We live in our own brokenness—it's true. Whatever is broken inside us is there to stay—probably forever. If that is a scary thought to you, let me reframe it into something you might have the courage to embrace.
None of us get through childhood without a few moments of futility, vulnerability, loss and sorrow. If we know we are broken, we have seen those moments for what they are: human imperfection (either our own or someone else's or circumstances beyond our control).
If we don't have sorrow for those moments of loss (brokenness), we maybe don't have the full access to our emotions that we need for healing. People who have shut down their emotions live with a deficit—of self-awareness, of compassion, of empathy...and because they don't have those feelings, it is very hard to embrace justice. (Think about it—so much sense to this, and thank you Alfie Kohn for teaching me this.)
So if you are feeling broken and perhaps are even in pain on this day, what I'd love to give you is a big word-hug and sit beside you and let you know you are not alone in your sorrow.
But I'm going to give you something else instead. A big word-kick-into-clarity. Here it is. The place of brokenness and hurt that you are in is also the place of opportunity.
If you can embrace the sorrow and cry for the losses you have endured, you will find a way through it. That is the design and purpose for tears—they wash away toxins in your brain and they help you find the pathway forward.
What these same tears leave you with, however, is a pathway of beauty. Beauty for ashes, almost literally. There is a sea of compassion and kindness that comes with the act of grieving. When we have faced the sadness inside ourselves, when we have been honest with the brokenness, we come out as people who make room for the hard time that someone else is facing. We have empathy, we have capacity for compassion, we carry ourselves with patience and kindness.
The work you are doing today to care for yourself is the gift you will give to someone else tomorrow or next week.
It is not selfish or even self-centred to face your brokenness and grieve the losses. It is hard work and you are a magnificent human being making the world a bigger, better place by nurturing compassion in your own life.
I write on how humans develop and grow through challenges we face. I've divided this into three categories--Growing Love is about relationships and how we create conditions for growth despite the inevitable challenges. Cloudburst is about grief, specifically—which is a tricky topic. We need to keep growing but pushing is the opposite of helpful. And in Dancing on Hot Sand I talk about personal inner growth in hard places—spiritual growth, without sounding religious, I hope.