the way of the brokenhearted

Profound insights from a gifted writer, Ron Irvine, who has graciously agreed to allow me to share them here.

Living with Open Hands

themoonresized-1The Way of the Brokenhearted… Leads to the Way of the Open Heart. 

“God breaks the heart

again and again and again

until it stays OPEN.”

Hazrat Inayat Kahn (Sufi Master)

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted” (Psalm 34:18)

Life is full of surprises. Some are positive but many others do not seem so positive. These surprises, whether positive or negative, are the “stuff” of life.

What we do with the good “stuff” is easy: rejoice, laugh, dance, celebrate, or whatever. What we do with the not-so-good “stuff” defines who we are. What we do with them gives our life meaning or despair. BUT WHAT DO WE DO WITH THESE SURPRISES? Our tragedies, broken dreams, failures, losses, etc. can devour us . . . or strengthen us.

“As long as we are mortal creatures who love other mortals, heartbreak will be a staple of our lives. And all heartbreak, personal…

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6 thoughts on “the way of the brokenhearted”

  1. Unfortunately our current global situation has gone a little past heartbreak. I have a feeling that the billions of global inhabitants dying of starvation and treatable illnesses or being driven out of their homes and off their lands by endless wars and multinational corporations wouldn’t find the philosophy expressed here terribly comforting.

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    1. It’s true that people who are struggling to merely survive may be well beyond heartbreak, Stuart. But I can honestly say that there are days when my heart is broken when I think about the suffering of others and feel overwhelmed by a deep sense of hopelessness about doing anything effective to end it now and prevent it in the future. And yet, insights like Ron’s help me find ways to reconnect with the hope that doing what I can, where I am, may make a small positive difference.

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  2. I think this kind of thinking is great on the level of the individual — a person has to stay sane somehow. I totally get what stuartbramhall is saying, too. We can’t just staop at protecting our snaity. At some point we have to fix the mess.

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    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Debra. I agree that it is important to be deeply affected by the suffering of others and ultimately, do something concrete to “to fix the mess.”

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  3. There are two distinct though interrelated dimensions to suffering: the view of the individual and the response of the community.

    Suffering, whatever form it takes, can deepen us as individuals, and increase our compassion for others. We engage in a profound, if painful, dialog with God that has eternal ramifications. There is no substitute.

    That in no way, however, precludes our advocacy here and now. In fact, in many cases, our own suffering fuels that advocacy; the insights we derive from suffering inform it.

    Multinational corporations have no regard for our individual insights, except insofar as those have economic impact. But if a community stands together, if we each individually choose to speak out from the perspective of suffering and take action on that basis, there is an economic impact. I may not care about cancer (or racism or the devastation of the environment, etc.) until my child is effected. Then the issue becomes personal.

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    1. Thank you for such thoughtful and important comments, Anna. You have artfully interwoven differing perspectives, resolving the tension between individual suffering and advocacy to address social injustice issues. And your observations about the absence of caring by multinational corporations is a crucial addition to the dialogue.

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