On Being Broken

On Being Broken: Investigating Our Core Beliefs about Ourselves


In your innermost chamber, do you harbor the secret belief that you are broken or damaged in a way that cannot be overcome? This video explores a belief that many of us secretly hold inside, affecting all of our interactions with ourselves and others.


The Narrative of “Being Broken”

Hi. This is Dara with Somatic Spiritual Counseling. And today’s video is on the narrative of being broken, what it means to be broken, and how to heal from that condition. So, first off, I’m wondering if you or somebody in your life that you know identifies with this feeling that they are broken. The folks that I’ve known to chronically feel this way typically feel that because of their brokenness, they can’t have a good relationship with a partner. They might not feel capable of working in a fulfilling job, or in a job at all. They might not feel capable of really living in society. Maybe they feel like they’re somehow either rejected or too different to be understood. Or maybe they do all of those things, but they’re kind of hiding from everyone, and they secretly feel very alone.

So, being broken, the felt experience of it is quite handicap-making. It feels like a handicap. It feels like an impediment to living a full life, or even feeling that that’s within reach. And then inherent to the brokenness belief is not knowing how to fix it, or how to change it, or how to heal it. So, what I’d like to do in this video is present a possibility for how I think it’s possible to heal from brokenness. And I think it’s a bit different than what I’ve heard before and what I’ve seen before. When we break a bone, when we break something, let’s say a bone, we need to mend it, ideally.

Hopefully, it mends. So, we put it in a cast, and it’s immobile for a while. And slowly, the bones do their magic and reconnect and form a solid structure again that we can then use. So, that’s what happens when we break a bone.

broken bone emotional healing

Being Broken vs. Being Shattered

What happens when we break a promise? That’s a bit different because there are more things, more ways to mend that. Sometimes when we break a promise, depending on what the promise is, it ends the relationship with the person who we made the promise to. Maybe it’s a promise we’ve broken to ourselves. Usually, it’s a breach of trust. So, how do you repair trust? That’s an open-ended question for you to ponder for a moment here. How do you mend trust? There are more pathways than just, for example, staying still or staying in a little cast until things are better. Usually, there has to be more mobility and breaking out of comfort zones in order to mend a broken promise.

What happens when we break a plate? Sometimes, instead of “break,” we use the word “shatter.” If something is shattered, that usually means it’s not reparable anymore, right? So, it has a different flavor to say our heart is broken versus our heart is shattered. One of them implies maybe a desire to mend. One of them implies totally just vulnerable. It’s not going to ever change, right? So, when we break a plate and it’s shattered, we’re probably not going to put it back together.

Shattering is a Rite of Passage

So, when a person feels broken, here’s my suggestion. My suggestion is that if you feel broken, and you’ve felt broken for a long time, you’re probably not broken. You’re probably shattered, which might seem like a heavy prognosis because that means that the path forward is not through mending and fixing, but something else. It’s a death sentence. And I don’t mean a literal death, in most cases, but a rite of passage through a threshold into an unknown, and eventually, a rebirth. Just as the plate, as it is shattered, then enters a completely different way of being permanently and assumes different roles.

So, what would that look like in the case of a person to go through a rite of passage, some sort of figurative bloodletting ceremony where we’re releasing ourselves and letting a transformation occur to completion, and emerging anew out of the death portal? It means an engagement with the feminine, because the death portal is also the life portal. It is the feminine passage.

Anyone with a uterus knows, through the monthly cycle, we have the ability to create life and to release it. And it all goes through the same passageway into the world. So, when we’re broken, and we’re not only broken, but we’re shattered, maybe we need to be buried in the ground. Maybe we need to be covered with earth and left to decompose. What does that process look like for you? What does that process feel like to decompose and allow transformation to happen?

shattered heart emotional healing counseling coaching

Releasing the Fear of Shining

Oftentimes, what impedes transformation from completing is that we get in the way, because either figuratively, psychologically, physically, emotionally, we want to rip the wound open again. We don’t want things to complete, because on some level, it’s really scary to be a new person or to actually have changed. So, we can get in our own way. In a psychological way, this can look like either shaming ourselves or having narratives in place that prevent us from moving forward, saying, “I’m not good enough to not be broken anymore” or “I have these things that I need to do, and I can’t do them, so therefore, I’m in kind of a permanent state of stasis.” Some iteration of “I’m not good enough because this.” That’s usually what inhibits the final transformational steps from coming to fruition. Or if it’s not “I’m not good enough,” it’s “I’m not ready for x, y, z.”

In my own personal life, I’ve noticed if I want something, there are usually things I need to work through, like let’s say blocks or obstacles that I have in place from where I am to the thing coming to fruition. And the more of those obstacles I work through, and the closer I get to the thing that I want to manifest, the more the obstacles that are left in place at the end are actually fear of being good, of things feeling good, of being happy. So, it stops being about “I’m so scared of public speaking because it’s really hard” to “I’m scared of being seen because of how great I am.” And that’s scarier, actually, then the fear. And I think that’s often the case. Again, at the end of this transformation tunnel, it’s not about being scared of the dark anymore. It’s about being scared of the light. Often, in my experience, that’s what it really comes down to is fear of being well-cared for, fear of being well-loved. It’s not fear of the opposite anymore.

So, that’s the psychological journey through the threshold of transformation, from shatteredness through death to rebirth. But the actual physical experience, it might take a couple of years or, for some people, a lifetime, multiple lifetimes. It’s something that I think can be negotiated within terms of the timeline. If you feel broken or shattered, and you, on some level, are ready for change, call it in. Yeah. It’s not a given that you have to be this way.

So, I hope you enjoyed this video. It’s a little bit more freeform than usual. It’s a lot of concepts that I’m working with myself, especially rites of passage, and what rites of passage look like, and what they need to look like for people to complete a transformation process and not get stuck in one part of it or another. And so many of us are. So, I hope you enjoyed this video. And if you have any comments or answers about what a healthy, modern rite of passage looks like, let me know in the comments below. And reach out. You can find us as somaticspiritualcounseling.com. And again, my name is Dara del Rio. And thank you so much for watching. I’ll see you next time.

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