Do You See Yourself As Broken?

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I’ve been seeing many people post a reference to being broken lately. I can’t help but ask myself, what does being broken actually mean? What is the difference between someone who is broken and someone who is not?

 If I had to make a guess, being broken means having hardships, a less than perfect life. It’s someone who is or has been damaged emotionally, mentally, physically. An arm can be broken and so can a heart. A spirit can be broken as well as hope. So many things have the potential to break. So many people have potential to break us. 

So broken or unbroken, who decides? I think “broken people” talk about their pain and use it as a catalyst to make themselves better and stronger. Unbroken people don’t admit to being broken. They spend their entire lives trying to hide it from the rest of the world. We all have a story. We’ve all been hurt by someone, something. We’ve all felt pain. Our hope has been shattered, our knees weak. But admitting we are broken, letting our pain define us, is a blessing in disguise. We cannot fix what we won’t acknowledge. We cannot heal what we pretend not to feel.  

We are a human dart board and everyone we know holds a dart. We can only duck and dodge so many times before someone hits us where it hurts. We spend our lives as a moving target and we invite people into our space to take a shot. We stand there watching like a deer in headlights when life comes at us and hits us head on. We are not broken. We stand up and we wait for it to come at us again. No matter how many times we are knocked down, we will still stand back up. We may never be the same because we have given people we love the power to take a part of us we will never regain. We watch helplessly as someone we love rips away a piece of our heart. We shed a tear, try to get away and hand them another dart. We are not broken, we are damaged. We will stand back up and if we can’t do it on our own, someone will be there to help us up..

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If Pain Could Speak

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What do you do when someone you love sits you down and hits you with something you cannot comprehend? How do you catch your breath and beat on your own heart hard enough to make it work again? How do you go on when someone rips life as you’ve known it right out from underneath your feet? Your safety net has been cut loose and you are falling and falling wondering how much further you have to go. You want to hit the bottom so you can replace the pain in your heart with the physical pain of the fall. How do you stay trapped in each tick of the clock when all you want to do is escape? The ticking becomes so loud you cover your ears. It becomes one with the ticking of your heart. You can’t take anymore noise. You try and scream for help but the pain has even stifled your voice. There is no help on the way. You need to find quiet where you can start to think. There’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. It’s just you and your pain and being forced to become one with it. How do you make peace with the palpitations that grow so loud they are almost deafening and the sheer panic you feel each time you awake and realize this is your life and not a bad dream? How do you stand to look in the mirror when the image staring back at you scares you to death? You are so thin, so pale. Your eyes are hollow and the light in them is gone, dead. That is how you look, exactly the way you feel, dead, dying from the inside out. It pains you even more to actually see the pain in your own face. You don’t even recognize her anymore. You look a little deeper and you know those eyes. Look at her, do it. Really look at her. You try and disassociate from yourself. She needs your help and she needs it now. Where do you put all that stuff that is sitting on you so heavily that you often have to work to breathe? How do you move on from something that rips you completely apart?

Time forces you to move even when you think you can’t. It doesn’t wait for you to be ready. It doesn’t wait until you have the will. You cannot stay in this space forever. We are all faced with a situation that rocks us to our very core. Somewhere, somehow, with patience and a lot of time, the answers become clear. You see a glimmer of light you haven’t seen in a long time. You want to go to it. You are drawn to it and long to feel the healing energy only it can provide. The heart heals enough to move you forward one step at a time. One more step away from what almost killed you days before. You start to breathe on your own again without effort. The palpitations slow and you start to come back to life. You’ve spent enough time in your pain and now it’s time to run and run until it is so far behind you that it will never catch up with you again. You have taken that demon, looked it straight in the eye and danced with it long enough. You are ready to find a new partner because you are a different person now. You will never be the same. You had no other choice but to leave that person behind and shed your skin. You couldn’t survive as that person anymore so you let her go, waved goodbye. You are ready for a fresh start and welcome it with open arms. In that precious moment, you choose to forgive. Not only the person who hurt you but yourself for letting it happen. You learn to love yourself back to life and never put your faith and trust into anyone again. Not all of it at least. You learn to hold back, protect yourself.

