The Still Power of a Broken Heart

Sadness, grief, disappointment, heartbreak. How many times have we felt them? How many times have we denied them, tried to bypass them, lock them into mental dungeons?

How many times have we denied our issues the type of attention that could help them release from our tissues? The energetic lump in our throat, the emotional knot in our stomach, the heaviness in our chest. Our memories and their psycho-energetic residues calling for our attention, desperately asking for our gentle gaze, our healing presence.

For some of us, grief is terrifying, heartbreak intolerable, disappointment unacceptable. For some others, sadness is a sign of weakness and tears are a source of shame. We fight to keep the memories unvisited, our pain buried, our tears unseen. No wonder we feel depleted, uninspired, disconnected - dead.

Just imagine the structure required to keep a large amount of water from escaping. Think of a dam with its powerful gates, its security checks, its routine maintenance. Think of the energy, time, and all the other resources invested in keeping it working perfectly. Think of the effort needed to make sure no water is lost (no leaking) and more water is added. This is the energy we are knowingly or unknowingly investing in keeping our pain buried, our grief untouched, our tears unseen. A tremendous amount of energy!

And what happens as we gently approach grief, taking one step at a time, connecting body and mind, feeling and thinking? What happens when we honour the resistance, the fear of it as well as the possible shame? What happens when the door finally opens for the little kid who’s been knocking on it since he was born?

The heart breaks.

Perhaps first little cracks here and there, some sadness, some relief. Then bigger chunks of our heart’s armour come crashing down; more tears, more relief. One day, the deep waters of grief may come down gushing, rendering our mind quiet, our heart open and undefended. What we have thought would drown us becomes our life jacket as we take fresh breaths into a new life.

Our hearts bleed in a thousand ways: the environmental activist’s for his forest, the child’s for her toy, the soldier’s for his wounded leg, the mother's for her murdered child, the doctor's for his dying patient, the student’s for her failing grade, the lover’s for his separation from his partner.

On one hand, grief takes everything away: Everything we thought we had to hold onto, everything we thought we could not live without. It takes away our illusions about who we are, how we are, who others are, what life is all about, and how things should be. On the other hand, grief gives us everything: It blesses us, giving us open eyes and a broken heart revealing a joy, a love that can neither die nor be taken away.

With a still, powerful voice our open heart says to us: No matter what anything may seem like, everything is OK and it’s always been. This is life and you are alive.

In the simple humility of the broken heart, life throbs with miracle and beauty. Our inner peace becomes the ground from which we act, no longer burdening life with the obligation to be a certain way. We embrace life as it is, finally at home with both bliss and piss.