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When Breakdowns Become Breakthroughs —

“When you feel yourself breaking down, may you break open instead.”— Elizabeth Lesser

It is a silent shame that hits more of us than we’d like to admit. This shame is not (usually) caused by a chemical imbalance, but too often conventional treatments rush to that solution.

This shame isn’t a shame but a symptom of being misaligned with our highest self and our source. As such, we are in turmoil internally.

We are strong, we cope.

Hell, we even succeed, and no one is the wiser — at least at first.

But sometimes, it gets too much. The burdens of life outweigh the joys. The stress of more. The stress of striving. The stress of merely surviving. The pressure of the ‘musts’ and the ‘have to’s’ that lead to the fabric of our lives unraveling.

And when these conditions go unacknowledged and unchecked over time, they become untenable, and we begin to break.

The Breaking Takes Many Forms

For me and a few strong humans close to me, it took the form of short tempers, resentments, pushing back in anger against those we love instead of recognizing that it was our circumstances, our lifestyle design, our lack of self-care (nutritionally and otherwise), our inability to say ‘no’, our delusions of grandeur as ‘superhuman’, our need to be needed, our need to create meaning, our need to…[fill in the blank] that led us here…

When the breaking starts, those around us give us a wide berth, treat us like we’re ‘crazy’ and even blame us for our outbursts and shifting behavior.

And guess what? I realized and had to acknowledge they were RIGHT.

My behaviors, my outbursts, my emotions, my resentments WERE my responsibility. And while my circumstances brewed the perfect storm, churning all that was me into a swirling, hot mess, I allowed it.

I allowed it by not prioritizing my self-care.

I allowed it by not setting my boundaries.

I allowed it by not choosing peace, by believing in my limitations, by allowing myself to be thrown around by the winds of my environment instead of designing my life and creating the conditions for the beauty that is ME to flourish.

I allowed it by walking through life semi-conscious and not getting clear on WHO I was CHOOSING to be{come}, consciously or not, with each choice that I made.

Until I BROKE.

Society leads us to believe that breaking is shameful. Breaking is for the weak. Breaking needs to be avoided at all costs.

What if…

What if, instead, we reframe breaking as feedback from our highest selves?

What if, we learn to interpret the ‘noise’ that gets louder as a form of communication from our soul?

If we view the breaking as our Soul’s Stirrings and then listen closely, stay open to the messages (even though we want to resist), we will recognize the gift we are being given. This gift of breaking allows us a chance to move in the direction of WHO we are meant to BE in this life.

Our BEing is too often dictated by our DOing instead of the other way around, and as we get caught up in our doingness, our beingness sometimes gets set aside, suppressed, morphed or misaligned.

If we listen closely to our Soul’s Stirrings and learn to interpret that communication accurately, then we have an opportunity to reinterpret our ‘breakdowns’ as ‘breakthroughs’ and realign our doing to our being.

How Do You Realign with Your Highest Self?

Start by getting into nature (even if it is a small patch). Get rid of the distractions.

Get quiet. Get quiet. Get quiet. Then listen to your Soul’s Stirrings.

It won’t happen overnight, but eventually, you will learn to interpret the messages being sent by your highest self. After all, you already have all the answers you need.


“It is in the broken places, that the light shines through.” –Leonard Cohen

Many blessings xo

(First publised on Medium, 27 March 2019)

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