The auditorium is full. We have all been called here for a special event, an hour assembly featuring a guest speaker.
A woman walked onto the stage with a man. The two were here to tell us about sex, or I should say – to tell us why we shouldn’t have sex. After the man showed us a photo of an aborted fetus the woman took another tact. She wanted to talk about what sex does to your heart.
“Let me tell you about a girl named Sally,” she said. “This here in my hands,” she holds up a giant red heart cut out of construction paper, “this is Sally’s heart. And one day Sally decides to have sex with Dave and then a piece of her heart is ripped and broken.”
She rips off a piece of the heart.
She keeps going through Sally’s sexual history until there is nothing left except for a tiny scrap of paper in her hands.
“And after all of them, this is all Sally had left. Because every time you have sex with someone, they take a piece of your heart and you will never have it back.”
We all filed out of the auditorium to our respective classrooms where we were then expected to then concentrate on our teacher and our classwork.
The woman’s illustration has never left me. And every time another relationship of mine ended I thought of her, up on the stage, laughing at me – pointing and saying, “I told you so.”
And for years I thought she was right. But now I’ve realized that she was only partially right.
Yes, my heart has been broken apart into a million pieces. Shattered entirely in fact. And not just once, but several times in my life. Most recently, last Christmas. It’s been coming back in waves, memories hitting me. The shock afterwards, the days when I couldn’t even stand without shaking. Everything was perfectly fine and then it wasn’t. He was there and then he wasn’t.
But afterwards my heart started healing.
That’s the part the woman on the stage didn’t tell us that day. That we each have the power within to heal ourselves and our hearts. And eventually, even the scars begin to fade away.
It’s hard to carry. It is. The baggage of past relationships come with you into the new. But fortunately, I can talk about it all with him. Every detail, every hurt. He does the same and by talking about it we are honest with each other and what we are bringing with us. In that way, we can help each other to heal.
And right now, my heart is beaming.