 

Even as I write these words, I can feel my body start to shake. The memory of the pain is excuciating for me even now, long after it first consumed my life. Even now, I need to remind myself that I am strong. I will keep moving on day after day. One step forward and never ever taking a single step back. I will not live in the past. It hurts way too much to go there again. I have a secret weapon now, self love. I am my own best friend and that will get me through anything. I have someone who will never let me down, me. I have someone who will always be there, even when the rest of the world is too busy to care.

The Crud In My Sink

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I have this little issue going on with my sink. It isn’t completely clogged but it backs up and drains slowly. As I sat there the other day staring at it, waiting for the water to slip down the drain, I saw a comparison I hadn’t noticed before. I am living my life and existing so much like that drain. I am not broken but I am not fully functioning either. I am just stagnant like the water, stuck in limbo, waiting to move in one direction or the other.

I have thought about that description and it is disturbing to me. I want to do more than exist. What holds me back? Kids, fatigue, physical pain, mental anguish, negativity, expectations, myself. It exists right there inside me and when too many things pile up, that is when I sit there like the water remaining stuck.

I have a plan. I need to remove the buildup one tiny piece of crud at a time. I am meditating, going to more yoga classes a week, challenging myself physically, and finally seeing the orthopedic on Monday after suffering with neck pain since my injury a year ago today. I am actively practicing ahimsa on a daily basis.The sink cannot be fixed by doing nothing and time will only make it function less and less. So, I took out my tools and one by one they will fix the problem until, like the water, I begin to flow again.

How would you describe the condition of your life? I would love to hear about it.

If Only

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If only our broken hearts and broken spirits healed as quickly as a broken bone. Healing is such a personal experience. It cannot be rushed and we cannot will it to happen. We have to sit back and allow time to work its magic while we surrender the control to force it to happen. I imagine after something or someone is really broken they will never be the same again. That is the thing about life, every minute is brings something new. We are in a state of constant change. I guess, as people, we are like that too. We will never be the same person we were yesterday and we will be a whole new person when we wake up tomorrow. Being broken is not permanent and it is certainly not the end of the world.

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Cracked

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I was thinking about what to write today when I happened to notice my windshield. Immediately I made the connection that we are all like a windshield. Transparent and open for everyone to see. We are fragile and vulnerable and our relationships, and what happens in them, eventually cause us to become cracked and broken. Every hurtful word and every hurtful action eventually eats at us so much that we begin to break. At first it is like a hairline crack that we are able to keep from the rest of the world, but over time that crack becomes visible. Just like that I came to a red light and when I looked up, this is what I saw.

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How ironic. Maybe we all have that hidden message someplace inside us. Stay back and you won’t get hurt. Protect yourself at all costs. But the saddest part of that message is the insinuation that we are not responsible for others cracks. I am hear to tell you different. We have to open our eyes. We have to take ourselves seriously enough to understand that everything we do and say affects the people in our lives. We have to take an honest look and ask ourselves, which of my words have cracked and how many of my actions and choices have broken another human being. It doesn’t matter if it was unintentional. Pain is pain regardless of the intention behind it. Starting today I am going to actively focus my attention on bringing healing and love to everyone around me. If we do not start to set intentions, our relationships will be unpredictable and chaotic, but by bringing something intentionally beautiful such as love and compassion and understanding and healing to the people we share our lives with, maybe we can start to heal those relationships until eventually they begin to take on a whole new form. Maybe not, but I am willing and committed to giving it a try. So often we do not mean to hurt another person. Something either gets lost in translation or the person didn’t live up to the unfair expectation that we created of them in our own head. Most people are not mean and vindictive. They may get caught up in a moment of anger but their heart may tell a very different story. It was a great lesson for me today and I believe our eyes are opened to certain truths at the exact times our hearts and souls are open enough to see them. Be kind to everyone you meet. Stop taking people for granted and give the people who cracked of broke you the benefit of the doubt. Hurting you was probably never their intention in the first place. I hope I gave you something to think about.