The Year I Broke

This year I’ve fallen apart. Everything I once held dear has been torn down and ripped away. My beliefs have been shattered, my sense of spiritual connection has disintegrated and turned to dust, and my physical self has crumbled with ill-health and disability. The story of my life unravelled as everything fell apart; I broke. It’s not easy to admit any of this as the truth is rarely easy to face. Yet, I’ve reached a point where I’m no longer able to hide behind the relative safety of my keyboard or to wax lyrical about the joys of pain and struggle. Life isn’t all fluffy bunny and marshmallows; sometimes it’s gut wrenchingly difficult.

I’ve been standing precariously close to the edge for quite some time looking into the murky depths below, wondering what’s hidden in the mist and trying not to let my imagination run riot. I clung tightly to the edge until the day I couldn’t and I fell. This year I’ve been falling, just like in those nightmares of my childhood when I’d suddenly lurch backwards into freefall, waking up in a blind panic, feeling nauseous and trembling. It felt like the nightmare had shifted into reality as I turned to face my ‘what is’ head on. Yet, this makes it sound like a conscious and willing choice, but I was dragged to this point and pushed into a corner leaving me with no escape route; I’ve had to face my reality as there was nothing else left as all of the facades, false beliefs, hopes and various levels of denial fell away. In hindsight, reaching such a point was inevitable, after all, no one can keep putting on a brave face, smiling and pushing on forever.

As the storm clouds kept coming, their relentless and tenacious determination ensured there was nowhere left to hide. There was no shortcut around the storm, the only way was through. This meant facing my shadows, facing my reality and facing up to myself with a lot of brutal self honesty. I guess I’d always believed that life is a journey, and, as we evolve, we step from one room to another, carrying with us new insights, new wisdom and new awakening. Yet, in a slightly whimsical kind of way, I hoped my point of breakthrough would be akin to walking in to a new room, turning the light on and starting afresh. I thought I would simply start seeing the world with fresh eyes and a new perspective, and keep striding forth as I’ve always done. However, life had a very different plan for me. Admittedly, I tried hard to cling on to what I had, even though I intuitively knew I couldn’t carry on as I was. I felt a kind of safety in denial, it was an uncomfortable comfort zone to me, yet I didn’t want to let it go.

There is a lot of wordage given to the concept of awakening, breakthrough and acceptance. I myself have written a great deal about this, feeling a deep sense of awareness of the process of my own personal evolution, as well as a sense of collective awakening. Of course, I, like everyone, am on a continual path of growth and learning, but it has always been a more palatable option to believe that breakthrough and, indeed, breakdown, were, ultimately, immensely positive experiences. Who was I kidding?

As I gazed around at the debris scattered all around me in the aftermath of the storm, it was undoubtedly hard to feel a sense of positivity. In that moment, I felt grief, anger, despair and desolation; positivity was conspicuous only by its absence. I had been forced to a point of breakdown and surrender, and yet, although it took me a while to see through the blurry haze of my tears, I was aware that my perception had shifted as everything looked different. Every sound, colour and smell was somehow more vibrant, as though I had opened myself up to a new layer of awareness. Initially, it felt as though I had no skin as I couldn’t filter out the intensity of the shifting vibration all around me and within me. However, despite sensing a shift, I kept on resisting and denying as I couldn’t bring myself to face the truth that everything had imploded and fallen apart. I kept on resisting until my resolve was smashed and there was nothing left standing between me and, well, me.

By being forced to a point of surrender, I had stripped back the facades I had clung on to for so long and I was left naked and bare facing my ’what is’ with total honesty as there was nowhere left to hide. The intensity of the chill in the cool air was undeniable, yet, at the same time, it felt refreshing as I could breathe freely for the first time in years. Spiritually, emotionally and physically I felt able to expand and, although the pain of falling apart was exquisite, the sense of reconnection I sensed would rise up within me stirred my curiosity and spurred me forward. However, reconnection wasn’t the default setting that emerged at the point of breakdown as I found myself in a kind of numb voidal space: not quite here, there or anywhere.

