Parker Palmer. Healing the Heart of Democracy.
Good read. Good grist for my mental mill. Good heart work.
Good Valentines Day post, I suppose.
Love his breakdown of the two basic kinds of heartbreak:
If you hold your knowledge of self and world wholeheartedly, your heart will at times get broken by loss, failure, defeat, betrayal, or death. What happens next in you and the world around you depends on how your heart breaks. If it breaks apart into a thousand pieces, the result may be anger, depression, and disengagement. If it breaks open into greater capacity to hold the complexities and contradictions of human experience, the result may be new life. The heart is what makes us human – and politics, which is the use of power to order our lives together, is a profoundly human enterprise. Politics in the hands of those whose hearts have been broken open, not apart, helps us hold our differences creatively and use our power courageously for the sake of a more equitable, just and compassionate world.
The former is an “unresolved wound that keeps on wounding us and others.”
The latter results in a “greater capacity to hold our own and the world’s pain.” And “when we hold our suffering in a way that opens us to greater compassion, heartbreak becomes a source of healing, deepening our empathy for others who suffer and extending our ability to reach out to them.”
We all will encounter deep and profound heartbreak. That is a given in the human condition. It is the definition of being human. Consciously adding God to the mix doesn’t change that, no matter how much we say it will or wish it would.
We can’t choose whether we’ll be broken.
I suppose the question is, to what extent can we choose how we will be broken — open, or apart?