The Broken Heart

I used to co-own an optical store dedicated to serving the vision needs of a wide community. I’ve worn glasses most of my life. People wear glasses to see clearer and that helps them live their lives. I’m so far away from that life now, and yet I’m so close to it. I work with vision on a daily basis, honing my skill at seeing wider images while discerning the closer images living my human life.

This type of bifocal vision was first coined by Dr. Roberto Assagioli, the founder of Psychosynthesis, a transpersonal psychology movement in 1911.

As a trained Psychosynthesis Counselor, I learned to perceive bifocally the world events, the people I am helping and even myself because there is always differing perceptions of what is appearing and what is the bigger picture. It’s been a useful skill in my present life.

Holding bifocal vision, I can see humanity’s collective hearts and they are breaking open in these times to uncover the true meaning of human life. Each of us is experiencing this breaking-open process. The stories may be different and yet so many of them are similar. Coming back to love. Coming back to priorities. Coming back to respect and coming back to integrity.

The results are echoing the work by Don Miguel Ruiz, a Toltec spiritualist and author of the Four Agreements. In writing this meditation, I found evidence of the Fifth Agreement which is essentially about discerning truth. The Four Agreements are:

  • Be Impeccable With your Word

  • Don’t Take Anything Personally

  • Don’t Make Assumptions

  • Always Do Your Best

I work diligently living by the above agreements because they hold a truth that guides me. I am a work in progress on not taking anything personally because it’s hard in the thick of things to keep myself neutral amidst chaos. I accept it is part of my human lesson to learn to detach.

Parker Palmer, an author, educator and activist wrote an essay entitled The Broken-Open Heart - Living with Faith and Hope in the Tragic Gap. He talks about at least two ways the heart breaks open:

“The heart can be broken into a thousand shards, sharp-edged fragments that sometimes become shrapnel aimed at the source of our pain. Every day, untold numbers of people try without success to “pick up the pieces,” some of them taking grim satisfaction in the way the heart’s explosion has injured their enemies. Here, the broken heart is an unresolved wound that we carry with us for a long time, sometimes tucking it away and feeding it as a hidden wound, sometimes trying to “resolve it” by inflicting the same wound on others.”
“Another way to visualize what a broken heart might mean. Imagine that small, clenched fist of a heart “broken open” into largeness of life, into greater capacity to hold one’s own and the world’s pain and joy. This, too, happens every day. We know that heartbreak can become a source of compassion and grace because we have seen it happen with our own eyes as people enlarge their capacity for empathy and their ability to attend to the suffering of others.”

Humanity is suffering broken hearts. Some are growing with their broken hearts into a greater capacity of being and others are striking out against fellow humans with their pain. This bird’s eye view doesn’t take away my concern and my angst. But it gives me information and comfort in knowing there’s a growth process happening and all of humanity is participating, no matter who they are. It is part of the great collective consciousness righting itself.

I hold this bifocal vision as I take care with my actions, manage my daily tasks with mindfulness and practice kindness, respect for myself and others and do my best in all situations. I treat myself the way I want to be treated. All in the name of integrity.

Participants’ Reflections:

  • This has been wonderful. Thank you.