The Freedom of a Broken Heart
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Life in the Third Degree.
I adore Mark, my counselor, who’s also a gifted psychic. I don’t talk to him often, partly because it takes weeks and even months to absorb all the things he makes me think about, and this session is no exception. He uses multiple decks of Tarot cards, his own clairvoyance, and his training as a counselor and clergyman. For a few days after our sessions, I’m in that happy, calm place—and almost always because he’s given me a different way of looking at a problem or he’s validated a decision I’ve already made. This time, it’s both.
It seems that all my chakras, or energy centers, are burning bright except for one: the heart chakra. No surprise there, I guess, after the past few years. The Tarot card he draws to describe my heart is the Tower card, the most dreaded of the Major Arcana. It’s about disruption and catastrophe and major upheaval. Much better to get the Death card, for its easier suggestion of a mere change or end of a cycle. The Tower card, especially when focused on the heart, makes me groan. I really don’t need any more of this, do I?
But already, Mark is soothing me. He tells me that a new man in my life is going to be another lesson for me, and that if I want my next relationship to be quiet and calm and simple, I can expect my worst fears to come true.
As if I didn’t already. Maybe that’s what holds me back.
Relationships are a gift from the Gods, Mark tells me. They’re a safe place for your shit to come up, for you to learn about who you are, to learn life lessons.
I have to think about it, but not for long. I’ve seen too many newly divorced friends announce they’re over their exes, moving on, and already in a new relationship with someone just like their ex. Funny, how those don’t work out in the long run either. They never dealt with the original lesson, merely replaced the teacher, and the lesson is just as harsher or harsher.
Mark tells me I aced my lessons with my ex. Now it’s time for a new set of lessons, with someone as different as he can possibly be from anyone in my past. Someone who won’t respond to the same things as the last men in my life because this is a new lesson, not a repeat.
My counselor asks if I understand, and I’m nodding my head even though he can’t see me over the phone. Clairvoyant that he is, he knows.
And yet, there’s this little matter of my heart and not wanting to put it out there for some new guy to stomp all over. But Mark has an answer for that, too.
My heart can’t be broken by a new man because, well, it’s already broken. All a new man can do is help me pick up the pieces or destroy the bits that are left.
I’m not so sure. I think those bits are all I hang onto.
But that’s not the way to think of it. It’s already broken, done, gone. It can’t be broken any worse. My heart can’t be anything right now but broken. And that means I’m free. I’m free to take a chance with someone new because I can’t be hurt any worse than I already have. There’s nothing to lose. Nothing.
All I have to do is stop looking at the past and not project any hopes into the future about this new relationship. All I have to do is just be in the moment with the man of the moment, whether he’s in future moments or not.
And living in the moment will be a huge lesson for me.