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In the Valley of Broken Hearts

by Anastasia Strgar

It is a common misconception that a broken heart can only result from a breakup. In fact, if we allow our hearts to be open, they open not only to the beauty and joy of life, but also to the utter tragedy of it all. Our hearts can break not only from romantic breakups, but also from loss, sadness unexamined, and the ups and downs of our day to day life. As far as love is concerned, however, we have a tendency to believe that by choosing one particular partner and choosing to stay with them means that they will never break our hearts.

However, the truth is that the longer you’ve been with someone, the more likely it is that they will break your heart. As humans, we tend to be insecure and we also tend to act out those insecurities on those we love most- our families, our closest friends, and our partners. When we feel safe in a relationship or a relationship isn’t looking like what we think it should, our insecurities rise to the surface and attack those closest to us. Things that we wouldn’t normally say come out, stories  are made into the truth, and the next thing we know, we’ve hurt, or are being hurt, by those we love.

As broken pieces lie around us in the wake of these moments, we have one of two choices: we can pick the pieces off the ground and put them back together or we can leave the pieces on the floor and walk away, stunned that our heart just broke. What we don’t understand in these moments of pain and confusion is that our hearts are stronger than we give them credit for. Our hearts can heal again and often need to be broken and put back together in order for a relationship to go on. We need to fight, we need to work through our insecurities, even if from time to time, our partner is our scapegoat.

If we really love each other and want the best for one another, then we don’t mind being the scapegoat every once in a while. Often, these moments of internal or external crisis are the moments in which we most grow, both individually and in our relationship. If this growth doesn’t happen, then our relationships can fall apart, as well.

So give up this idea that relationships should make us happy all the time. Give up the idea that it’s always going to be easy. Relationships, like life, go through ups and downs that must be enjoyed and endured. Promises are not always easy to keep, but they are always worth it. So next time you find yourself in the Valley of Broken Hearts, don’t turn and run… Walk through to the other side.

Anastasia Strgar, a recent graduate from the University of Oregon with a B.A  in journalism, has been writing about love and relationships for several years. She has written short stories and romance novels, penned the love and sex column  in the  school newspaper and wrote several blogs. As the eldest of founder Wendy Strgar’s four children, she has been inspired by watching her parents’ marriage and strives to put those lessons to use in her own relationship. She believes that teaching her peers early on about how to maintain healthy relationships  is essential to creating a future generation of loving partnerships. She currently works as the Director of Public Relations and Magazine Editor at Good Clean Love.