Not Breaking, Not Broken, But Unfolding

Recently, I heard a song on TV in the background of dialogue, and the only words I could catch were:

I am not breaking, I are not broken, I am unfolding.

Does anyone know the rest of the lyrics or who sang it?  

It really struck home for me as I thought about the last 18 months of the pandemic and how much stress that has put on our lives.  That doesn’t include the suffering experienced from hurricanes, fires, Afghanistan, the climate crisis and many other losses.  

This is the nature of our life—there is suffering (as well as happiness, delight and joy).  I have had to learn this over and over again.  How can I tolerate suffering, gently and kindly?  What do I do with the anger I feel over injustices?  Where is my compassion?

The Buddha said:  “If you wish to be gentle with others, first be gentle with yourself. Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion.”  

When I lost my husband, knowing that billions of women suffered the same loss, sometimes in worse ways than mine, it gave me strength to continue unfolding my grief.

The questions are:  what are the roots of my suffering and what have I learned from this?

The same questions can be applied to each sitting. What happened?  What can I learn from this?

Unfolding is hopeful to me.  It recognizes the impermanence in our lives, and it fits well with Reflective Meditation which values sharing our inner experience.  Feeling stress and pain is how we are connected to humanity; so is compassion.

PS:  I’d really like to know the rest of the lyrics and your thoughts on this subject.  Please share any thoughts you have.

Photo by he zhu on Unsplash

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About Erica Dutton

Erica Dutton is an experienced teacher and practitioner of Reflective Meditation. She has dedicated herself to sharing this practice so others can succeed in meditation, see their experience as important and valuable, and realize the benefits.


  1. As a fellow sufferer, who recently lost his wife of 52 years, I can also identify with the lyrics you posted. It seems we have a choice, if I understand you correctly, we can either let ourselves be overwhelmed by our suffering or come to understand and accept it as a part of our common human experience. I’ve found that the former is easy but futile and the latter is harder but more productive.

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