Let’s Get Real
Unless I tell you about my own brokenness, you won’t believe me when I tell you that there is no such thing as broken. I’ve felt broken many times, but for the purpose of today’s blog, I’ll recount one specific episode in my life.
In 2010, I was happy. I was engaged and planning a wedding. I was very much in love, 44 years old and still a size 0. Life was perfect…until I found a lump in my breast and was diagnosed with breast cancer, had a mastectomy and chemotherapy. I lost every hair on my body, lost my fertility, and entered premature menopause. That was just the beginning.
My fear that my relationship would crumble under the weight of cancer came true. I gave my ring back and moved out with only a bed, a nightstand, a TV, and an inch of hair on my head.
I felt broken. Utterly, devastatingly, broken. If I was awake, I was crying. I truly believed I was broken, but I was dead wrong.
I Was NOT Broken. I Was Starting Over.
When we tell ourselves we are broken, we are denying our ability to heal. I was traumatized. I had a ton of grieving to do and I needed the gift of time to do all of that. While I felt broken, I got up and went to work every day. I paid my bills on time. I kept in touch with friends and family.
Those are not the acts of a broken woman. Those are the acts of a woman navigating life as best she can under extraordinary circumstances. Those are the acts of a LIVING woman who somewhere down deep must have believed, she’d cross the river Jordan to a place of renewal and wholeness.
So You Feel Broken. Now What?
Now that you can see and feel my perceived brokenness, let me tell you what to do with yours. It’s also what I do with mine when I again feel broken.
Stop telling yourself you are broken. Instead, accept that you are actually FEELING and that doing so is part of the human experience. We were designed to feel joy and pain. I’d even go so far as to say that without pain, we wouldn’t truly understand the gravity of joy.
Let yourself feel everything. I’ve tried repressing pain with medication, with shopping, and with binge-watching Netflix, and they all lead to the same destination – which is a tomorrow that holds no freedom from the day before.
Your pain will not kill you. You may feel like you’re dying, but remember, perception is NOT reality. Your feelings will HEAL you. Own them, feel them, and let them do their job. The more you accept your pain and feel it, the closer you will get to the top of the mountain. Make no mistake, you ARE heading to the top of a mountain and once you get there, stick a flag in the ground, and prepare to sail back down to normalcy.
You Aren’t Broken. You are Growing.
The truth is feeling broken sucks. I don’t mean to discount the enormous emotional impact that comes with devastation. Instead, I want to empower you to think differently about your experiences.
I don’t embrace my feelings of brokenness. I hate them. But I now acknowledge that I only FEEL broken. In reality, I am actually growing toward a new and different future. I may not see what lies ahead, but I have faith that something does.
More than that, I believe I am meant to go THERE. Wherever there is, it is where my journey is apparently taking me. I can go kicking and screaming or I can go with the belief that I am simply transitioning from one life event to another.
If You Hear Nothing Else, Hear This
DO NOT GIVE UP. When you want to throw up your hands in disgust and quit on life, practice self-care. Be kind to yourself.
If you’ve been broken multiple times then you should know that tomorrow is only hours away. Wait for it. If you have to hang on by your damn fingernails, WAIT FOR IT. Because one day, tomorrow will arrive and when it does, you won’t feel broken.
You’ll feel different.
Stronger. Braver. Alive. Hopeful. Human.
From that moment on, you won’t ever need to lie to yourself again. You don’t need to believe your feelings will kill you. You don’t need to believe, you will collapse in on yourself. You don’t need to believe you CANT, or you WON’T make it.
You CAN do this thing called life. If you tell yourself otherwise, it’s just a lie.