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How To Put It Back Together When Your Heart Breaks

Last year was rough for many people. This year didn’t waste any time dishing out difficulty in my life.

January first was an emotional day. I had one family member in the ER and another taking a larger step toward death. I wrote about it in the article Are You Emotionally Ready For The Unexpected.

I was as ready as I could be, but we all need something beyond preparation.

We need each other.

The following week I wrote about the mind. How to be the master and not the slave of the thoughts in our own head.

It is important to note, it is the mind’s job to process all the emotions that come with circumstantial trouble. So I shared How To Master Your Mind (4 Things You Need).

I needed them today, so I reviewed them.

Next, I shared a personal story of how I quit smoking and what my problem was. How To Accomplish What You Say You Want.

We can wish all we want for things, and try as hard as we can, but there is a connection needed between the mind, the emotions and the will that needs to be engaged.

Still, there is more than those three (emotions, mind, and will) that guide our lives.

Last week I tied them together with What Is Your Inner Orchestra Playing?

Granted, if I were writing that article today I would give it a new title. Perhaps, How to conduct your inner orchestra. Or maybe, Who is in charge of your inner orchestra?

Give it a read and let me know what you would title it.

I took courage to put it out there even though I knew it wasn’t perfect.

Today I am struggling.

It is tempting to take a week off writing and hide out in my emotions.

I used to be a very good hider.

But I want to be known as one who practices what they preach so I am here, sharing my heart.

I write about how valuable we are as human beings.

I care about what goes on in our inner life. The mind, the will, the emotions, and the spirit.

They all have value individually.

Knowing how they are interdependent is important.

There is so much to learn about these things and community is the best way to learn.

I know these are sensitive issues and take courage to speak about.

Writing my book I learned how extremely important it is to be heard and validated.

How we need to know we are not alone.

How we need someone to enter our pain so we can begin to heal.

“Trauma is personal. It does not disappear if it is not validated. When it is ignored or invalidated the silent screams continue internally heard only by the one held captive. When someone enters the pain and hears the screams healing can begin.”
― Danielle BernockEmerging with Wings: A True Story of Lies, Pain, and the Love That Heals


Here on my site, I declare it a safe place.

I understand that if I want you to trust me, then I have to go first with the sharing.

So I am telling on myself.

Today I am a mess. I’m concerned my writing will be a mess.

My orchestra is not making beautiful music today.

Yesterday was the funeral for my mother-in-law, Ann. She is the main character in my short story A Bird Named Payn.

Even though the symbolic bird Payn has been put to rest, my insides still hurt.

Ann is the one who is dancing in the streets. Not me.

I reread the four articles I shared with you to try to practice them in my pain. It’s not easy.

I feel like laying on the sofa and sleeping all day.

I feel like going to the liquor store and buying whatever I feel like to drown the pain, fill the hole I feel on my insides. (I confess I have been guilty of this – get a copy of my book for more details.)

I feel like getting angry at every little thing.

I feel. I feel. I feel.

What I feel like doing and what I am doing are not the same.

Letting my feelings have the steering wheel of my life today would be unwise, to put it lightly.

So I have intentionally made some different choices.

I’ve been writing off and on all day.

I started attempting to write in the morning.

It didn’t make any sense. I had a page and a half of drivel.

I got up many times to do some laundry. I had phone calls to make reporting Ann’s death.

And I sat down to write between each time.

I’ll call it therapy.

I learned following the loss of my own mother many years ago from Hospice the term grief work. I plan to share more on this subject another time.

I have been doing grief work today.

I have been able to make the harder choice because I have prepared, I have practiced, I have decided and I am doing my best to “orchestrate” my insides like I wrote about in the articles I refer to.

Make no mistake in thinking this is easy or fast. It is not.

What I feel like doing and what I am doing are not the same. Click To Tweet

It is work. But it is work worth doing.

Perhaps the best I can expect today is to get my inner orchestra to have the “clean sound” of warming up before a performance.

It isn’t a “beautiful” sound but it isn’t bad either. If you’ve never heard the sound, here is a short clip (just over a minute long).

As I practice and do the grief work I can expect to eventually have beautiful music playing inside me once again.

Life has seasons.

It is written, to everything, there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to mourn (this is my season) and a time to dance (this is Ann’s season).

What season are you in?

Have you done any emotional prep? Have you taken steps to master your mind? Is your will something you know how to engage? Do you know how to orchestrate them?

Or, have you known trauma, need someone to enter your pain with you?

Please share in the comments.

After writing last week about the orchestra I am intrigued by how much it can mirror our inner life. I plan to do more study on it so we can learn to play more beautiful music with our lives.

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16 thoughts on “How To Put It Back Together When Your Heart Breaks

  1. I love the warm-up. All the instruments playing their own thing for a few minutes. Aural chaos. Then the Principal walks on stage. Everyone automatically stops warming up. It’s quiet for a couple seconds as the musicians and the audience quiet down. The Principal plays the tuning note, and the orchestra tunes to him. Then the conductor walks out. It’s anticipation. It’s chaos before the come together as the symphony.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Thank you for still writing and posting when you had a very valid reason not to.

  2. We start the music then we stop. Then we start again and this happen repeatedly until one day, without fanfare, the music just plays on. Life goes on. Slowly it returns to what it now the new normal. Life without her.

    Eventually you look at the things she loved, those favorite cookies in the grocery store and don’t automatically grab for them thinking she might be out and it hits you like a ton of bricks! You are adjusting to life without her and a new wave of grief hits you out of nowhere…and the guilt.

    The years pass and the music plays on and the grief changes. The sadness? It never goes away because the heart never forgets the love, the hole that is still there because she isn’t, but we learn how to live with it.

    And even now, after these years, just the thought of her can bring me to my knees in pain. I miss her so much.

    So while my heart hurts for you, I so understand your pain. I hope you know that I am here for you in prayer and in love, to talk and just listen whenever you need. I know. I know.

    1. I understand. It hasn’t “hit” me like that yet. I know it is coming. I remember the moment it did with my mom.

      Thanks you for your love and prayers (and email).

  3. Beautiful piece, Danielle, and yes, you are brave to write your feelings, your pain. Your authenticity is beautiful and inspiring. And, I love the title of your “Orchestra” piece — I wouldn’t change it. Do take time to rest, time to grieve, and time to heal. Whether your writing is “drivil” or not doesn’t matter — just write. Later you can edit if you desire to share something from it, but perhaps right now you just write for yourself. God bless you and I’m praying for you and your family as well.

  4. A very deep post. Well done, and I admire your courage for sharing. I am really sorry to hear about your loss. I’ve also been through the trauma of losing both my father and later my mother. Therefore I also know that there is nothing I can say that will change what happened or how you feel, yet I can pray for you in this time.

    Take time to grieve. Cherish the good memories and know that only time can bring healing for you.

Please share your thoughts!