It is impossible to know why some of us are broken open while some of us are just broken. If we knew how to invoke the difference, we could change the course of history. Even within one life, we can experience transformative moments of being broken open and, at other times, we just suffer being broken. More than staying in the unanswerable tangle of why some of us grow while some of us stay stuck, it is more important to move from one to the other. When broken open, we grow. When just broken, we endure. And the crucial calling of all relationship is to inhabit what we learn from being broken open to help us endure those times when we are just broken. Essential to the practice of compassion is that, when broken open, we find a way to help those who are broken, and to be humble enough when broken to ask for the help of those who are broken open. In this ongoing way, the light of kindness fills the hole of every pain. We must resist the trial of fairness and the comparison of suffering and devote ourselves to completing each other as we tumble through time.
A Question to Walk With: Tell the story of a time when you were broken and a time when you were broken open. Describe the difference. What have you learned from being broken open that can help you endure being simply broken?
This excerpt is from my book in progress, The Heart Is Our Teacher.
Mark Nepo is offering a 3-session webinar called “The One Life We’re Given: Saying Yes to Life”. The sessions will be offered through Zoom: June, 8,15, 22, 2020, 1-2:30PM ET. Please visit https://live.marknepo.com/ for information and to register.
About the webinar, Mark says, “The gift and practice of being human centers on the effort to restore what matters when in trouble, so we can make good use of our heart. No one quite knows how to do this, but learn it we must. Our path to love and truth depend on this journey.”
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