I have a sacred space in my bedroom (which is also my home office) where I keep my holy relics, treasures, and art. It’s my home altar, where I offer homage to the Divine, where I go when I feel dry and barren and in need of spirit, the breath of life. “Breathe in me, oh, God,” is my prayer as I light my candles and pour out my heart in prayer.
One of my treasured objects is a small, red clay heart ornament I found at a local art fair. I love this heart because it’s a symbol of my unruined heart – a term that comes from Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I offer you her poem (from her book Untie the Strong Woman) in the hope that her words may nourish you as they have nourished me.
This poem is a comfort to me when I get stuck in my human muck – when I feel ashamed of my humanity itself – my struggles with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and my very imperfection. It’s how I forgive myself, feel mercy and come home.
The swords through your heart
are not the ones which caused your wounds,
but rather, these mighty swords of Strength,
were earned by your struggles through hard times.
Sword of Surrender: to withstand this time of learning.
Sword of Veils: to pierce the hidden meanings of this time.
Sword of Healing: to lance one’s own agony, bitterness.
Sword of New Life: to cut through, cut loose, plant anew.
Sword of Courage: to speak up, row on, touch others.
Sword of Life Force: to draw from, lean on, purify.
Sword of Love: often heaviest to lift consistently;
turns one away from war, to instead,
fall into the arms of the Immaculate Strength.
O Immaculate Heart of My Mother,
give me shelter in the beautiful chambers of your heart.
Keep me strong, fierce, loving, and able in this world.
Remind me daily, that despite my imperfections,
my heart remains,