What breaks your heart? That’s a question I heard this week. I read it again yesterday on my friend Macy’s blog. I can’t get it off my mind.
What does it mean anyway? What is heartbreak?
It’s more than the temporary ache of young love ending. It’s that thing that lives deep in your chest and doesn’t leave. Sure, you may stop thinking about it throughout the day, but when you’re reminded, your entire being responds. Your heart rate quickens, your mind races, emotions flood your body. It’s that thing that doesn’t leave you alone in the car while your driving, when you’re folding laundry, sitting in church or watching the news. It’s always there and it’s so easily stirred.
It’s different for all of us. That’s why it’s so important.
Have you ever played with a magnetic puzzle? Every piece has a magnet and every slot has a screw to attract the magnet. The magnet can be drawn by any of the screws, but it only fits exactly where it’s made to go.
I think heartbreak is like that.
It’s what happens when your story, the sum of your life experiences, encounters something that fits it in exactly the right way. In a way only your story can fit.
You may not see the fit at first.
I didn’t. My heartbreak started by learning about sex trafficking. I didn’t see how my story fit with that at all, but I couldn’t make the ache go away. So I explored it. When I looked down deep I realized, my heartbreak is for women feeling trapped by an old story, a false story. Seeing women talking themselves out of taking action and doing something to make a difference, believing they can’t make a difference.
My friend Shasta’s heart breaks over women who feel lonely. She’s dedicated her life to making it easier for women to find and build friendships.
My friend Kim’s heart breaks over girls who’ve been enslaved in the Philippines. She devotes her time to making restoration a reality for them.
Over the last few years, I’ve also learned that one heartbreak can lead to another. When your story changes, so can your heartbreak. You learn more, you experience more.
I think this is what’s happening with Taylor Swift. Her teenage heartbreaks led her to write catchy country tunes that resonated with girls everywhere. Then her bouts with public humiliation from the “haters” in the early days, introduced a stronger tone to her music that got people all around the world to shake it off.
All those experiences have made her who she is today.
Now she seems to have a new heartbreak. She’s sharing herself with her fans, the one’s who least expect it. She’s showing up in their hospital rooms, at their baby showers, and on their doorsteps at Christmas. She’s getting to know them and giving them thoughtful gifts. She’s writing them letters to tell them they are beautiful. She’s making a difference in a big way. One Swiftie at a time.
Whatever breaks your heart becomes your passion.
You can shush it and hide it. You can pretend it’s not there.
Or you can listen to it.
You can seek it out and pay attention to it. You can act on it. You can allow it to become your purpose. It’s what you’ll take risks for. What you’ll persist for, if you decide it’s worth it.
I’m not saying it becomes easy or that you’ll become instantly more brave when you decide to pursue it. But we can help each other.
We’re more courageous together. And when we’re brave and courageous, we take action. We create change. Change for us and change for the people we’re called to serve.
And you never know.
The one you encourage when you act on your heartbreak, might end up being someone who changes the world.
So think about it today.
What breaks your heart?
I’m betting you can name it right now.
To more Love!
P.S. I’ve had some experiences over the last few years that have added a new heartbreak for me. Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing how that’s leading HeartStories to do something really exciting in 2015.