Be Willing to Have Your Heart Broken and Let it Move You

Ancient mossy redwood tree stump surrounded by ferns and wood sorrel

I didn’t know that I had come to meet her, but I had.

Michael Franti passed me by, I had a chance to meet him, but I didn’t. Daryl Hannah was standing right next to me, could have had a picture with her, but I didn’t. The bands I thought I was coming to see, I missed.

What happened was that I found her, an angel in the flesh, a messenger of miracles, a woman who knows that our power lies in our emotions, in our willingness to have our hearts broken.

She hugged me, heart to heart, gazed into my eyes and we both started to cry.

She could feel my love and appreciation, she could see that I too, was a woman willing to care.

Yet, have I ever cared that much? Have I ever given it all up to lend my body to a belief?

That is what Julia said, that we must put our bodies where our beliefs are.

She did. She put herself in a Redwood tree and lived there for two years. With logging trucks around day and night cutting the forest down, she inhaled kerosene smoke into her lungs as they ravaged an ancient forest, but they would not have Luna, not unless it was over her dead body.

What are we willing to die for? What would you lay down your life for?

Julia gets it, she knew how I felt, how many of us feel, she said that we’re overwhelmed and the problems seem too big. We’re confused and misinformed.

They want us to be that way. Keeps it easy for them to rape the earth, destroy habitats, alter our food, spray with chemicals, poison our water.

Yet, she said that we must be willing to give up our comforts, we must be willing to make a stand and put our bodies where our beliefs are.

Daryl Hannah handcuffed herself to the White House to protest the excel pipeline. She was arrested. When asked about it she said, “They were organized.”

Would I get arrested? Would I be willing to risk in the name of my Mother Earth?

Do I want for nice cars and homes and good food and vacations, or do I want to be used as a conduit for divine miracles? Am I willing to risk all that I know to make them stop? If you wish to get bail requests, check out people serving New Haven County

We know we could do it. Together we could make them go away- get their Fracking out of Colorado, get the Flouride out of our water, the GMO out of our foods.

Yet, many of us choose to live our lives in peace & have a good time.

After I heard them speak, I wondered if soon a time would come where we will be called upon to truly stand united, to lay down on the earth to stop their machines, to chain ourselves to our fresh water to keep the last of it from being poisoned.

At some point, it could get so bad that we have to use our bodies to claim our rights to earth, to water, to sky, to land.

When will we say enough is enough?

When do the atrocities go too far? Are we anesthetized? Do we turn the other cheek because it’s all too much?

Someone asked her the lessons she learned during her stay in the tree she affectionately called, “Luna.” With tears in her eyes she said,

I learned that we hide. We hide from one another. We are disconnected. We’re addicted to a disease of disconnection. It’s been passed down through the generations, we inherited it. It leaves us separate, disconnected from the earth and each other, we know not what is truly of value, and so we destroy the very things we love the most. The very life sustaining elements we need, we cut down, burn, poison.


Julia said that one of her mentors is Gandhi. Gandhi famously said, “An eye for an eye and soon the whole world is blind.”

In a testament to what it is to walk our talk, when an an audience member asked Julia if she thought we would ever have justice and put the bankers or corrupt politicians in jail, and the crowd cheered, Julia clearly spoke that that would only perpetuate the problem, that we can’t stay inside of a blaming system in which we desire to persecute those who cause harm. That is called, “Retribution.” Julia is not for retribution, she is for rehabilitation.

Heck yeah, true Gandhi style!

No retribution. Rehabilitation!

This is a key to healing, love and forgiveness on this planet. In the wise teachings of Jesus and Gandhi and MLK, and others, we know that we must forgive, we must offer love, especially to those who cause harm, for they are the ones who need it most.

After Julia left the tree, a man came to try to chop it down with a chain saw. People fought for him to go to jail. Julia fought for him to not go to jail.

Her idea? Have him plant trees.

In the spiritual text, A Course in Miracles, it is said that we are either love, or a call for love. When someone acts out in ways that seem horrendous to us, we must remind ourselves that even in the midst of the most horrible actions, people are hurting.

Hurt people hurt.

What to do? Love them.

We can rehabilitate the world by loving, by being willing to feel and allowing our hearts to be broken and then use it to make a powerful difference, in service, as a miracle worker in the flesh.

Leave a comment. Let me know what you think. Have you put your body where your beliefs are? What do you think of Fracking, GMOs, flouride in the water, the xcel pipeline? Do we focus on the good and do our best and keep being comfortable? When do we start using civil disobedience?

Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you. Share this piece if it moves you. Spread the love!


Rachel Claire





  1. Beautiful and well written Rachel. The portion about rehabilitation moved me the most. “Hurt people hurt” speaks to us all, I believe. Thank you for waking my heartfelt emotions with your words and sharing. <3

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.