We do not know why pain and suffering come into anyone’s life. Many theories exist, but no one really knows why we suffer or why the heart can so easily break. But we do know one thing. Opening to the pain with kindness begins to heal your broken heart.
This advice from the wisdom traditions has been essential for me. These teachings promise that the heart’s compassion, wisdom, and courage grow more readily in the dark. That is, when we feel most lost, broken and alone, we can become more deeply who we were meant to be.
When we are cracked open, the cracks allow in a light, that otherwise we can barely see. As songwriter Leonard Cohen put it, “There’s a crack in everything, that is how the light gets in”
Much of my personal suffering has come through loss of intimate relationships. Those losses have included separation, death, abandonment and betrayal. These experiences taught me how to lean, ever so lightly and against my instincts, into the pain of brokenness and loss. Then, amazingly—from the pain itself—an uncanny intelligence emerged to calm, support and heal me.
Many situations can break a person down. Chronic illness, betrayal, abandonment, death of a loved one, major disappointment or failure, financial crisis, depression or prolonged grief for unknown reasons can trigger our pain. The reason matters less than the descent itself. The shock of loss brings us to a desolate inner terrain that holds great promise. A terrain, that we, of course, prefer to avoid.
When the shock of loss strikes, we have a chance to learn to be kind to ourselves in a radical way. Even as the loss threatens to overwhelm, we can learn not to run. Instead, we learn to embrace the shattering of our lives, our dreams. When we do, right in the core of brokenness we discover an abiding love calling us home to our true heart…
I hope some of the resources on this site will help you dive with more confidence and curiosity into whatever darkness may surround you. Here you will find articles, links, posts, quotes, humor, music and poetry that may speak to your heart and mind.
I believe you will eventually find your way through the muck to the hidden treasures of the heart. To trusting again, to faith in the wonder of breath and heartbeat, to being here at all, to simple kindness towards yourself and anyone you may still find difficult to forgive.
After a bewildering abandonment, I searched for answers, but could find little support for what I was going through. Gradually, I realized I was in the throes of PTSD—a often unrecognized legacy of abandonment and betrayal. To help others get through this ordeal more quickly, I wanted to share what I was learning. Love and the Mystery of Betrayal: Recovering Your Trust and Faith after Trauma, Deception, and Loss of Love was the result. This book takes a deep dive into the shock of broken trust and the transformation of pain and grief.
My earlier book Embrace of the Daimon: Healing through the Subtle Energy Body: Jungian Psychology & the Dark Feminine offers an exploration of daimonic imaginal realms, the inner spaces between body and spirit, the home of the archetypes. Set in Jungian terms, this book is not for the faint of heart or the everyday reader. Still, it has developed an enthusiastic following among students of imaginal realms, shadow psychology, alchemy, goddess imagery, and women’s issues.