I felt as though every atom and cell of my being had been shocked and broken open; like an egg being cracked apart. Through those cracks poured a lifetime of ‘stuff’ and it was immense. Perhaps breakout is a better description than breakdown as although I definitely fell apart, I sensed a profound and intense feeling of indescribable release at the same time.

I’ve often pondered why this was the year for my falling apart. I’ve faced a lifetime of challenges, so why now? I’ve spent my life trying to be the best me I could possibly be, I’ve embraced self-healing and spiritual teachings, and I’ve worked so hard trying to heal myself in order to free myself from the ties that have bound me to ‘ought’s’ and ‘should’s’. Yet I’ve pushed my own self-destruct button as I wouldn’t pause; I wanted to keep on keeping on just in case everything fell apart if I stopped (even though my fragile house of cards had already fallen apart, I wouldn’t accept or acknowledge it). My head became a logjam of thoughts, beliefs and fears, and my soul became saturated as I built layer upon layer of facades. I stored up years of uncried tears for all of those experiences I wasn’t fully present for and I allowed the cracks in my physical health to become a gaping chasm as my body buckled and crumpled.

I fell apart this year as I could no longer keep on keeping on, trying to cling on, trying to push on. I fell apart as I tumbled into the gaping chasm I’d created and landed in a heap on the cold ground below. It wasn’t a soft landing but, in that moment, everything stopped, frozen and raw as I saw the truth of myself in all it’s glory. It wasn’t pretty, yet it was also beautiful at the same time as my awareness was fully in that moment and I realised that, despite my best efforts, I’d spent most of my life focused on what I hoped was ahead of me; I’d never allowed myself the opportunity to step fully into the present moment, and it was this denial and resistance that finally broke me.

My overloaded mind, body and soul needed to fall apart in order to fully get my attention. It was time to express the pain, sadness and the disconnection, and it was time to allow my true self to step consciously into the here and now. I found myself staring into that big hole, so beautifully described by John O’Donohue as, ’the precarious broken threshold of my own heart and soul’. I needed to let those uncried tears flow freely and I needed to let myself breathe, rest and take stock of my reality.

I guess it is somewhat ironic that in the process of trying to find myself, I actually lost myself. I looked so hard for the truth of me, I failed to notice my reality. I have long been dealing with health issues, but it was only when they escalated and I fell apart, I realised that I wasn’t accepting my ‘what is’, I was doing quite the opposite. Integrity, authenticity and acceptance are crucial steps on the path of awakening, yet all three involve a willingness to see beyond the facades we’ve created in order to stop trying to be anything other than what we are. Although I believed I was in a space of acceptance and surrender, I wasn’t. Of course, I would have preferred a little nudge to show me the error of my ways rather than a devastating tsunami tearing me open and ripping me apart, but, in truth, I’m rather good at ignoring nudges.

I’d love to say that the sun then rose and everything was well in the world as all the pieces suddenly fell into alignment and I felt a deep sense of peace. Entering the chilled darkness in the depths of my heart and soul pushed me to the point of extinction as every ounce of foundation fell away. There was nothing left to cling on to as hope was absent as I was made to truly face everything I had denied, repressed and ignored for years. My sense of spiritually, of inter-connectedness, shattered and I felt so angry and abandoned. The intensity of the pain rising up from my depths left me feeling isolated and alone, scared and confused. At the time I needed my spirituality the most, I turned my back on it as it felt hollow and without sustenance. This was of course a reflection of how I felt: disconnected, desolate and barren.

