Broken Whole

9 04 2017


9 April 2017

When a certain idea keeps showing up, I’ve started to learn to listen to these whispers and respond. Hence, I finally made it to the library to take out the book, Broken Open, by Elizabeth Lesser. Her subtitle, How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow, resonates with my life during the past year, which was filled with serious family health issues, problematic relationships, and closure on some situations. This was probably the most difficult year in my life, and I hope this book will help me find the silver lining in the cloud of the pain and challenges I’ve faced.

About halfway through the book, Lesser introduces the Shamanic Lover: an actual person “whose destiny is to heal the heartsick with the sweetness of love, and to give the gift of fire to those whose passion is frozen.” For her, this actual meant physical passion in the form of an extramarital affair. That is not my situation.

However, I am searching for some understanding as to why I have received such difficult visitors, both directly and to those I love. I wonder if there is a more universal application of Lesser’s term. She continues, “Sometimes the Shaman Lover has been sent by fate to blast us open, to awaken the dead parts of our body, to deliver the kiss of life.” She continues with ways that both birth and death have stirred the pot, so to speak. She suggests that these are opportunities to see one’s shadow, the darker side.


I step back to consider these concepts and determine what makes sense to me, both in a logical but also in an emotional way. Which brings me to solidify my interpretation of Lesser’s concept. Often, one part of us is stronger than the rest. We are logical thinkers, with little access to our heart. We are compassionate and connected with others, but we pay little attention to our body. We are Olympic athletes but unable to open our hearts or talk about anything except our specific sport. Any permutation of head-heart-body-spirit imbalance. There are a bunch of them.

Along comes a crisis. It could be anyone or anything.


And the crisis that breaks you apart brings into the forefront the part of you that is out of balance. Maybe you’re too serious. Or not introspective enough. Or too self-focused. Or always putting others ahead of yourself. It becomes obvious and you learn how your head-spirit-body-heart can all contribute equally to your life.

In essence, through a painful process, you end up in balance. Broken whole.



6 responses

9 04 2017

I like where you ended up with the concept – resonates better than hers. Reminds me of ayurvedic doshas, (the body/mind/personality categories), the fact that one or two predominate of the three, but the goal is to balance them as best you can while understanding you’ll rarely be in perfect balance.

14 04 2017
Beth Lapin

Thank you for connecting my idea to something bigger (doshas). It’s nice to consider that it could fit into other concepts.

10 04 2017

Wow, broken whole, that’s a concept that makes me stop and think. Thanks for your writings. You’re sending me in directions I usually don’t go!



14 04 2017
Beth Lapin

The words don’t seem to match, so it does stop us in our tracks for a second…glad it worked for you

10 04 2017
Susan Weinstein

So sorry you’ve had to go through the pain, however.

14 04 2017
Beth Lapin

Thanks. Although perhaps our best growth comes from these types of situations… we get lazy and complacent when all is going well??

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