1. I could read this again and again and again and take away another painfully beautiful nugget of truth and wisdom. You have given so much here. What a priceless gift.

    I am grateful for the way in which you have showed us your soul, your scars, and your healing so we can look at our own with more courage than we had before.

    You are a treasure and I sure hope we get to meet in person one day.

  2. Debi says:

    Thank you Beth! That was beautiful..something I needed to hear and I struggle with too. Cyber hugs my friend! xo

  3. Kelly says:

    My heart is expanding with love for you and your written words. I’m touched, speechless and just feel wow!

  4. Robert says:

    Beautiful. Thank you for this.

    Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack, a crack in everything
    That’s how the light gets in.

    -Leonard Cohen

  5. Leenie says:

    Thank you so much for this. I am glad I read it to the end. Feeling a little cracking in my walls.

  6. Deborah Hall says:

    Love, love, love this. I have been dealing with a broken heart too. It finally cracked wide open last May. I’m working on my transformed self and life.

  7. Heide Hendrick says:

    Beautiful ~

  8. vic says:

    Some really good insights. Thank you for your vulnerability, Beth. Compassion is a gift.

  9. Becky says:

    Oh Beth, what a wonderful and honest and real and compassionate post. I am in a very similar situation this year, and every word you say resonates so deeply with me. Self compassion can only come from within, from our own brokenness, from our own willingness to see and hear and understand where that pain comes from. When we can see where our own pain comes from and get to know it, and not just judge it and fear it, we can suddenly SEE- see all the things we’ve missed by being shielded by fear. SEE all the protection that has been built both within us and within everyone else, just walls and shields and missiles and bombs, all to try to protect our pained inner selves. Your ability to breathe and see the woman’s story is true compassion. All this perspective sounds so much like Internal Family Systems, a type of therapy. Your wisdom and generosity in sharing it are appreciated in my flu-filled, snowy Colorado home today. Thank you.

    • Beth says:

      Thank you so much Becky. I love the idea of getting to know our own pain. What a crazy, counterintuitive concept! I’ve not heard of Internal Family Systems but look forward to looking into it. Much love and warmth your way.

  10. ina says:

    This is amazing. I so wish I have your courage.. Let this be my light n inspiration to let my heart out, bleed and break down the walls, as through fear shines raw beauty!!!
    Thank you.

    • Beth says:

      Thank you Ina, and I would challenge that at the core, you ARE courageous. May your heart find its way out, boldly and bravely. <3

  11. rosa says:

    You made me cry… Thank you so much for sharing..for being so brave and so loving.

  12. Kara says:

    This is more beautiful and helpful in my own journey than I could ever explain. Thank you from the bottom of my own broken and ever-expanding heart.

  13. Kara says:

    I wish you continued expansion and gentle healing.

  14. Nathan says:

    Beautiful, definitely tugged at my own heart a bit, especially toward the end there.

  15. Erica says:

    Thanks for publishing, for me this came at a good time. Blessings

  16. Rogene Buhrdorf says:

    My how you swell my heart Beth. Truer words have never been uttered. I have been working on my own walls and horrific fear this last few years and feel I have come to a precipice and maybe, just maybe, your words will help me to jump seemingly unaided into the abyss of the future without so much armor (fear) and judgement (fear). I am comforted to know that you are in the world. Love you dearly.
    rogene

    • Beth says:

      Wow Rogene. Your words just swelled MY heart. I lived on the edge of a precipice myself for a looooong time. Honestly, it took a loving, compassion-filled nudge from an already-broken friend (whom I knew would be there with me through it) to finally free fall. May you find a hand to hold, a softly-lit lantern or whatever your soul may need to feel its way through. Sending love. <3

  17. kate baxter says:

    thank you. I read quite a few of your Mexico blogs, and felt for you when you moved back to the States, such a different vibration..and then you wrote this piece. I have deleted most blogs from my mailing list, so it is rare..yours stayed, for good reason. you write so well.now this piece.oh boy. 2014 was my heartbreak year too. My partner died in June, (of a heart attack, only after the oxygen was switched off) he was “under” for 19 days. I think I also died, but I think he also chose to come live in my heart. I kised his forehead one day and an electric spark shocked my lips.learning so much about the heart now, including its elctromagnetic field..when we live from that, we are in the centre of a torus energy field, which is what the universe is made of.I wish you strength for your heart muscle to grow as beautiful and strong as your spirit.love and love some more. kate in South Africa

    • Beth says:

      Wow Kate. I can only imagine the degree of heartbreak you’ve been living. Thank you for sharing such a vulnerable and beautiful piece of your story. The shock to your lips – just WOW. I’m honored to be one of the few you read and wish you joy and love as you continue to heal.