Although I’ve spent my whole life in the dark believing I was already in the light, reality shook me into consciousness and I remained fully awake and aware in that dark, cold place for months. I had days when I longed for death and I had days when I longed for life. I felt frozen in paralysis, not having the energy or strength to do anything other than be fully aware of where I was. Denial takes a phenomenal amount of energy but acceptance takes much more. I stayed there until the day I didn’t. I can’t say I had a powerful moment of revelation or insight, I just felt a weight lift from my soul and a light re-ignite from the core of my being. It was as though someone finally flipped the light switch on in that room I’d been pushed into on the next stage of my journey of evolution. It took a while to adjust my eyes and, in truth, my soul still feels jaded as I recover from the devastation. Yet, I find myself grateful as I feel as though I’m finally home: I’m present and the facades and falsehoods have fallen away. Of course, more will surface as that’s a part of being human, but, for now, I feel a glimmer of hope rising from deep within me as I’m tentatively exploring a deeper and more enriched connection to my mind, body and soul.

I’m still coming to terms with my physical ill-health and disability as its changed my life from the inside out and this involves grieving, anger, compassion, allowing and accepting, all of which churn up layers of emotions and belief patterns. Of course I have days when I’m angry about my reality but it passes as I know I’m the only one who suffers as a result. Awakening is an on-going process but I finally feel ready to be here now. Maybe ‘awakening’ isn’t the right word but it’s hard to extrapolate an apt description that suggests a positive to a period of utter devastation. I think I’ve been awakening for years and I’ve realised it’s not ‘being awake’ that matters, it’s noticing or paying attention. It’s the same as being alive: being alive isn’t the same as feeling alive as the former suggestions existence but feeling alive suggests a conscious interconnectedness. It’s only now I can say, hand on heart, that I actually feel alive. It’s painful and raw, but I’m wholeheartedly feeling every emotion, feeling and sensation. I’m feeling a growing sense of the true essence of me as I breathe deeply into my heart and soul. The threshold of my heart and soul that I’d feared for so long is still fragile but I’ve dived in and now fear isn’t the force that’s holding me back or shaping and defining my life.

I, like so many of us, have experienced breakthrough over the last few months after years of spiritual, physical and emotional upheaval. I had to breakdown to reach a point of surrender and I had to have every one of my many escape routes cut off in order for me to stop trying to out-run and out-wit truth; not to deliberately live an ‘un-truth’ but in a somewhat futile attempt to relieve the discomfort of being human. It’s taken a while for me to assimilate the process in order to articulate the essence of the changes within me as I find myself with a brand new vocabulary and a brand new perspective as a result.

In truth, I’m still adjusting and I’ve given up trying to condense and distil the experience in order to try to make sense of it as it’s beyond my logical and rational comprehension. Thinking about it gives it structure and it has none. My wounds are still raw and my soul feels weak and, although I intuitively know that falling apart was what I needed, I know it’s my willingness to be vulnerable, genuine and real that is setting me free. My essence shattered, but spiritually I feel more whole than ever before. It’s certainly complex and confusing!

So, this was the year I fell apart but it’s also the year where echoes of possibility began to ricochet down the long corridors of my soul, tickling my consciousness and re-igniting my desire for life. I haven’t, as yet, given shape or form to these possibilities but I can feel them stirring within. For now, I’m resting in the moment, allowing myself to breathe fully as I slowly begin to open wholeheartedly to the process of healing; I feel weary from the battle, but the whisperings of hope keep the flames of my optimism flickering gently in the darkness.

The definition of healing has changed for me as it no longer means ‘being fixed’ as that’s unrealistic in terms of my physical being but I haven’t given up and I now acknowledge I’m not broken or ‘less than’. Healing is re-establishing balance as an imbalanced person in an imbalanced world. Perhaps healing means ‘coming back together’ again but I’m changed; altered forever. I cannot go back to the person I used to be and I don’t want to. I have no idea who I am becoming, but for now, in this moment, I am me; not only is that enough, it is exactly as it’s meant to be…


LauriLumby 15th December 2015 9:29 am

Oh Sarah!

