Sunday, July 17, 2011

Article in Brink about The Museum of Broken Hearts!

I just discovered 'Brink', UC Berkeley's magazine today.

There is an interesting article featured in the magazine about the museum of broken hearts in Zagreb, Croatia.

I liked the author's views on experiencing love and heartbreak rather than numbing it with medical painkillers. Like Jim Carrey's character in 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind', we try to hold on to our loved one's memories desperately. Sometimes, time and new experiences, fresh new faces in our lives help to see things from a different perspective and the pining gives way to a more detached memory of the beloved. There may be some extreme cases when the hole in one's heart does not get filled completely.

However, trying to circumvent life by medical means is missing out on the chance to experience life firsthand and grow as a person. Someone once asked me,"How do you know it is love?". I do not know the precise answer but I do have a strong feeling that true love elevates you spiritually. It forces you to look within yourself, sometimes getting you closer to God or the unknown forces in the universe. It makes you take a good hard look at yourself and find ways to improve yourself and move on even after the relationship is over. Some people take up learning a new language or career advancement, some people become more empathetic and a sounding board for people in similar situations. True love does change you forever.
It can happen before marriage, outside of marriage and any other socially sanctioned setting but it does exist.

It is important not to let the experience embitter you like some people who become cynical about love itself and start bashing men, women and all relationships in general.

I agree with the author's take on getting over heartbreak. There are people who have killed themselves over a broken heart like Devdas and, maybe, for certain extreme cases of suicidal depression, some medical help may be the need of the hour. However, for the rest of us, a good dose of philosophy, spirituality and just plain living and appreciating the small things in everyday ordinary life can get us by.

When you are sad, remembering that life is precious forces you to look at things that you previously took for granted like the love of your family and friends, the beauty of sunshine or blooming flowers, etc.

Life experiences such as love and heartbreak also cause one to question previously held beliefs and open your eyes to a new reality and the vast possibility that Truth has many facets and we as humble human beings may get to see just a few in one lifetime.

I do believe that feeling true love is a gift, even if the other person is not present in your life anymore. We are all together in spirit, as one of my favorite self-help gurus, Steve Pavlina, would say. The hardest part to get over is the regrets that one could have done more to save the relationship. Here, too, spiritual practices such as yoga can help forgive oneself. I found this great yoga article about self compassion.

I hope we as a species do not run away from our unique experiences and become a medicated, dull society with no ups or downs in our minds, just a steady chugging along. Life would truly be robbed of its meaning and potential to think outside our narrow socially conditioned boxes.

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