The Possibilities of a Broken Heart

Most of us have experienced some kind of heart breaking experience in our life, probably more than once or twice.  And you know how painful it can be to suffer a broken heart. Whether it is the loss of a loved one or an ending of a relationship or the loss of your job, your home or possibly your health, a broken heart can cause such an intense sorrow that the things that used to bring you joy and peace now offer little comfort.  Many even experience physical pain with a broken heart, such as a tight chest, nervous stomach and nausea and/or terrible insomnia.

When we are in such pain and grief the tendency is to shut down, to push our grief and sorrow into the depths of our being and do our best to move on. Unfortunately these strategies will only come back to haunt us, as suppressed emotions are one of the main causes of depression and anxiety, and also some acute or chronic physical illnesses such GI disturbances, chronic fatigue even autoimmune conditions.

Having your heart broken open can feel like your life has shattered into a thousand pieces. In that state, it is hard to imagine how you will ever be whole again or that the pain could possibly loosen its grip on you. And you wonder how you will get up and move on when you barely can take a breath.

It turns out there is something very profound to be reaped in that pile of brokenness. A heart shattered in a 1,000 pieces is wide open and all the pain and sorrow that was buried in there from years of loss and disappointments are exposed and raw. No longer hidden beneath a wall of protection that may have resulted in addictive behaviors such as overeating, alcohol or drug misuse, or physical illness such as heart disease or chronic pain, we are now asked to be with the sorrow and grief, and to love it, and ourselves.  Now more than ever what your heart and soul needs is love and compassion and tenderness and time.

Take the time to care for your precious heart in every way imaginable. Love yourself fiercely, allow yourself to be held by those who deeply care for you, rest, get healing work, massages or whatever it takes to mend.  And don’t be in a hurry because allowing your broken heart to stay open lets the light in and reflects back to the world and to you, the brilliance of your pure and authentic Self.

I close with a verse from Leonard Cohen’s song “Anthem”:

Ring the bells that still can ring 
Forget your perfect offering 
There is a crack in everything 
That’s how the light gets in.