When Our Heart Breaks
Loss is a call into mysticism, into spirituality, because our relationship to ourselves and to our world has transcended its boundaries. Our vessel has been shattered, the fabric of our world torn, and we either take up the call to healing or collapse in despair. Grieving is either a creative act–something is born from it–or it destroys. What we want to hear, what we need to hear in the depth of our despair is the call to healing. And when we are being carried along by the ecstasy of healing, we need to remember our despair.
When the heart breaks, it opens. It breaks open to allow us to include more than loss, more than the pain and betrayal. It breaks open to suggest that we can go beyond the limits of who we believed we were by meeting life through loss.
What can loss ask of you, and what transformation can it provide?
There is no stillness louder than the stillness at the heart of loss. The Kabbalah teaches that there are three ways in which we can express sorrow. On the lowest level, we cry. On the second level, we are silent in our suffering. On the highest level, we turn our sorrow into song.
There are parts of us that are enraged by the thought, the mere suggestion, of turning our sorrow into song or of blessing a meeting with sorrow.
Saying “no” to the loss means that the object of our loss is consigned to the realms of our pain, our sorrow, and its absence. Saying “yes” to the loss means allowing ourselves to embrace and be embraced by it. The embrace brings everything in: sorrow and joy, tears and laughter, love and loss, what was and what will yet be.
This is the stuff of transformation and initiation. If we respond to Life’s call, the veils of mystery that separate us from knowing the meaning and wisdom of life are briefly parted and we become initiates. Loss is such an initiation if we are willing to respond to its call. But what it asks of us is nothing less than to be willing to bless it.
Adapted from Healing Through the Shadow of Loss, by Deborah Morris Coryell (Inner Traditions, 2004). Copyright (c) 2004 by Deborah Morris Coryell. Reprinted by permission of Inner Traditions.
Adapted from Healing Through the Shadow of Loss, by Deborah Morris Coryell (Inner Traditions, 2004).