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"Mended Heart"

Many of us at some point in our lives have suffered from what some people refer to as a 'broken heart.' This of course is not referring to our physical heart but an emotional condition that can affect our physical well being as well other aspects of our lives. Even though we are not referring to a physical break, we often treat a broken heart the way we would a broken arm. We put it in a cast, a thick protective coating that nothing can penetrate. It is immobilized for an appropriate amount of time so that healing has a chance to occur. It is important not to disturb it to avoid further trauma.

If you ever have broken your arm, you know what it looks like when the cast is removed. It looks thinner, sometimes almost shriveled. It is covered with dead, discolored skin that has a pretty foul odor. It is weak from lack of use. In some cases, therapy may be necessary to restore full mobility. And for a number of years afterward, the location of the break, though healed, may occasionally ache.

When we have a broken bone, we are rushed to assistance so that further complications do not result. If left untreated, we might be left with mild to severe disability that can be more difficult to correct later. Depending upon the type and severity of the break, bone fragments may damage surrounding tissue, cause bleeding, and other types of internal trauma that might lead to more serious conditions.

At no time are we told to 'just get over it.' We are given pain medication if necessary and are treated with some kind of accommodation to help us adapt to our daily lives until the bone is fully healed. The people in our lives treat us with extra caring and consideration.

You don't feel it necessary to hide the fact that your arm is broken. You know how long the cast should remain in place before removing it. The rate of healing can be checked by radiology to make sure the cast isn't removed too soon. There is a specific treatment protocol and you are given instructions to follow. If the circumstances surrounding what caused the break result in anxiety, it is acknowledged as real.

Generally, one doesn't die from a broken arm. A broken arm doesn't feel humiliated, embarrassed, lost, or betrayed. There are some people, however, who have died from the results of being broken hearted. Some felt they could not live with the pain and ended it themselves. Others succumbed to physical illnesses that developed through complications caused by the unrelenting stress of grief and an inability or unwillingness to forgive. Some are walking around with disabilities of varying degrees as a result of the same factors. These conditions are not always obvious and sometimes deliberately hidden.

A broken heart can be mended if it is acknowledged as a real injury and not brushed off as something that will take care of itself in time if left alone. Those of us who have mended hearts have often had to develop our own treatment protocols, some more effective than others. And afterward, like a broken bone that has healed, there is always some residual evidence of the trauma. Even if what was broken ends up being stronger than it was before.

Anyone who has suffered from a 'broken heart' will tell you that they would rather have a broken arm. It hurts less, heals faster and you get more help with it.

Have a Great Day and be good to yourself. You deserve it!


If you or someone you know needs to access the healing power of forgiveness or help in healing from grief, here are some excellent resources.

Forgiveness Workshops '
"Connecting With The Healing Light of Forgiveness"
Donna Kopitsy, MA, MSW, LUT
Contact Donna today to arrange a workshop for your group!

Crisis, Grief, and Healing -
Tom Golden, LCSW
A website packed with information, links and more!

Tom Golden's wonderful book
"Swallowed By A Snake: The Gift of the Masculine Side of Healing"
can be ordered through the Innovations website
click on Books and Posters

Online Audio Workshops featuring:
Sam Keen '"Living With Death"
Rabbi Kushner '"When Bad Things Happen To Good People"
Tom Attig '"Relearning The World"
Tom Golden '"Men and Grief"
Sit back and listen through your computer
to some of the world's best presenters
on the topic of healing from loss.

About the Author

Speaker, Author, Educator, Human Resources and Training Consultant, Gail Pursell Elliott is president and founder of Innovations "Training With A Can-Do Attitude"TM 'Promoting Dignity and Respect, No Exceptions, in companies and communities nationwide.
To receive Food For Thought messages via email join the website mailing list at
Contact Gail at


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