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  • David Horst

My broken/open heart



Most days I’m determined not to reveal my fear, sadness, and anger. Why would I want to? I’m not willing to reveal these dark emotions my ego works so hard to hide from myself and others. I’d rather make nice, put on a happy face, and shrug “it’s all good.”

I am made of emotions just as much as flesh and bones, nerves and muscles, tissues and organs, mind and soul. I’m merely another creature of Earth living a finite lifespan in the blip of human time.

I say this not to diminish my humanity or purpose, but to keep myself grounded in humility, pull aside the ego’s protective curtain, and permit myself to be emotionally laid bare. I say this simply to confess that I am heart broken.

The unceasing pandemic, our nation’s poisoned politics, the deep economic recession, and the embeddedness of white supremacy are breaking my heart into pieces, and I can no longer hide my fear, sadness, and anger. When I attend protest rallies and marches, I proclaim them: “I’m afraid, I’m unhappy, I’m mad!” My broken heart is on display for all to see. I’m unafraid to show my vulnerability.

And you? Are you willing to reveal your broken heart? To be vulnerable? To see through your ego happy-face?

Your and my broken-heartedness will always be with us. The world and our complex lives require it, and there’s every reason to return there from time to time.

Let us also imagine, however, that our broken hearts are open hearts. Let us believe that our heart’s brokenness makes space for our heart’s trust, joy, and surprise. As we continue rally and march, let us also proclaim “I’m joyful, I’m faithful, I’m ready!”

This is the sacred paradox of the broken/open heart: Fear opens to trust, sadness to joy, anger to surprise, and darkness to light.


Photo: Enders Island, Stonington, Conn.

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© 2020 by DAVID M. HORST