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Being broken

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”.

BrokenCoffeeMugHave 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.
 
 
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7 thoughts on “Being broken

  1. This is raw straight to the point and I like it. The lines regarding children resonate with me because we want to protect our children from the evil and pain in the world while also preparing them for it once they inevitably face it. In time I hope that this is something I will learn to do for my son.

    Fate whispers to the warrior, “You cannot withstand the storm”. The warrior whispers back, “I am the storm”.

    1. Thanks, William. For your kind words and for “getting” the struggle with our children. May the force be with us all.

  2. Quite insightful!
    We all break at one time or the other. I like the part about breaking open and growing deep.

    1. Chinedum, I agree with you, breaking is inevitable. Thank you for reading!

  3. Reblogged this on Moyede.

  4. Reading this reminded me of the following quote: “Things fall apart so they can fall together.” Life has ups and downs and some experiences break us. We can allow those often painful moments to tear us down and stay down or we can choose to rise again. My periods of profound growth were usually preceded by some sort of loss (i.e., death of a loved one, end of a long-term relationship). Appreciate how this piece ends with the idea of breaking open and allowing light in.

    1. Hi Tina, thanks for the insightful comments here. I think I speak for many of us when I say I completely agree with you… none of us are immune to life’s periodic harshness, but we can always choose to rise like the phoenix from the ashes to even greater levels of living after each ordeal… therein lies our power. Hope all is well.

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