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Excerpt from Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser, Part 3 of 5

Posted November 04 2012

ELesserHeadShot This week we are delighted to offer another excerpt from the Introduction of BROKEN OPEN: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow.

To be human is to be lost in the woods. None of us arrives here with clear directions on how to get from point A to point B without stumbling into the forest of confusion or catastrophe or wrongdoing. Although they are dark and dangerous, it is in the woods that we discover our strengths. We all know people who say their cancer or divorce or bankruptcy was the greatest gift of a lifetime—that until the body, or the heart, or the bank was broken, they didn’t know who they were, what they felt, or what they wanted. Before their descent into the darkness, they took more than they gave, or they were numb, or full of fear or blame or self-pity. In their most broken moments they were brought to their knees; they were humbled; they were opened. And later, as they pulled the pieces back together, they discovered a clearer sense of purpose and a new passion for life. But we also know people who did not turn their misfortune into insight, or their grief into joy. Instead, they became more bitter, more reactive, more cynical. They shut down. They went back to sleep. The Persian poet Rumi says,

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.


Don’t go back to sleep.

 

You must ask for what you really want.

 

Don’t go back to sleep.

 

People are going back and forth across the doorsill

 

where the two worlds touch.

 

The door is round and open.

 

Don’t go back to sleep.

Excerpted from Broken Open by Elizabeth Lesser Copyright © 2004 by Elizabeth Lesser. Excerpted by permission of Villard, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

NEXT WEEK:  More from BROKEN OPEN: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow by Elizabeth Lesser

Elizabeth Lesser Bio and Links 


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