A broken heart can seem like the end of the world. But, if you give yourself a chance, it can also be the beginning of a new world.
Sometimes we don’t feel we have the ability to defend ourselves from a broken heart. Things just happen to us. They come and overwhelm us, sometimes making it hard to breathe. And it can seem too challenging to believe there is any way to reassemble our lives and reclaim our heart.
I have a story to tell you about this.
My sister, Alison, and I like to try out various art classes. We decided it would be fun to do some stained-glass work, so signed up and when the time came, showed up at the studio. As is often the case, I was the only man present. I’ve grown accustomed to this and the mothering I usually receive from the women taking the class.
There were seven or eight of us present. The instructor was very pleasant and helpful and guided us through the process and various techniques we would be using. When she was done with her introductory comments, she asked us to wander around and choose the glass pieces that appealed to us.
It was a lot of fun seeing all the various sizes, colors, and textures of the glass pieces. I gathered what I thought would be enough to complete my project and sat down next to my sister.
At first, I began randomly placing pieces in my frame. I really didn’t have any preconceived idea how my project would turn out. I was just ‘winging it’. At some point I realized I didn’t like how it looked, so I tipped out all the pieces onto the table.
There were a host of shrieks and everyone in the class turned toward me. They simply could not believe I’d done that and were upset on my behalf. Some thought it must have been an accident. Others were convinced I was upset or crazy. Once they knew it was an intentional act on my part, they all wanted to know WHY?
I told them I’d changed my mind. I looked at the assembled stained-glass pieces and I didn’t like what I saw. I told them I needed to start over and that it would be okay. They didn’t seem at all reassured and went back to their own projects, shaking their heads.
I began again. This time though the pieces fell easily into place. I noticed a surprising calmness inside of me. I’d followed my own inner guidance and as I looked down, an incredible thing happened. A beautiful image appeared. It was Mary, the mother of Jesus, dressed in a blue swirling shroud. I looked more carefully and noticed she was holding a broken heart in her hands. I knew she was mending it. I sat there in complete awe.
Of all the artwork I have created, it is by far my most favorite.
It speaks to me. I hear gently words she shared about how to mend a broken heart.
She told me that it is only when we choose to feel what we are feeling that we can begin. We know it’s going to be painful and yet, I feel there is a promise in this for us, that once we allow the pain in and recognize its presence, it becomes ready to leave us. We can let it go, making space for something new to take its place. And we can start over. We can be patient and watchful, looking for a new life to emerge. We can open our hearts, so we can experience new dreams. And, although it seems impossible to us, we can be grateful. Grateful that life does not end with a broken heart. If we allow it, our life can begin again. Our hearts can be mended.
I think about this every time I look at my beautiful stained-glass artwork hanging in my office window. Sometimes first thing in the morning the rising sun lights it up and I sense the truth that no heart is ever beyond mending.
Note: To make a comment, please click on the Post Name, then scroll to the bottom of the page, write your comment in the box and hit enter.
2 Replies to “Broken Hearts”
Thank you Rob. As I read this the song “ How can I mend a broken heart” by The Bee Gees , began playing in my head.
Your stained glass artwork was transformed by a miracle, because you allowed the miracle shine through.
Rather than accepting your first arrangement, said, no thank you, I will start with a clean slate, much to the shock and surprise of your art mates.
So much pressure to get it right the first time , no matter what our new endeavor. Our messages from society, be perfect and do it quickly. Forbidding our creativity to relax, change, adjust, flow,, try again and again and again.
You gave yourself permission to let the light unfold. In this case , the miracle of Mary joyously appearing to your delight and surprise. You kept your heart open. And that is the gift of a broken heart. More light can now flow through. With more light, one can see so much better. And this is true for spiritual vision as well.
Another great story.
Thank you Rob. ☮️
I remember that song very fondly and it started playing as soon as you mentioned it here. I see the connection.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your insightful feelings about this and of course, I agree with you whole-heartedly.
Always appreciate your comments.