When a beloved cat dies, you may feel broken—I know I did, at times—but you are not broken. Who you really are is never broken.
We live in a culture that insists that if we’re not happy-happy-joy-joy around the clock, even when we’ve experienced a major loss, that something is wrong with us. Or worse, that it’s our fault we feel bad. Neither of these are true.
Emotions are part of life’s ebb and flow. Loss hurts, and there’s nothing wrong with feeling deep grief. The mistake is in believing that we ARE the grief, that something has gone wrong because we experience grief. But we grieve because we have loved deeply.
The trick (and it is a Jedi trick) is not to identify with the feelings. The feelings are passing through you; they are not who you are.
If you’re feeling happy, if you’re feeling despair, if anxiety arises, if you are dumbstruck with grief—you are not broken. If you have to take medication to function or to begin examining the feelings—you are not broken. If your body or brain functions differently than the majority of people—you are not broken.
The nature of being human is to forget our wholeness on a regular basis. The task of a lifetime is to remember it. Forgetting doesn’t mean you’re broken.