One day a young man was standing in the middle of the town proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley.
A large crowd gathered and they all admired his heart for it was perfect. There was not a mark or a flaw in it. Yes, they all agreed. It truly was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen. The young man was very proud and boasted more loudly about his beautiful heart.
Suddenly, an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said, “Why, your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine.” The crowd and the young man looked at the old man’s heart. It was beating strongly, but full of scars. It had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put in, but they didn’t fit quite right and there were several jagged edges. In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces were missing. The people stared. “How can he say his heart is more beautiful?”
The young man looked at the old man’s heart and saw its state and laughed. “You must be joking,” he said. “Compare your heart with mine, mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears.”
“Yes,” said the old man, “Yours is perfect looking but I would never trade with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have given my love – I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to them, and often they give me a piece of their heart which fits into the empty place in my heart, but because the pieces aren’t exact, I have some rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we shared.”
“Sometimes I have given pieces of my heart away, and the other person hasn’t returned a piece of his heart to me. These are the empty gouges – giving love is taking a chance. Although these gouges are painful, they stay open, reminding me of the love I have for these people too, and I hope someday they may return and fill the space I have waiting. So now do you see what true beauty is?”
The young man stood silently with tears running down his cheeks. He walked up to the old man, reached into his perfect, young and beautiful heart, and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old man with trembling hands. The old man took his offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound in the young man’s heart. It fit, but not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges.
The young man looked at his heart, not perfect anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love from the old man’s heart flowed into his.
They embraced and walked away side by side.
This little fable has moved me a lot as it is so true. I had many people come to me for Reiki treatments who had all sorts of broken hearts from past incidents and who were either stuck in unhappy relationships for they never managed to open themselves enough to the new partner in their life, or people who wouldn’t even dare committing to a new relationship because they were too scared to get hurt again.
The message to all those who are reading this and suffered from a broken heart in the past: never be scared to love again. You heart is very powerful and can heal time and time again. Of course it will leave some scars but these scars make us who we are today. Each scar represents a lesson that we had to learn. Be proud of your scars!
However, make sure that you really understood the lesson to be learned. Many times I have clients coming who were unable to forgive their ex partners for whatever had happenend. Forgiveness is key to have your heart heal again. Forgiveness is also key to move on in your life. Forgive yourself and others for whatever happened in your past. A nice exercise to do this which I give to most of my clients is the following:
Write a letter to the person you feel you can’t forgive. Write down how you felt in the past, how you feel now. Make a list of all the good things that you had with that person and then a list of all the bad things. Be grateful for the good things, keep them in your heart and forgive the bad things that happenend. When you are ready to let go, burn the letter and move on.