Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow


Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow is the title of a book by Elizabeth Lesser.  She opens the book with a quote from Anais Nin: ‘And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom’ .

Lesser examines the challenges of living, dying, illness, relationships and divorce and offers advice on how to integrate meditation and spiritual practice into our lives. As the title suggests, she  shows us how we can allow the pain of illness and hurt to break us open instead of breaking us down.

I read an interview with her recently where she comments that she has “heard so many people say, “Before I had cancer I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know what life was about. I was sleepwalking.” Or “Before I got kicked out of my job I was just kind of going through the paces, or I thought I was X and now I know I’m Y.” If you actually take the challenge and use the difficult times to grow, you find that part in yourself that is whole already-and that can survive any difficulty and actually survives death.”