How to Mend a Broken Heart

A young woman messaged me this morning. Her heart is broken and bleeding. It hurts so much. She cannot stop the tears. That man has left her. In his luggage, he's taken away her joy and hope and dream. It seems he left nothing behind but tears on her pillow.She wants to know how to stop the pain. I told her not to stop it. I told her pain needs to be felt. Feeling your pain is the only way to heal it. Feeling is healing.

So she should breathe. And cry as much as she wants to. She should see this pain as another human experience and welcome it. Watching this pain with a certain curiosity, she should wonder:

How does heart-break taste like? In my mouth and eyes and ears?

She should make some art. Her pain is her muse: draw it, sing it, write it, compose a song about it and dance to it. Dancing in roses may not be as beautiful as dancing in your own blood.

She should begin to nurture her body-mind-soul, and find her center. Meditation. Yoga.


Above all, she should love herself. Love the fragile woman that she is. Love her imperfections. Love her struggles. Love her tears, her wounds, her heart - so vulnerable like the heart of a baby-bird.

You cannot fight darkness with sticks and stones. You simply turn on the light. Self-love is that light.

That's how I mend my broken heart. I write about my grandfather slow death to allow my pain to be felt. He was the world of my childhood. My hero. Barely breathing.

So I breathe for his part too. In my dance, my yoga, my meditation. In darkness, I turn on the light. To see the broken pieces of my heart. To pick them up one by one. And put them back together.

P/S: Here's a Rumi poem I love so much. At the end of one yoga dance class when my students all sit cross-legged, eyes closed, palms together at our chest, I read it aloud:

Whoever finds love

beneath hurt and grief

disappears into emptiness

with a thousand new disguises

Dance, when you're broken open

Dance, when you've torn the bandage off

Dance, in your own blood

Dance, when you're completely free


What do you do now? You, the broken-hearted one... You dance.