  18. Susie says:

    I have had a year of heartbreak myself and although I haven’t learned as much as you have in this year, I am working on it and you give me hope that I will learn more about myself and be a better person for it. You gave me words to express, so eloquently, how I grew up. “Aching to be fully seen and heard but introverted and independent by nature, I quickly learned to meet my needs alone (best I could)…”. My building materials were different but the pain the same. Thank you so much for this post and for your blog. All the best to you and your family.

    • Beth says:

      Thank you Susie. It amazes me how long it can take, once we identify our walls, to be willing to take them down. Took me YEARS. Guess I’m a little stubborn. 🙂 I wish you much strength and joy and peace as you continue to grow and heal.

    • Amy Coyle says:

      Susie, I could identify with how Beth described growing up too, including having a new sibling born when I was only 18 mo old!

  19. Christa says:

    As always, Beth, another beautiful, deeply moving entry. Thanks!

  20. Andrea says:

    Beth you’re amazing! Thank you.

  21. Susan Darcy says:

    Beth,
    While reading this I felt (deeply) that I somehow missed an opportunity sometime in our long association with the Austin Waldorf School, to get to know you…you, a gem in my community…. I think we could have been good friends. You write very well. Thank you for it all.
    Susan

    • Beth says:

      Thank you Susan. I, too, have wondered how we never quite crossed paths. Probably because I was dripping with babies the whole time. 🙂 I so appreciate your kind words and am grateful for the opportunity to be connecting now, in ways we can.

  22. michelle says:

    As always it is a highlight of the week to hear your words.
    Your writing invites me (us?) to want to support you through your trauma/experience of 2014. Maintain as much privacy as you want…we love you because/despite of it all. Whatever you share with us we warmly embrace.

    To a better year with fewer walls!!

    • Beth says:

      Thank you Michelle. It’s been difficult NOT writing much this year, but a wonderful lesson in trusting my intuition and embracing a season of silence. I so appreciate your support, the support of this whole community and send love to you all right back. <3

  23. Maggie May says:

    Thank you for sharing your path.

  24. Rena Thompson says:

    Beth, you are a beautiful soul and your insights and openness are truly moving. Your writing is wonderful and has grown in so many ways. Proud to know you! Thank you….

  25. Maitland says:

    Beth, beautifully put, as always, and it struck a chord with me as my heart too was broken on so many levels in 2014, without a doubt on many levels the worst year of my life by far. But for me, the true gold will come when you are able to share the depths of your experience vulnerably, for then those walls will truly have come done. After all, what do you have to hide? What are you scared of? When I was writing my book 2-3 years ago (a book still not launched!) I was guided by a wonderful soul who kept whispering in my ear, “Nothing hidden…nothing hidden”! It caused me to face my fears, my own demons, and do it anyway and it was wonderfully liberating, the best experience of my life. The power in that book comes from this very vulnerability. Why deny the world the gift of your heart’s experience at the deepest level when you have such a beautiful gift for expressing it?

    • Beth says:

      Thank you Maitland. While part of me would like to be so transparent as you suggest, my story is very much interwoven with other people’s and it would simply not be appropriate or helpful to make it public. I have shared with enough close friends and family to feel supported in healing, which is enough in this case. I do see incredible potential and value in writing from deep and raw places within and will continue to do so as I feel inspired. Best of luck with your book! and thank you so much for your kind words.

  26. Hayley Pannone says:

    Thank you Beth. This landed in my lap with perfect timing.

  27. mary says:

    so inspiring. thank you for opening yourself and being so honest with your world.

  28. Peggy Winkler says:

    Thank you Beth for sharing with such eloquence and true love, All of our ‘ brokenness and beauty’. You are such a gift

  29. Adam says:

    This post echoes a great many things that I am working on in my own life. Thank you for being vulnerable enough to share, your honesty has helped me.

  30. Tracy says:

    You are so wonderfully articulate Beth- I always enjoy reading what you have to say (and connect even more with what you haven’t said). I am in awe of your ability to share the journey- but I’m sure that doing so has been most therapeutic. Walls are common but it’s wonderful to hear from others who are working on letting them fall…thanks for the continued inspiration. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest Debbie Ford’s book entitled “courage”. It has held many ‘a-ha’ moments for me. peace and love to you

    • Beth says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Tracy. Therapeutic indeed! I have not read her work but I look forward to checking it out! Peace and love right back at you. <3

  31. Tonya says:

    Wow, I am so glad to have come upon your beautiful blog and these words that you share. I am also an eternal optimist and passionate lover of life – even through the challenges and struggles.
    Wishing you a new year full of joy.

