Posted by: Jivani Lisa | February 20, 2012

The Broken-Hearted

“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  (Psalm 34:18)

I live my entire life in broken-heartedness.  Always have.  Even as a child, there was a certain quiet, serious, sadness about me.  My sensitive soul easily picks up the pain and sadness of others.  I remain aware of the difficulties of life in this world – and my heart longs for the peace, love and joy of God.

I now understand that this broken-heartedness is a good thing because it means God is close – and it gives me the ability to empathize with the suffering of others, regardless of what that suffering entails.

Broken-heartedness can be caused by many things, such as:  the loss of loved ones, the experience of abuse/neglect, the inability to achieve goals, the perception of many difficulties in this life for oneself and others.

We tend to respond to our broken-heartedness in one of two ways:  Either we externalize it by projecting anger, resentment and blame onto other people and the world; or we internalize it and end up experiencing anxiety, panic and/or depression and despair.

The solution is to allow ourselves to open to the experience of the broken-heartedness just as it is – without making up stories or explanations about it for ourselves.  In this way, we experience the underlying sadness which can be very deep.  This visceral experience of sadness then has the power to teach us compassion for others.

I believe there are many broken-hearted people in this world.  May we trust that God is close.  May we allow ourselves to feel the sadness and empathize with the broken-heartedness of others.  When we have compassion for each other, we make the world a better place.


  1. Hi,
    My name is Becky and I am a victim of childhood sexual abuse by a religious figure who I loved and admired. I noticed that you list SNAP as one of the organizations that you belong to. I am the SNAP director for Virginia. When I was so overwhelmed with pain and despair other SNAP members and fellow victims supported me and continue to support me as I heal from what I endured as a child and what I am still dealing with as an adult. The support of my family and SNAP is why I am still here today. As part of my healing I try to reach out to other victims and offer them a listening ear. Thank you for listing our organization.
    Becky Ianni

  2. Thank you, Becky. I offer prayers for everyone, including myself, who has suffered abuse. SNAP has helped me very much to come to terms with what happened to me – and to realize that it wasn’t my fault. Elsewhere on this blog, there is a post about this year’s SNAP Conference in Chicago. I was hoping to attend the conference but I just can’t afford the travel costs.
    Peace to you!

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