I know it is an idiom: The idea of a broken heart. Your heart doesn’t literally break like some glass ornament that can shatter when it falls from the tree. It is merely an expression indicating great pain. Pain usually associated with the loss of a love.
I know this pain.
I know this pain intimately.
For me, this pain, while usually referred to in emotional terms, is one I experience on a physical level as well as on an emotional level. Most often, for me, it has been associated with the loss of a love, the end of a hope of a shared joy, the end of a dream that will never become a reality. For me, mostly, this broken heart experience occurred when I finally realized that the relationship I thought I had was nothing like what I thought I had. Broken hearts, for me, represent endings.
It is a very real emotional pain, but I also experience a tangible physical pain. It resides in my chest, just to the right of center and it feels like someone wedged a pick ax in at that particular point and is now trying to pull my heart right out from my body or, at least crush it so that it beats no more.
It is a physical pain as well as an emotional pain.
What I didn’t know, was that sometimes, a broken heart occurs for reasons other than lost, failed, or unrequited love.
A broken heart can occur sans the love between two humans.
A broken heart can occur when a dream that you loved, that you hoped for, that you worked for, dies.
Broken hearts might always be about love, but sometimes they are not about lovers.