Being allowed in this space is like being let into my brother’s room to try on all his shirts and see all his guy stuff… too much fun… and in many ways, sacred. So here it goes…
To break: “to separate or cause to separate into pieces as a result of a blow, shock, or strain”.
Have you ever broken? I remember being young enough to think that everything would be fine. And I could have everything just as I knew it should be. I remember planning with certainty and knowing what should be, and ought to be, right. Now, not so much. I have been broken. First by the sheer realization… that people had to work for money, and that money is the currency of life. I was broken yet again by death. A death that came suddenly and insanely. From nowhere, it came in a manner that knocked the breath out of me and still does on the 10th of December every year. That death still has the capacity to make we wonder “Why?… How?… Am I dreaming?… Did she really exist?” It’s a long story, but we’ll leave that for another blog visit.
Then of course came the big one- the reality of failing. The truth of heart break. With it came shame, and disappointment and an amazing clarity – stuff (and for “stuff” also see “shit”) happens and I am not immune. Breaking. Being broken. His name doesn’t matter, neither does what he did. What matters is that it broke me open. And in poured knowledge and self-realization and a deep deep sense of loss. Quickly, humility replaced pride and quietness took over where a noisy self-assuredness had been. I grew. And I like to think that rather than grow up, I grew deep. I grew into who I had become and got to know her and the space that she occupied.
I wish that brokenness was a thing that was taught. I wish that I had expected it. I wish that it didn’t sneak up on me and knock me for six. I wish that I had anticipated it. Maybe that way, it wouldn’t have knocked the breath out of me, maybe that way it wouldn’t have silenced parts of me forever. Maybe that way it wouldn’t have startled me so. Now I wonder whether it is something I should teach my children. I owe them a heads up in the form of some sort of sign that says “DANGER: LIFE CAN SUCK!”, or “WATCH OUT – HEARTS BREAK!”, or “LOOK OUT ABOVE FOR FALLING BOULDERS!”. I am not considering this course of action merely because I want to spoil their respective life journeys, but rather, to prepare them. We tell children of monsters and ghosts… why don’t we warn them of the other ghouls that we actually encounter. Shouldn’t they have a healthy fear of loss, of pain, at least as healthy as their fear of the dark and the boogie man? With any luck, they will overcome the dread of heart ache as they do that of the boogie man.
I have read many pretty words about brokenness… that it is through the cracks that the light comes in, that our cracks make us unique. I read somewhere that we break open. To let light in, to let humility in, to let peace in. I know that we all will break, here is to hoping that when we break, we break open.
As my brother would say,
Chuba’s Sister & Attorney at Law.
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