"When You Grow Up, Your Heart Dies".....or Does It?


I watched “The Breakfast Club” the other night for the first time in at least 20 years.  As a 15 year old, I remember the first time I saw it in the theater with my BFF (before there were BFFs).  It felt so iconic and true for the 1985 me.  Each of those kids was tortured and isolated by the boxes that they were being forced into and who couldn’t relate to that teenage angst?

Thirty years, four degrees, three professions, two kids and one rock solid husband later, this holistic nurse hypnotherapist is astounded to find it holds up truer than ever and it isn’t just about teenage angst.

By the end of the movie, we witness the characters’ evolution as manifested in a letter they write to the Principal.  The letter states that each of them shares the identity of  a “brain”, an “athlete”, a “princess”, a “basket case” and a “criminal”.  They have come to understand that they are much more complex than the superficial personas they have been assigned and “brainwashed” to believe.

And this got me thinking about how our identity is re-enforced not only by the outside world but also by the internal narratives that we tell ourselves about ourselves.  

The hypnotherapist in me (one of my own little identities) then starts to think about how discovering and challenging these boxes can affect change and growth in people who otherwise feel “stuck”.

Just as each of the students felt “stuck” in the roles that were foisted on them, we also find ourselves “stuck” into the same repetitive roles of mom, dad, daughter, son, employee, partner, friend.  We may find ourselves defined in terms of reliable, resilient, extroverted, introverted, thoughtful, intellectual, apologetic, lonely, adventurous or weird.  

And we may feel ambivalent about these definitions because sometimes they are safe and sometimes they are restrictive.

 They are safe because they clearly define us.  They are restrictive because they prevent us from evolving and growing as the natural organisms that we are.  

Do we know how much we are limiting our own potential?  Is this how a grown up heart dies?

At the beginning of the movie, the characters in “The Breakfast Club” arrive firmly stuck in their identities.  Detention creates a safe space where deeper inquiry and exploration of these personas occurs.   Ultimately, the characters embrace the universality of their experience and transcend their own suffering toward deeper compassion for themselves and others.

And guess what, detention isn’t the only way to experience change!

In my experience, hypnosis presents a similar confrontation of personalities and ideas in the subconscious realm.  From the safety of the subconscious mind, people can discover greater insight and self-compassion as well as foundations for lasting change.

Hypnosis helps people peek behind their own facade and gain insight into the self-limiting beliefs and old stories that have been rattling around inside their personalities.  Without knowing it, these negative subconscious thoughts may be so crippling that they manifest in the outer world as dissatisfaction, fear, anxiety, depression, loneliness, alienation, addictive behaviors, confusion or even as a heart that has died.

Because when you grow old, your heart DOES NOT die (sorry, Allison, you are wrong on this).  We just loose practice with how to listen to it fully and consequently suffer the effect in a myriad of ways.  

Come see me at Calyx Wellness Studio where we specialize in detention free heart reawakening!



Anneliese Wainwright