    • Beth says:

      Thank you so much Tonya, and thank you for shining your light! The world needs more people plugged into passion and possibility. <3

  32. Mary says:

    Thank you for this. It really hit home for me in a way that was sorrowful and inspiring at once.

  33. Beth says:

    I am so glad, Mary. Thank you for telling me so. <3

  34. Steph says:

    Amen, Sister, AMEN.
    <3

    • Beth says:

      You were one of the first lampposts along my journey within, sweet friend. So eternally grateful for you and all of yours. <3

  35. Laura says:

    Thank you for continuing to write Beth. I value your perspective on family and self and even cross-culture living. 2010 was one of many losses for me personally. We lost a beloved cousin to suicide, a much wanted baby boy at 17 weeks of pregnancy, and said goodbye to my grandmother as she lay in a coma. Yet I learned so much about life, and love, and beauty and gratitude that it’s hard to put into words. Wishing you peace of heart as well.

    • Beth says:

      Thank you Laura, for sharing and for wishing me well. 2010 had to have been excruciating for you. So glad for the gifts you’ve since received.

  36. Karen says:

    After reading this post I have immediately subscribed to your blog. I have a broken heart too and am trying to heal the right way, without building walls as you say, and covering up the pain with distraction, hate, anger etc. But the process seems long and arduous and at times I get so down and out and tired. Anyway, your post is encouraging…please keep writing more like this to encourage souls like me. Thank you. I also noticed someone mention Leonard Cohen above, who is in my opinion the patron saint of the broken heart. If I may suggest, his song “Come Healing” is very lovely..”the heart inside is teaching to the broken heart above”.

    • Beth says:

      Thank you Karen. Long and arduous, indeed. It’s so hard not to mask the pain any way we possibly can. Many blessings to you as you brave true healing.

  37. Twyla says:

    What a beautiful piece of writing and a beautiful observation. One that is so helpful to me as I heal my broken heart from this year. Life is exquisitely painful at times. Thank you for reminding me, again, to accept the gifts that come with that pain.

    • Beth says:

      Thank you Twyla. Exquisitely painful is exactly right. So glad you’re open enough to see the gifts being given along the way.

  38. Kerrie says:

    This post is especially poignant to me right now. This is embarrassing/shameful to admit, but I started reading this a few days ago and I stopped after you said that we didn’t need to know your story to understand it. That angered me. I was like, “why would she say that? why would she dangle the carrot of heartbreak only to not tell us what broke her heart? I deserve to know what happened!” Yes, I thought the word “deserve”. But, today I read the whole post. And you’re right. I don’t need to know what happened. What happened doesn’t even matter and I do relate. I get it. I feel it. 2015 is my year of heartbreak. I unexpectedly lost my dad 98 days ago and it sort of ripped me open. Things I haven’t thought about in years and things I didn’t even know were in my have come out. I don’t have the energy to HIDE anymore. I have declared 2015 my year of love. Mostly self-love. And I am determined to break down the walls around my heart (I have to identify them first) and expose my broken heart to the world. It’s hard. So hard. I feel raw all the time. I worry that focusing on me and being authentic to myself will ruin my relationships. Will I people not like “me” anymore? When I’m my true self? I’m scared all the time. I feel like I’m losing my mind. But I know this is right. I know it’s what I need. I’m walking into the fear. Your 10 lessons raised 10 questions for me. Questions I’ve known but haven’t understood. Thank you for making them make sense! Thank you for sharing your story. From my broken heart to yours, thank you.

    • Beth says:

      Wow, Kerrie. Thank you so much for your openness and honesty. Given all you’re going through, it makes a lot of sense that my “carrot dangling” would trigger strong reactions you. What’s amazing is that you came back and read it anyway, and that you’ve already declared this your year of love, considering how recent your loss. I am deeply sorry about your dad.

      Authenticity is terrifying. Putting the “real” you out there means risking hurt all over again. The feelings and fears you describe sound very similar to those I’ve experienced along my own journey and there’s no doubt…it’s not the easier road.

      But it is the true road…the road that leads to HOME.

      If you’re not already a fan, Brene Brown’s work may really resonate with you. I also encourage you to find someone you can lean into along the way. A good listener. A previously broken-hearted friend or life coach, perhaps.