You are not alone dear sister. As I stepped into 2015, I knew it was going to be a year of "letting go." I just had no idea how radical this letting go might be. I have let go and released everything I was able to identify as able to be released and when that wasn't enough, I was stricken by some strange illness that left me couch-bound for weeks at an finally being silent enough to hearing what else needed to be shed. Now, I stand naked and ready for the new birth....whatever that might be. A few glimpses of the new have been granted to me, but nowhere near the full-picture my Capricorn soul desires! So....I take a step forward when given a hand, then sit in waiting when there is nowhere to step....all the while conscious that I know nothing and I need know nothing....I need only listen, wait, allow and receive. Being before doing and Meditating and writing when there are no signs to go.

What a strange place we are in and into a world we do not yet know but are somehow creating out of our dreams and our love!

Lauri Ann Lumby

kathykirk11@yah... 15th December 2015 10:18 am

If I were as coherent as you, I would have written this. I knew going into 2015 it was the year of 'surrender'. I approached it that way, from my human ego mind. A year of letting go. Of course I didn't realize that what my mind thought of as surrender wasn't exactly what my soul had in mind. I just kept falling, surrendering, letting go and when I thought we'd reached the bottom - well, you know - the bottom fell out. I worry that I still haven't surrendered it all. Yet, I am guessing that's what my Soul has in mind. I am to Trust. I got You. Let Me. Over and over again as I go to bed at night, I ask...what more can I 'do'? And I write on my sticky pad, "Let me." "Trust Me."

I admire/thank you for putting your experience into words - my words - our words. We came to do this, I remind myself. We knew we could do it. I remind myself. I just never realized from 'there', how dense the illusion of separation is, nor how hard it would be. We have to give it all over to Source, Soul - so It inhabits this container of body/mind. I am holding your hand. We do this together. xo

criggan 15th December 2015 10:44 am

This article is the most refreshingly honest essay I've read in years.
Most writers seem to feel that admitting their own weaknesses or vulnerablities will diminish them in their readers eyes. It's about time we were all honest about being broken into pieces to rebuild again without that business of --- well you created it so you brought it on yourself -- boring self- righteous garbage.
Thank you for your honesty.????????

kay 15th December 2015 10:58 am

Dear Sarah-Jane, I am deeply touched by and grateful for your sharing, and for Lauri's and Kathy's comments. How wondefully helpful for us all that you had the words to express this part of your journey. I cannot thank you enough. May the healing that you facilitate in your readers, in every way healing occurs, in every aspect of the process, return to you many, many, many times over.

Peter fox 15th December 2015 11:54 am

Ditto Kay.

Bonnie Waters 15th December 2015 12:23 pm

Thank you for sharing this. It is important for people to know and understand. <3

Moonshine 15th December 2015 1:17 pm

Thank you so much Sarah Jane for your honesty. I sobbed throughout as it resonates so strongly with my year. You are not alone. I am still in the dark, I get glimpses of the light, but it's dark, cold and lonely here. I too am having my facades ripped violently away, I do recognise that I am growing, but it is brutal. I am suffering emotionally, physically and spiritually, I don't know which way is up anymore. I have moments of hope and lots more moments of raw despair. I have never been so touched by an article, I hope that 2016 brings you much peace and healing.

michaelcharley 15th December 2015 1:39 pm

Dear Sarah-Jane,

Like many at SL, I have contributors with whom I resonate more than others, whose messages -- for whatever reason -- just connect more deeply. You have always been on my short list. Today's message makes clear why. I don't have much that I can add to what has already been beautifully expressed by others, but I felt the need to at least weigh in with a thank you. Like many have echoed, this year has been one like no other. Like all difficult passages, I hope and believe that one day we will look back with gratitude and understanding at what has/is happening. A big party would be nice. With toasts all around. Until then, I will only thank you for being the master teacher that you are for so many.

jade 15th December 2015 1:49 pm

Dearest Sarah,

Thank you for so graciously expressing what I have kept locked in my own heart for so long. As I read your soulful writing I was deeply touched, moved to tears, and yet feel so much relief to have a description of that which has been indescribable. Once again you have brought clarity to my world and I am so very grateful!

I am not alone, you are not alone. There is a kinship in this space that is a true blessing .

