Heartbreak is the terrain I’ve traveled. My work as a therapist and guide to women’s growth means being present to hurts that visit every life. Still, as I listen the strengths of the speaker shines through her words. I see their unbreakable strength. My message is to slow down and connect with their souls. Souls have a light that binds brokenness.

Kintsugi, pictured here, is an ancient Japanese practice that beautifies broken pottery. Cracks are enhanced by filling them with gold. Flaws that happen with time or rough use are not a source of shame. They are seen as an important part in the life of an object. Strangely, the reconstructed piece has a beauty that becomes enhanced by its repairs.

Lives that are mended have beauty also. “Where you stumble and fall there you find gold,” said Carl Jung. He too witnessed many stories of pain and suffering as a psychiatrist. He also had his own journey into pain as have I. We each found meaning in our broken lives. 

Both processes are slow, meticulous and not without more heartache. They take patience. To find strength in broken lives means sometimes opening closed doors. In opening to shutoff places we release energy. It takes a great amount of energy to conceal what we see as unacceptable.

We are all broken and beautiful in unique ways. This realization releases us to discover present wants caught in a longing for a different past. 

Joy is what greets us after we scoop up shattered pieces and reunite them. Joy that comes of not needing to be other than who we are. When we embrace our whole journey changes occur. Faces soften, shoulders drop and eyes glisten a little brighter as this happens.

Once again being on retreat I am with pain, others and my own. In the estrogen soup of a woman’s circle we also discover profound strengths. 

From my journal: Taos, New Mexico August 30, 2019: Mabel Dodge Luhan House 

Writing to the women in our circle…
I sit in our nest watching your flickering candles. Each candle represents the light I feel, I see in each of you. Women who hold grief in their hearts and still allow love to soften who they are. Women who have let pain open them like a cosmic can opener. Now we see how wounds have become doorways to gather strength. My wounds, my grief has taught me, tenderized me, and toughened me. 

Life breaks all of us. 

Gold can appear in those broken places.


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