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Feeling broken robs your life and relationships of vitality and joy – but there is life after broken. If you feel like you’re broken, or know someone else who feels this way, you aren’t alone. I’m seeing post after post on social media from people who are feeling broken.

Feeling broken can be debilitating but it can also be transformed into a beautiful life filled with love.

I want to share something I wrote in my journal a long time ago.

Dear God,

I feel broken inside. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I can’t stop crying. I’m crying all the time with tears and snot running down my face, and I want it to stop. The ache in my chest is the only thing I feel besides hollow, empty and lost.

Be grateful they say. How, when I can’t even find the energy to smile. Nothing I look at holds any meaning. That cushion I bought – the one with abstract images of sea turtles – it doesn’t make me smile any more. I remember how I lit up when I first saw it in the store. I remember feeling joyful every time I looked at it sitting on my favorite chair at home. And now there’s nothing. I’m numb except for the pain in my chest.

I feel broken inside and I feel like I’m failing in life. I used to feel deeply connected to all of life when I was in nature. Now I go for a walk, a rabbit hops across my path, and I notice that nothing moves me. I’m broken and grieving the joy I used to feel. Why won’t the painful emptiness stop?

Dear God, please help me. I need a miracle. I feel hopeless and I don’t know what to do.

I was in deep despair at the time. And there are still moments, when I feel broken too, but I look at it differently now with greater understanding.

I used to struggle to not feel and in doing so I blocked ALL feelings – the positive as well as the negative. The thing about emotions is that we can’t selectively block the uncomfortable ones. I had been trying to not feel broken instead of allowing myself to feel and process so I could heal and move forward.

Yes, unfortunately feeling is part of the process. I deeply understand feeling broken. But you aren’t really broken, you’re hurting.

Keep going. That emptiness and pain is an indication of something that needs healing. A connection has been broken. Maybe it’s a disconnection from another person – death or a breakup. Maybe you’re disconnected from a situation you didn’t want to change. Or maybe you’re disconnected from something else entirely. But that broken feeling always comes down to feeling disconnected from yourself – from your spirit.

Here I want to insert something very important: If you feel broken to the point of causing yourself (or anyone else) harm, then this is not enough. Please see a medical doctor right away.

With loving intention, everything broken can be healed and transformed into something even more beautiful than before.

Have you heard of kintsugi? It’s the word for the ancient Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold. What was once a lovely piece of pottery becomes exquisite with loving care and attention. You truly can go from broken to beautiful.

So, how do you do it? You start slow.

Imagine something that represents pure love to you. It doesn’t matter what it is. Focus on that image and focus on the feeling of love. You might not feel very much at first, but with time and practice those tiny sensations will grow. You will literally feel your way out of broken and into love.

And no matter how much you don’t feel like it. Start doing something that used to make your heart sing and your eyes glisten. Paint, sex, hike, swim, cook – whatever it is – do it. Even if it’s not up to your past ability, do it anyway. And keep doing it.

All of a sudden, one day, when you least expect it, you’ll have the realization that you actually feel good. You’ll still have the scars from old hurts but now they’ll be filled with gold and you’ll feel more like yourself than you ever did before.

Feeling broken robs your life and relationships of vitality and joy – but there is life after broken. Click To Tweet

And one more thing. Ask for help. This might be the single most important thing you do. Work with someone you trust to guide you through the murky waters. This is the work I do and there are a lot of others out there providing support as you find your way back to love.

Your beautiful spirit is waiting for you to reconnect and grow into your exquisite self.


Dr. Gayle Friend

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