You Are Not Broken

Mar 4, 2013 | My Creative Practice

(Signed prints available here. )
I’ve broken open many times. But I am not broken. I’m just alive
The same is true for you, too.
I believe our hearts have to break open. The cracks, with all their letting in the lightness/darkness/awareness/lessons, eventually require us to rebuild/repair/heal so that we grow and expand our hearts’ very capacity to feel and experience the full breath of life. Later, once they’ve reached capacity again, our hearts will break open again, ready for the next round of evolution and growth. That’s how I think of it, anyway. Sometimes the cracks are subtle, tiny. And sometimes they’re big.
Either way, without the cracks it would be impossible to allow either the flood of joy or the flood of grief  (or both!) into our life during meaningful transitions. Falling in love, falling out of love, losing a loved one, giving birth, divorce, aging, losing ourselves, finding ourselves – all moments when our hearts crack open to receive. Maybe it’s receiving love, the full experience of it. Maybe it’s receiving grief, the full experience of it. Either way, the purpose of the cracks is to allow our hearts to receive the full expression of life. And then to rebuild with a new, evolved, deeper, more meaningful way of seeing, believing, loving.
There is a difference between being broken and being broken open.
Last year, I DEVOURED Elizabeth Lesser’s book, Breaking Open. More than any other book it gave me insight that helped, comforted, and nurtured not only my older, especially frail cracks that never got healed, but also my fresh cracks that came from breaking open to the deepening experience of becoming a new mom. The first crack was simply because my heart broke its capacity to receive the magnitude of love that came with delivering new life into being.  It was a beautiful crack – nothing but love came through. Then, slowly over time, the cracks kept coming, almost like a shattered web, as the lessons/grief/love kept pouring in. Two years in, it feels like I’ve been rebuilding, healing, nurturing a whole new heart. I’ve never learned so much in all of my life from tending to those cracks. I’m happy to report that my heart has never felt more beautiful, huge, healed and with a bigger capacity to feel than ever before. Breaking open made it possible. Thank you, cracks.


We’re not broken. We’re just alive. 
Here’s to cracking and building and healing and breathing and growing into our heart’s maximum capacity. And here’s to having lots of gratitude for our cracks. They are the evidence, like well deserved wrinkles on our faces, of a well lived life.
You guys. Loving that you are introducing yourselves as one of The Possibilitarian Tribe. I have been blown away by your courage, your possibility-fueled lives. You have inspired me to cook something up, just for you. Stay tuned. In the meantime, keep building and connecting with one another. Love that you are finding one another!
Kelly Rae

Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (10 comments)
  1. Anonymous

    Leonard Cohen … " Ring the bells that still can ring , forget your perfect offering , ther is a crack in everything ,that is where the light comes in ."

  2. Trish

    I appreciate your perspective and sweet and soulful self.

  3. Mary

    Maybe those cracks are like the beautiful patina that forms on old pottery, just the signs of a life lived fully. What a wonderful post. It made my day. I must get that Elizabeth Lesser book!

    Thank you Kelly –


  4. sarah

    needed to read this today – thank you. your words are healing balm, kelly rae!

  5. Anna Guest-Jelley

    Really gorgeous reminder and reframe — thank you!

  6. Anonymous

    Wow, amazing. just what I needed to hear today. I appreciate your honesty.

    (now for a little of mine – Broken Open – not Breaking)

  7. Elisa Hernandez

    Love, love, love this post….Five months ago I lost my Dad to a sudden heart attack, my heart was and still is cracked open. I was his caretaker. Learning everyday to enjoy life and thankful for the many blessings I have.
    You have such a wonderful way with words, they are healing to the soul.

  8. Alisa Steady

    Beautifully stated, Kelly Rae. I couldn't agree more. Thank you for being so genuine with your thoughts, and posting about it. Just what I needed to read, too. xoxo

  9. S. Kim Henson

    We just found out we're having a granddaughter … talk about cracks and breaking and love and emotions. I'm writing a blog post this week and I plan to share a link to this one. Let the cracking begin.

    Thanks, Kelly Rae. Happy to feel a part of your heart work.

  10. Tashia

    I loved reading this! Open, is my OLW for the year and I've been going through a lot lately. This was just what I needed this morning to remind me of my word and my relationship with it. Thank you!


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Hello + welcome!

I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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