Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Power of a Broken Heart ...

Broken hearts are looming large in my life lately ... particularly my own. But not just my own ... I keep running into people who also have broken hearts. We seem to be finding each other. Perhaps they were always there, but perhaps I was unaware of their crippling pain - until I was sensitized to them, by my own pain.

It seems that for us to have compassion, we have to have empathy -- we have to feel the pain of another. And it seems that few, if any, humans get out of life without suffering.

What strikes me about hearing the stories of so many broken hearts, is that there is intense power unleashed by a heart that has been broken ... for, you see, your heart cannot be broken unless it has inordinately loved another.

And a heart that has been broken, can expand ... can be enlarged, so as to love MORE.

It's a risk we take ... that risk of love. It's an incredibly vulnerable proposition -- to put one's heart out there, and to leave it wide open ... perhaps to even be trampled by another. No risk is quite as glorious, and no pain can cut quite as deeply.

But it's true, that it's better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all. I would so much rather suffer this pain, than to live a small, well-guarded life that has avoided the pain of heartbreak.

I finished Ken Wilber's book, "Grace and Grit" last night ... and I sobbed voraciously through the death scene ... not because of Treya's death, but because of how Ken's heart was broken by the death of his beloved.

They both knew she was dying, when she could no longer walk up the stairs (after a ten year struggle with breast cancer). She felt defeat, but he turned it into a romantic gesture -- "Come on, Gorgeous ... let me carry my Girl up the stairs."

"Honey, if it's time for you to go, then it's time for you to go. Don't worry, I'll find you. I found you before, I promise I'll find you again. So, if you want to go, don't worry. Just go."

"You promise you'll find me?"

"I promise."

It was all he could get out ... she closed her eyes, breathed her last, and he writes this:

My heart broke. This phrase kept running through my mind: 'Practice the wound of love ... practice the wound of love.' Real love hurts; real love makes you totally vulnerable and open; real love will take you far beyond yourself; and therefore real love will devastate you. I kept thinking, if love does not shatter you, you do not know love.

I thought my promise was that I would help her, whereas it was actually how she would reach and help me, again and again, and forever again, as long as it took for me to awaken, as long as it took for me to acknowledge, as long as it took for me to realize the Spirit that she had come so clearly to announce.

Out of that broke heart has come a wealth of strength ... for he was utterly transformed, by the love, and by the pain.

In working with an energy-healer, I was encouraged to "paint out my pain" ... pain about my present, about my past -- pain that was largely unacknowledged, and often discounted or dismissed ... but still very much in operation. I created a sacred space, complete with lit candles and incense ... and asked the Spirit to assist me.

I did so ... and then I also painted, intuitively, the image of my own broken heart being a catalyst for healing ... with symbols that are rich in meaning for me.

I'll dare to share those images with you here ... this is not about "artistic ability" (for I am self-taught), but about expression ...

Here's the image of the pain:

This is what I've entitled, "The Catalyst: Practice the Wound of Love" ~

And ... a couple of close-ups:

A picture speaks a thousand words ... 'nuff said.

Shalom & Namaste ~


MysticBrit said...

These are beautiful, both images and words, Dena. Thank you. May both heal you, and may the fine simplicity of who you are gently rise to the surface.

Dena said...

Thank you, Harry ... and it will.

'Tis what it does...!

Debra Masters said...

If love does not shatter you, you do not know very true. Thank you.