      May this year of love bring you comfort, healing, and overwhelming affirmations of your worth and lovability. <3

  39. Jessica says:

    You’re back!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness, have I needed your writings and insights and treasured nuggets of truth that are so rare to find in this superficial and fake-promoting culture and society. You words just ripped my heart open and ironically broke my heart, not just a little, but a great deal, a lot.

    Thank you.

    I sure hope 2015 will see more blog posts from you! The world needs your voice. Loud and clear. 😉

    • Beth says:

      Gosh, Jessica. Flattery such as yours is hard to take in without grinning and feeling goofy. Thank you for the opportunity to practice accepting generous gifts!!

      I will certainly blog all I can this year – between finishing my book and building my coaching practice. I miss talking to you all more frequently, but must add a cash flow component to my life in order to sustain my story!

      Thanks for the gushy love. <3

  40. Annette says:

    I think my heart might have stopped when I read about your childhood and the beginnings of your walls. For so long I have felt I was missing the little “something” that made the innermost heart of my 14-yr-old daughter beat. You described her. My kid. And I know it is not my job to fix or mend; the entangled roots are deep for one so young. But understanding allows for a whole new way to love and support her.
    Thank you for your words…bravery and strength may not have been what motivated you to write/share them, but they are what shines through.

    • Beth says:

      Dear Annette, Thank you so much for sharing this with me. I understand the feeling, of missing your child’s little “something,” and it truly warms my heart to know that my story helped you “get” your girl. Such a common, yet rarely addressed challenge we face as parents. One little nugget you might find helpful (assuming she and I really are somewhat alike)…she cares much more deeply about everything than she lets on, and true empathy and understanding feel like soul food. How blessed she is to have you, ever striving to reach her heart. <3

  41. Kat Graham says:

    Just wanted to send you a hug–nothing fancy, but it might mean a little bit more to know that you are not alone. You are handling things in a beautiful & meaningful fashion. You give those of us who have also had a difficult time another way to tackle the issues of the heart head on. Take care.

  42. Allison says:

    Wow. This is a mirror of the journey I have undertaken this year, a journey I am still fighting through. I chose to undertake it, full well understanding that if I didn’t, the journey would take me along anyways, or that I would be destroyed from atrophy. I am learning to love myself, which means I have more love for everyone else. I am watching my current marriage splinter and crack in front of my eyes, wondering if the wreckage is simply another mess to clean up or making space for us to grow deeper (I am preparing for something better!). I too had the idyllic childhood on paper, but it lacked in depth and full authenticity and acceptance (my mother broke a cycle of violence, I am choosing to finish breaking that cycle). Thank you for sharing your vulnerabilities!!

    A book that helped tremendously was “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown (she also wrote another, the name of which I’ve currently forgotten, also fabulous). It really helped to hammer out a framework of what I NEED, instead of just being upset all the time because I wasn’t getting it (and not being able to ask for it since I didn’t know what it was that I needed!). Brene talks a lot about “leaning into discomfort”, how you can’t run from feelings forever. It is courageous to take up this journey, to choose the unknown and discomfort for the possibility and hope of authenticity. <3

  43. Heather says:

    beautiful! i see myself…and my daughters…and so many others here. all of us…broken.

  44. nicole says:

    Beth, thank you so much for this — I too am in the middle of the hardest moment of my life. Not really sure when it started or even when exactly I´ll start to muddle out of it, but I am more conscious of my process of opening up than ever, and by jesum I am determined to shine. One of the things that has been amazing for me has been to be a part of Soulodge — an online circle of women. There´s a free live spreecast tomorrow about fear. Maybe you´d like to check it out! Love to you and yours. Nicole an American woman in Brasil (and yes, seeing, might I dare say experiencing poverty first hand breaks us right open and we will NEVER be the same)
    http://www.spreecast.com/events/flushing-out-fear-with-rabbit

  45. Ah yes, this is all so true and beautiful put. Reminded me of the line from A Course in Miracles: “In my defenselessness my safety lies.” Sending you warmth and strength of the soft and enduring, not hard and defensive, sort.

  46. Diane says:

    Beth,
    I have no idea how I came upon your blog except perhaps an angel lurking in some cerebral corridor of mine directed me here. Your writing is amazing, like a cushy soft blanket drawn up to the ears, enveloping the reader and carrying them into your experience. I have been in a many years long struggle with myself – my heart battling my head – and you really conveyed the rawness of these deep and painful emotions. However, strong hearts are better than strong walls. Since I was in the process of rebuilding mine, this is a good reminder. I thank you and I give you serious props for that beautiful, poetic writing of yours.

    Diane

  47. Bianca says:

    Thank you. The story in the end made me feel that’s what I want to be. An open heart.

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