I’m a fan of anything teeming with raw, unbridled emotion. Poetry, opera, pop ballads, fettuccine Alfredo, drunk texts; I like ’em all. This weekend I found myself putting Christina Perri’s Jar of Hearts on repeat. If you’ve listened to a mainstream radio station in the last few months, you’ve undoubtedly heard it (many times), but in case you’re in the dark, here’s a link to the video.

One of my best friends is going through a breakup and we were talking about the different kinds of hearts that we have; our friendship heart, our romantic heart, our heart for God. We discussed breakups in every capacity. Boy friends, best friends, doesn’t matter. They all suck. I’ve been going through some friend-breakups recently, and we were amazed at how similar failing relationships are across the board.

It wasn’t until we had hung up and I listened to Jar of Hearts again that I realized something. I’m in the middle of another breakup.  If you read my post last Wednesday, then you know that I’m experiencing amazing, God-given peace in my life right now. That’s especially impressive given the realization that part of the reason I’m doing so well is that I’m in the middle of breaking up with myself.

I don’t mean I’ve had a psychotic break or anything worrisome. I just mean that I’m leaving behind the parts of me that bring me down, that keep me from being my very best. The part of me that maybe would’ve been content to stay in painful and one-sided friendships, or that would accept less than my best effort, or that doubted my talents or my future. All those habits, big or small, that are to my detriment instead of to my benefit.

I’m going to post the lyrics to Jar of Hearts, and as you skim through them, I think you’ll be surprised with the way almost every line can be applied to the idea of breaking up with yourself; old self v. new self. If you’ve ever gone through a rough period where you’ve grown and become a better or wiser person, I think you’ll find it especially poignant.

Jar of Hearts– Christina Perri

I know I can’t take one more step towards you,
Cause all that’s waiting is regret.
And don’t you know I’m not your ghost anymore?
You lost the love
I loved the most.

And I learned to live, half-alive.
And now you want me one more time.

Who do you think you are?
Runnin’ round leaving scars,
Collecting your jar of hearts,
And tearing love apart.
You’re gonna catch a cold,
From the ice inside your soul.
So don’t come back for me.
Who do you think you are?

I hear you’re asking all around
If I am anywhere to be found.
But I have grown too strong
To ever fall back in your arms.

And I learned to live, half-alive.
And now you want me one more time.

Who do you think you are?
Runnin round leaving scars,
Collecting your jar of hearts,
And tearing love apart.
You’re gonna catch a cold,
From the ice inside your soul.
So don’t come back for me.
Who do you think you are?

Dear, it took so long just to feel alright,
Remember how to put back the light in my eyes.
I wish I had missed the first time that we kissed,
Cause you broke all your promises.
And now you’re back;
You don’t get to get me back.

Who do you think you are?
Runnin’ round leaving scars,
Collecting your jar of hearts,
And tearing love apart.
You’re gonna catch a cold,
From the ice inside your soul.
So don’t come back for me.
Don’t come back at all.

And who do you think you are?
Runnin round leaving scars,
Collecting your jar of hearts,
And tearing love apart.
You’re gonna catch a cold,
From the ice inside your soul.
Don’t come back for me.
Don’t come back at all.

Who do you think you are?
Who do you think you are?
Who do you think you are?

If you’re going through a time in your life where you feel you’re holding yourself back, or maybe if you’re actively trying to move on from rough times, I suggest listening to this song and taking a long, hard look at yourself in the mirror.

Singing it to yourself and crying are optional, though highly therapeutic. Not that I’d know that from experience or anything. I’m WAY too cool for that.

Seriously, though, as with any breakup, you need to give your heart time to grieve, feel pain, and heal. I found that in order to move on, I need to work through all the negative emotions to make way for the multitude of positive emotions that wait for me. Music, even the surprising occasional pop ballad, is an excellent outlet for that. That’s why I have a playlist in iTunes titled “Crying Jams.” It may or may not be 6 hours and 90 songs long.

I think this song is much more than it seems and can be used to help anyone work through any kind of breakup. Jerk ex-boyfriend, ex-almost boyfriend (aren’t those the WORST?), friend breakup, and, yes, self-breakup.

Let me know if you have any go-to crying jams. And please, tell me I’m not the only person to ever break up with themselves. (Other than MercyMe, of course.)

So long, Self,
-Kaitlin

5 thoughts on “Clean Break

  1. Marshy

    I heard one line of this song a couple months ago and it stuck with me for weeeeeeks, but I never looked up the lyrics/name of the song because I was afraid they/it would be terrible. Thank goodness it wasn’t. I’m extremely fond of this song.

    My jams are many and varied… sometimes it’s Rescued by Jack’s Mannequin, If I Ever Leave this World Alive and The Sun Never Shines on Closed Doors from Flogging Molly get me where it hurts, Hallelujah by Rufus Wainright tears up my heart, but the version from the The O.C. soundtrack is hauntingly lovely, Breakdown courtesy of Jack Johnson, Heart of Gold from Neil Young, My Favorites Mistake by Sheryl Crow… and damned near any of the “I’m sad and I need a sign because I’m completely collapsing” Disney songs. We should definitely have a talk about songs like this some day, I want to hear your 90 now.

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  2. Jen the Newlywed

    1. I love this song
    2. I love fettucine alfredo
    3. You’re a very gifted writer and I love hearing your heart.
    4. My crying jams are “All by Myself” by Celine Dion and “I’m Gone” by Alison Krauss. And yes… “Hallelujah” is a GREAT ONE.

    Reply

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