of this, you will come to understand that heart breaks are not only inevitable, but are necessary so that love can deepen and expand and transform.
The first time my heart broke, when I remember feeling as though someone had sucker-punched me in the middle of my chest, I was nine years old. It was the summer of 1978 in hot and dry northern California and my best friend was moving to Arkansas. I also was moving that summer, but that didn't make me feel better. She was the one who left our childhood playground first. When I watched her family's car leave their driveway for the last time, I knew life would be very different and I wondered if I would always feel this sad about her leaving, this bereft of having a relationship change.
Of course at that young age, I was clueless about heart break. If I'd known then that that goodbye marked the beginning of countless heart breaks to come with the majority of them being caused by my own free-spirited nature, I wonder if I would be a completely different person now at age 45. Just for a moment, I imagine what life would have been like had I chosen to shut down and seal off my heart from the rest of the world each time it broke. This thought alone makes my commitment to love even more fierce.
Knowing your heart will break again and again and again isn't what you want to hear before you fall in love, but it's the truth. You will fall and you will break many times over. Heart breaking never becomes easier. You will question it every time. You'll demand it to be different vowing to yourself it will hurt less. It won't, but what will happen if you keep letting love have its way with you is that forgiveness will show up and be there to walk hand-in-hand with every future heart break. There's an incredible sense of freedom to be experienced once you accept this knowledge.
The heart is resilient and determined to beat as loud and as hard as it can over its lifetime to remind you of its forever longing - LOVE! Before its beautiful rhythm comes to an end, it wants to see how many pieces it takes to make it feel whole. No matter how many times your heart breaks, keep falling.