Saturday Soulfulness: The Unbroken (A Poem by Rashani Rea)

The Unbroken
by Rashani Rea

There is a brokeness
out of which comes the unbroken,
a shatteredness
out of which blooms the unshatterable.
There is a sorrow
beyond all grief which leads to joy
and a fragility
out of whose depths emerges strength.

There is a hollow space
too vast for words
through which we pass with each loss,
out of whose darkness
we are sanctioned into being.

There is a cry deeper than all sound
whose serrated edges cut the heart
as we break open to the place inside
which is unbreakable and whole,
while learning to sing.

(Close your eyes and repeat slowly. Let the words penetrate your SOUL.)

“May the unshatterable emerge from my shatteredness.”

(For Contemplation and Conversation)

Have you experienced a connection to the unshatterable within?

Dr. Shelly’s SoulReflections
I first heard this poem at an intensive training weekend as part of my mindfulness teacher certification. Tara Brach read the poem and I remember sitting there with tears in my eyes and a resonance so deep that it took my breath away. The first real shattering of my life was the death of my beloved dog Robin when I was fourteen. She was a beautiful collie and my constant companion since the age of four. I was an only child and experienced a profound connection between us. Two years later, my father died, a heart attack in his sleep. I went to wake him up one morning and he was laying peacefully in bed, but stiff and cold to the touch. I was a Daddy’s Girl and my Daddy was my joy. He played dolls with me as a young child, we watched sports together, sang and danced to Motown music, and listened to comedy albums. That shattering was indescribable in its devastation. It took some years, but through the great love of my mother and others, some good therapy, and my spiritual path– I found that unshatterable place within.  And it has been a place to which I have returned over and over throughout my life. My father is my ancestral connection to the joy in my soul and this is, indeed, unshatterable. My “soulfulness” mission has evolved, in large part, from my personal experience and belief in the incredible role of meditation and other contemplative practices in finding and strengthening the unshatterable.  I know that meditation can be a powerful way of contacting and reconnecting to the unshatterable within.       

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Peter West Nutting

    My therapist read me this poem this week. I lost my son Alec, 30, to anxiety last July 2nd, and my beloved golden retriever Braeburn, 12 years, 9 mos. last October 9th. Today I turn 74 and celebrate with gratitude my birth and life and the joy my two beautiful boys gave me. My son’s legacy lives on at

    1. Dr. Shelly P. Harrell

      Thank you for sharing Peter. How wonderful that you live from a place of celebrating with gratitude! Your son’s photographs are so powerful and beautiful. Sending you peace and joy…

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