What does it mean to have a “Broken heart and a contrite spirit?”

For most of my life I always pictured the requirement for having a broken heart and a contrite spirit was to be “broken” in spirit.  In other words, to be less than I am right now.  To give up my freedom.  Or to lose my sense of self.  Or to give up my free will.  That essentially I would lose my independence and having been broken, become unable to make my own decisions or to standup for myself and be who I want to be.  In some ways, those statements are close to the true meaning of a “Broken Heart” and yet in ways that are subtle and very important they also couldn’t be further from the truth. Continue reading