What is Beyond Broken?
Beyond Broken is a methodology of personal healing developed by Wendy Hubbard over the last 20 years. It utilizes the tools from trauma work, adult attachment, Hellinger Family Constellation work and Pathwork®.
Most people I get to know well have a secret (or sometimes not so secret) place inside of them that feels broken. This place makes them feel different from others, isolated and lonely. It is also their safe haven when the world is harsh or circumstances are challenging. They can withdraw into this broken place. It is soothing in it’s familiarity.
Beyond Broken is a set of small steps in which we examine ourselves honestly and acknowledge our broken places. With this freedom, others appear broken too, and we feel less alone, more normal. We all are broken to some extent. This connects us. Beyond Broken is not about getting beyond our brokenness by leaving it behind. It is about claiming it, being a kind and compassionate witness to how it happened to us. There is great healing power in being able to say, “This really happened to me and I come by my brokenness honestly.” Seeing our past, with its broken hearted elements is the first step. Then we can see our flaws or challenges in life as a direct result of what happened to us, giving us insight into the clear cause and effect in an otherwise chaotic seeming narrative.
The second step is to begin to disassemble all the ways we have defended against feeling broken, all the many ways we have tried to not appear broken. These are the guards we have put at our gate to protect us against further assault. They have been very trustworthy defenses, and can include shutting down our hearts and not caring, caring too much and even flipping back and forth between these extremes. Generally, we trade our defenses for what we really want. They are very unsatisfying but they seem safe. We need to see them for what they are and not believe what they tell us about the world and about us. Identifying our defenses—“there it is again”—is the next step. We have been telling ourselves stories about how the world is and how we are for so long that it is challenging to begin to see through these clouds of illusion.
Thirdly we find that we now have a choice. We can employ all our faithful defenses or we can try to be in the world as we are, with our real needs, our real desires, our real gifts. We can see what it is like to be undefended. In this phase we may go back and forth a lot. But the choice point is never far from our awareness. We are never stuck again!
As we move into this process we might need to find young parts of ourselves (fragments of trauma) stuck back in time. We have to bring them along into present time, into the person we are now, where we can apply the resources we have now. We have to give them what they never had before. As Tara Brach says, “We become the holder and the held.”
With this work, we begin to slowly unwind the emotions that live in the broken places that in the past were too overwhelming to feel. We find that fear of fear is more painful and scary than the fear itself. With a safe haven of support and love, we begin to feel what we vowed we would never feel again. The feelings hurt, but they do not overwhelm us as we thought they would. They actually move and enliven us. We feel a lot of relief. We do not have to crouch down in fear of them any longer. We are able to feel. We are connected to others and ourselves. We are alive again. We are free. This is the promise of Beyond Broken.