Handling Heartbreak

Embrace Pain

The Boy With A Broken Heart

I have recently started giving coaching classes to a group of college students for competitive exams. Two of my friends are also teaching them. Last Sunday, after I finished my class, one of my students approached me and said, he has a personal problem. Though he barely knows me and I him, somehow he felt okay to approach me. 

As is the case with young hearts, he is going through heartbreak. The girl has moved on, but he is not able to come out of his emotions. As a result, he is not being able to concentrate on his studies, which is quite normal. And as also normal it is, he is having frequent negative thoughts—that somehow it was his fault, he did something wrong. 

Sometimes I wonder how common human experience is! Now, being his teacher and also his senior, what advice could I give him? 

It’s About Maturity

At his age, I cannot expect from him the level of maturity that is needed to handle the deep matters of the heart. Our young minds at that age are too imbecile to understand and resolve the intricacies of the heart. But having said that, without psychological maturity, handling these things is like playing with a knife. Very easily one can cause deep wounds to oneself. 

He doesn’t understand that these experiences are as much an integral part of life as happy experiences are. That these are not ‘bad experiences’, so to speak. These experiences have their own place and vitality. They are not to be disliked or disapproved of. As experiences of joy, laughter and fulfillment have their own beauty, so do they have. They complement and give meaning to each other. 

But understanding life at this level requires a certain level of maturity. But, you know what, inner maturity doesn’t depend on chronological age. Only to some degree it has a relation. Inner maturity can come quite early. 

The Advice

Anyway. My turn came to be the teacher again. But this time, I was teaching him about life. I said: 

“Give yourself time. Don’t think that something bad has happened with you. This is NOT a bad experience. It has its own value. 

Don’t escape from pain. Embrace it. Because you know, there is a tremendous capacity within us to withstand anything. If you escape, that strength remains undeveloped. Don’t fear pain. Don’t see pain as your enemy. It’s not. Pain is actually a great force, if you know how to stay with it. Pain has given birth to great poets and artists. As food merges with your body, similarly merge with pain. Make it a part of you. Feel your pain. Don’t run from it! And give yourself time…”

Heartbreak is as real and telling as a bonebreak in the body. But its treatment is not with methods to reduce that pain, but with understanding. Understanding cannot take place if you run from your experience, if you label your experience as bad or worth avoiding. All experience comes from within, and so every experience has vital insights about our nature. Unless we understand your nature at a deeper level, insecurity, fear, loneliness and suffering will be our constant companions. 

[P.S: I have another post on this—that to be happy, we must go through pain. You can read it here.] 

Thank you.
Image Credit: shutterstock

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Alok Singha

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