Tag Archives: Warrior

The Broken-Hearted Warrior

I feel like I am blessed every day I wake up and realize I have another opportunity to love more, learn more, share more, and be more. Even when we feel broken, we can share in putting the pieces back together. It’s a powerful / humbling experience to grow and learn how to openly share in the discomfort of that growth…

“Why, then, have to be human?
Oh not because happiness exists,
Nor out of curiosity…
But because being here means so much;
because everything here,
vanishing so quickly, seems to need us,
and strangely keeps calling to us… To have been
here once, completely, even if only once,
to have been at one with the earth –
this is beyond undoing.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

One of my current reads & the following text derives from LOVE AND AWAKENING By John Welwood . I  felt very compelled to share some resounding excerpts ..

 Chapter 14  The Broken-Hearted Warrior And The Renewal Of The World:

“When the heart breaks open, it marks the beginning of a real love affair with this world. It is a broken-hearted love affair, rather than the conventional kind based on hope and expectation. Only in this fearless love that can respond to life’s pain as well as its beauty can we be of real help to ourselves or anyone else in this difficult age. The broken-hearted warrior is an essential archetype for our time.”

“We live in precarious times. A traditional Tibetan exorcism chant, written many centuries ago, describes a dark age in terms that seem strangely fitting today:

“An evil time, when relatives quarrel,
When there are family feuds and civil wars…
[Provoking the wrath of the Furies, who respond by]
Sending sickness on man and beast.
The sky is thick with purple clouds of sickness.
They destroy by causing the age of weaponry.
Suddenly, they strike men with fatal ulcerous sores…” – Welwood

“Everywhere we look, forces of disintegration seem to have the upper hand, with organizations at every level- from schools and religious communities to cities and nations- seemingly unable to function sanely or to foster healthy human development. All across the planet we find a staggering array of symptoms of loss of souls, both in individuals and in the world at large. Our very humanness seems to be under assault and at risk. So many aspects of modern life- the destruction of the environment, the loss of neighborhood and community, the decline of education, the production of devitalized food, the meaningless work so many people perform, the rise of random violence, the blind allegiance to technological “progress” without consideration of its terrible costs, the fascination with glamor, hype, and image, the pervasive political lies and media distortions that masquerade as truth, the desecration of the sacred lands and traditions of native peoples, the descent into growing chaos and poverty among much of the world’s population, the concentration of power in the hands of transnational corporations that have little interest in the common good, and on and on, wherever we turn our gaze- suggest that humanity has sold its soul in a Faustian exchange for worldly dominion, and that the payment is rapidly coming due.”

“And if we look within ourselves, we find turmoil and confusion: Our minds and hearts have either grown numb or running wild. We have lost our bearings.”

“What is the significance of intimate relationship in a time like this? Can the love between intimate partners have a part to play in the regeneration of the planet, or the awakening of humanity from its collective trance? What can two lovers do to help this fractured world?”

The following text is from a section titled:  “Learning to Live with a Broken Heart”:

“Loving another deeply helps us appreciate the power and beauty of being human: the grace of the body, the clarity of awareness, the subtlety of feeling, and the richness of presence available to us. Yet when we turn from this inner vision- of the essential goodness at the core of our nature- to outer reality- the ragged state of the world and our fellow beings- it breaks our heart right on the spot.

Perhaps our first impulse is to turn away, close our eyes to the magnitude of suffering all around, and withdraw into our cocoon, turning to relationship as an island of refuge from a world gone mad. This is understandable. We feel overwhelmed.”

“But there is also another impulse, which we may have felt when we were young and our heart first registered the shock of human suffering: We would like to save the world. We would like to do something to make everything right, to clean up the environment, to overcome ignorance and injustice, or to help people tormented by poverty or despair. If we stay with this impulse for a moment, before dismissing it as hopelessly romantic or idealistic, we recognize it as the heart’s pure response to the pain of this world…

Yet it soon becomes clear that we cannot readily save anyone, much less ourselves, from this pain. If we are to remain open to life and capable of engaging with our world rather than succumbing to depression or cynicism, we must learn how to live with a broken heart.”

“It is only through letting our heart break that we discover something unexpected: The heart cannot actually break, it can only break open. What breaks when we are touched by life’s pain is the contraction around our heart that we have been carrying for so long. When we feel both our love for this world and the pain of this world- together, at the same time- the heart breaks out of this shell. Then the hearts true character is revealed- as an openness, an acute sensitivity where we feel the world inside us and are not separate from it. This is like removing a bandage and exposing our flesh to the air. There is no way to avoid this rawness, except by living in a state of contraction. To live with a broken-open heart is to experience life full strength.”

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. – Steve Jobs


“Facing the condition of our world with an open heart is something like the situation of the man in the Zen story who is chased over the edge of a cliff by a tiger. As he holds on for dear life to some branches growing on the face of the cliff, he notices a mouse gnawing away at their roots. The man sizes up his predicament: hungry tiger above, yawning abyss below, and all support rapidly eroding away. Just as he is about to give himself up for lost, he notices some wild strawberries growing in the branches. Suddenly revived, he reaches out to taste the tiny berries, delighting in their outrageous sweetness.

Like the man in the story, we are tempted to give up when we find no simple remedy for the degenerative forces sweeping across our planet. Yet in moments when we can reach out and celebrate life’s beauty, in spite of its pain or sorrow, we discover something sweet indeed- our own wild and beautiful heart.”

“According to sacred tradition, the heart is not something emotional or sentimental; Hinduism and Buddhism regard it as the pith essence, while Sufism understands it as a divine subtlety that reveals the deepest truths. It is a doorway leading into the core of our being- the living presence of spirit and soul. When our heart breaks open, breaks through to this deeper core, we waken from paralysis into a greater depth of soul, and along with that, a deeper love for this world.

For if our heart gives rise to universal compassion, it is in our soul that we love particulars- this face, this grove of trees, this neighborhood, this world. And it is our soul that suffers when, for instance, we see a beautiful, wild piece of the earth fall prey to yet another condo development or shopping mall. Our heart might feel compassion for this injury, our spirit might recognize it as part of the larger life and death of the cosmos, but in our soul, which so loves the particulars, we grieve or rage for this assault on earth’s beauty. It is important to let ourselves feel this kind of passionate response. Otherwise, our soul too grows numb, just like the paved-over path of earth.”

“You are only love, but when you deny this, you make what you are something you must learn to remember.” – Course in Miracles, Foundation For Inner Peace


“To avoid going numb when encountering the pain of the world, we need access to the warrior within, the one who can ask: “What deeper resource is this adversity calling on me to bring forth?” In learning to make use of suffering to cultivate our capacities for strength, vision, love, faith, or humor, we forge the vessel of soul and begin to free ourselves from resentment or depression about the state of the world. And we may find that the earth in her plight is calling us to waken like this, and that as we do so, she awakens as well, through us. In this way, the broken-hearted warrior is able to keep on loving, in spite of every-thing.”

“In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die. Where you invest your love, you invest your life.”

– Mumford & Sons, Awake My Soul


“When the heart breaks open, it marks the beginning of a real love affair with this world. It is a broken-hearted love affair, rather than the conventional kind based on hope and expectation. Only in this fearless love that can respond to life’s pain as well as its beauty can we be of real help to ourselves or anyone else in this difficult age. The broken-hearted warrior is an essential archetype for our time.”