Sending loving healing energy,


Barbs 15th December 2015 3:09 pm

Thank you so very much for your honesty. I am sure all who read your article will be assisted by it. I myself am reminded that through what has been a difficult journey as a human being I need to remember to be best friends with my soul, the core of my existence that will always be open to me. Thank you...Barbara

blj 15th December 2015 4:19 pm

Thank you as well, your story is beautifully written. I too relate. My world changed a few years ago and although it was nothing tragic or unsolvable it was everything at once. I also felt like my guides who were always there to steer me in the right direction had taken off my training wheels. These days I am making my way slowly but surely in a very different world. I do miss my old life but I am very hopeful for new and exciting adventures. I'm learning these days that I can either "try" to take the familiar path of the personality, or the easy path of the soul. I find that karma is instant these days and it makes for a quick study... usually.
I take comfort and have learned tremendously from reading Gary Zukav's books.
I know I still have great support from the spirit world, and they always let me know they are there when I need them for reassurance. But, I also know I AM responsible for the choices I make, as everyone is as we create our life and journey back to wholeness upon earth.

peacekatwombyn 15th December 2015 5:51 pm

Dear Sarah-Jane,

Sending you Blessings that support you highest good........and Love in any & all ways that you can take with you on this courageous journey.

Blessed Be

AnnaNash 15th December 2015 7:11 pm

Sarah-Jane, thank you for sharing your heartfelt and brilliantly articulated. It left me speechless and inspired to stand in my own vulnerability and authenticity as well. You made me proud to be a human being. Sending you joyous blessings, Anna

jcunningham 15th December 2015 10:08 pm

Sarah-Jane, your eloquent description of what so many of us have been experiencing, myself included, made my heart overflow. I can't thank you enough for your honesty, transparency and willingness to share the depths of your journey. Much, much love to you, and to all of us.

Tanya 16th December 2015 4:33 am


Gary B 16th December 2015 6:16 am

............and I thought it was just me. Spiritual alienation.......ughh.......yes I can relate.

Now though, let's all not take to the phrase "misery loves company" but move towards "there's strength in numbers."

Thank you for your honesty Sarah-Jane

Heartfelt courage 16th December 2015 9:53 am

See above

bluedragoness 16th December 2015 11:55 am

If so many of us are going through a very intense "LET GO" process it can only mean that it is God moving us in the direction of a higher level of existence. Letting go is very painful but the biggest reward of it is a new road of inner peace, silence of mind and brilliance of heart. Letting go is the true ascension that we were all waiting for, and it will continue, as we become our true self in the zero point where peace is the road to highest manifestation.


Sarah-Jane Grace 16th December 2015 12:49 pm

I am deeply touched, humbled, inspired (and relieved) to read so many beautiful, heart-warming responses. I'm relieved as I truly had no idea what the response would be to me being so open, honest and vulnerable. Sometimes it becomes easier to present a facade of 'wholeness' but we run the risk of becoming lost behind the mask we've created. I know I did. It took me a very long time to press the 'send' button to publish this mainly because I was willingly choosing to step out from the relative safety of my keyboard and, by doing so, I was leaving myself nowhere to hide. It needed to happen though, I needed to let the words flow...

Reading your words, your support, your courage, your compassion and feeling the genuine waves of love in your messages speaks volumes for the compassion we all have within our hearts and souls. It seems many of us have experienced or are experiencing a time of 'falling apart' and knowing we are not alone gives each of us a sense of unity and a sense of hope. Although we may feel alone, we never are, not completely. Thank you.

With love, Sarah-Jane x

shapeshifter 16th December 2015 1:20 pm

Sarah Jane,
I acknowledge your pain. May it be the catalyst that sets you free.
It all comes together as it falls apart.

spiritdiver 16th December 2015 2:59 pm

Dear Sarah-Jane,

Take heart and patience with your self. It may take some time.. My life hit the same, which i called to me and every founfstiin and matter completely unraveled starting in 2010/2011..which led into the Uranus Pluto squares of 2012.. And ecliples of this year bringing more clearing, to where we sit here.

