Healing a broken heart

Healing a broken heart

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.Psalm 34:18

I once asked: “Can we heal the soul, if it was wounded?”1. I have come to the conclusion that the answer is ‘yes, we can contribute to the health of our souls’. This is not intended as a success story: I am thoroughly aware that we live in a broken world, where many things are not cured, regardless of how hard we try or pray. But still I would like to reflect on my experiences, in order to make this concept a little more concrete.

I have been puzzling about the meaning of the words ‘healing’ and ‘wholeness’. On my first attempt at mindfulness meditation, they mentioned ‘wholeness’, as if I had now somehow achieved that. The word ‘healing’ is used in Church, usually sought by prayers. This raises images in my mind that we can somehow be magically restored to an original brand new state. However that just doesn’t seem right, I want to keep my history, even if it is full of brokenness. On the other hand I do have a strong notion that I need the ‘wholeness’ or ‘healing’ that other people mention.

A new light shone on my questions when I realized that being broken is not wrong. The Bible expressly states that God is present with the broken-hearted. No need to fix ourselves before being welcome to God. It is actually quite a good place to start and begin with opening our eyes and see where we are and what we have been given.

Then I had the strangest experience during psychotherapy: I felt and saw two separated parts of my soul click back together. This profoundly deep experience slowly changed the way I view my own soul. Even though it left me with more questions than answers, it gave me a pretty strong intimation that healing of the soul is a real possibility. Currently I think the separated parts mean different aspects of my personality. During that conversation I suddenly saw something desirable in one aspect that I had been ignoring, which made it naturally click back into place.

The words ‘healing’ and ‘wholeness’ have now gained meaning for me. Wholeness means: all parts of our souls; and healing means that we link these parts together by loving them. We need to love all the aspects of our personality, for God has created them. They might need some polishing, but they are essential. My fierce inner critic will jeopardize any new beginning that I consider, and question all my motives. But when I am friendly, even to this fierce voice, and acknowledge its useful comments (but not its derogatory tone) I can give it a place where it is actually constructive.

Love gives the warm and open atmosphere that will allow light in our brokenness. Love will bring back together what was separated. And then love will shine forth from our reconciled hearts.

a cartoon depicting this story


  1. In the end of my text Touching the Soul

One thought on “Healing a broken heart

  1. Netty Vreeken says:

    Hoi Ruth,

    Je cartoon is beeldend weergegeven en heel begrijpelijk. Mijn Engels is helaas niet zo goed dat ik alles in detail kan lezen.
    Mijn gebed is dat God jou mag ” helen”.

    Lieve groet, Netty Vreeken

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