Awake in the World

    Almost no words can soothe an aching heart during a break up. But rituals can help make the transition easier. Though intellectual, Western culture often denigrates rituals as meaningless, they are powerful tools to help in transitions and mend broken hearts. They can help not only to heal the wounds and move the psyche into a place of deep peace; they can also fortify the spirit and affirm that you’re ready to move into a new stage of life with courage.                                       
     Often just the sight of photos or things that the beloved gave us can cause a relapse of remorse and pain. My favorite ritual to help ease the change into the single life brings in the element of fire. Fire burns away the old, destroys pain and makes way for the new to grow. Burning significant items like a photo or letters attached to a broken relationship can invite in transformation.  The fire ritual can be done in a safe place like on a sandy beach or at an outdoor fireplace or fire pit where there’s no risk of embers popping to create a hazard. I like the beach with the wind and waves to accompany the ceremony.

To begin, say a prayer of protection and call in light to surround and envelop you during the ritual. Prepare matches and the symbolic items you’d like to use to dissolve the ties that represented your relationship.  Be careful and wise in the things and place chosen.  Only one or two symbolic objects like photos will be enough. Take a candle with a steady flame and let the items catch fire and burn until only ash remains. A prayer of release may accompany the ritual along with a sincere desire to let go of any chains that bind. It’s said that chords of attachment grow up between partners as they become connected. Consciously envision the chords that have grown between you and the ex-partner and let them dissolve and burn away in the flames along with the other items.  If possible recall some aspect of the relationship to be grateful for and consider what you have learned.  Remember the phoenix, a mystical bird of antiquity went up in flames and was reborn from the ashes.

Once the ritual is completed, ask for help in curing the pain. Picture any wounds as bandaged and healing quickly. You may also be inspired to create your own ritual uniquely adapted to your situation. May your wounds heal and blessings descend as life lessons are learned that will open new doors to better relationships.

 Bio: Debra Moffitt is the award winning author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary, dreamer and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. More at and on Facebook at:

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