One thing I found helpful and still do. Learning you cannot push through these times with doing, no mater what you try just won't do. Take this period ad a blessing and my thought was it was God's gift of rest, as well as a blessed period of our pulling closer aligned to know Divine purpose.

Hope this helps..I with you still getting there myself. :smitten:

reva3s 16th December 2015 5:20 pm

Thanks Sarah-Jane. This helps me also. I feel the exact same as Moonshine. This has been the worst year for me. I get glimmers of hope sometimes, but mostly it feels dark and/or numb. I thought things were supposed to be getting better each year, but I've been sorely disappointed. What else is there to do, but hang in there. Right? I know I volunteered to be here now, but life seems to be one enormous disappointment :(

cyndy 16th December 2015 6:17 pm

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.
That's how the light gets in.
That's how the light gets in.

Leonard Cohen, Anthem

cyndy 16th December 2015 6:20 pm

So sorry the link did not come up with the photo.
If interested it is a sculpture of Expansion by Paige Bradley.

zorro 16th December 2015 8:45 pm

I ain't broke, but Lord, I'm feeling badly bent.
Yea., I was there when the veil was rent
I heard the call, and to the mountain I went
So please forgive me now, if I find a vent
With my friends
WE All were Sent
And I feel them all now, in holy Sacrament.
Lord. I ain't broke. Maybe a little bent.
But hey, I would do it all again, no lament.
Here's an Ole Lang Syne , and a toast to everyone.
on this great Ascent.
I love you!

Rise Above It 17th December 2015 12:12 am

Dear Sarah-Jane, thank you for writing what you wrote exactly as you wrote it. Thank you for having the courage and willingness to share what you've been experiencing. I am a different person now. I live a very sequestered, isolated life and have been for many years. All the friends are gone, the fun times, the laughter, the joy and happiness. I feel empty. I get up, go to work, go home and do it all again the next day. The only time I interact with people is when I'm at the office or shopping and even then I feel invisible. The rest of the time I'm alone. There was a saying in my circle of friends in the 80s: "Becoming the Christ is an alone process." I get it now; I know what it means. Misery loves company has absolutely nothing to do with this. Many or all of us in this community are going through this, being torn down and ripped apart, dying while we are alive and still in these bodies, but we are doing it together. Even though I feel invisible, lost and alone, I want you to know I AM STILL HERE, I REFUSE TO GIVE UP, and the I LOVE YOU ALL.

Esmé 17th December 2015 4:40 am

Next time, I'm picking the "admin" card or something - this "Earth-card" has proven to be very very challenging.....and alas, I'll pick it again. :) Thank you Sarah-Jane (and all) for sharing. Sending you lots of light and love....although I'm also hanging on by a thread. xx

Gary B 17th December 2015 6:17 am

To Zorro - I would do it all over again too. Over the past 4 years, the magic that I've seen with my eyes and the amazement that I've felt in my heart are beyond belief. That is how I found all of you. There has been a lot of inner turmoil and struggle but I sure would take a "do over". Thanks for that reminder.

kay 17th December 2015 10:19 am

A gift of extraordinary proportions, Sarah-Jane, all of you. Every word gift-wrapped.

Brenda Hoffman 17th December 2015 11:45 am

Dear Sarah-Jane,
Thank you so much for sharing part of your journey with us. This transition is not for the feint of heart in so many ways. I'm just so happy that you decided to stay with us during this extremely difficult period. Blessed be.
Blessings and Love,


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Sarah-Jane Grace

Sarah-Jane Grace has a passion to inspire and empower others. She is a life-long intuitive and a modern-day mystic and wayshower; illuminating both the path to Self and the path ahead in order to instil confidence into the hearts and souls of others. Sarah-Jane works from the heart and speaks from the soul, and opens up to the essence of the cosmos for inspiration and guidance.


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