Broken, but beautiful
There is absolutely no doubt that our past affects us, changes us, shapes the way we respond to situations, and can even permanently alter perspectives as well. We become who we are based on our experiences.
I am the person I am today both because of and in spite of my childhood. I refuse to blame my flaws on my parents, my brother, or anything else. I am my own person, and I must accept responsibility for my choices and my actions. But I do understand that there are aspects of me that are the way they are due to the life I lived in that time. And this leads me to my latest mental meandering.
Lately, I have spent quite a bit of time processing the minutiae of my early years, analyzing their effects, and seething over what I am realizing. I’ve used the term “broken” for years to describe those things about me that I know are not healthy or productive, or even that scary term…normal. While I do not want to use my past as any sort of excuse for behavior, I feel that recognition of those intricate layers of groundwork might help me to eventually find a work-around, even if no solution exists.
There are people in my life who object to my use of the word “broken” to describe myself. They see it as pejorative and final, and in some ways, they’re semantically correct in their assertions. But for me, I see it slightly differently. While there is absolutely a negative connotation to the word, and an implication of finality, there is also truth, and it’s there that we find honesty.
These things inside of me that I cannot fix are, indeed, broken. They hinder my ability to ever have a fully bonded, intimate relationship. There is a level of guardedness to which I will cling to my last breath; a metaphorical boundary behind which literally no one in my life has ever traversed, and never will. I simply don’t have the capability to allow it, and if I were to speak truthfully, wouldn’t try. (Which in itself adds another layer to the “broken”; I know. )
So in this irreparable destruction, this “brokenness”, how do I find peace and acceptance?
As broken as I may be, there is a beauty that is found there. Consider mosaics: some of the most amazing artistic pieces would never have been created without the shards of a once-whole object. What some throw away as worthless trash, someone else saw as potential. The shards will never again hold water, shelter the life of a plant, or serve food to family. But they can be repurposed into art that can do all of those things.
I will never be anything other than broken in a lot of ways. But it does not make me worthless, and that’s why I don’t have a problem with saying that particular truth.
It’s Quarter to Five, and this broken woman is emerging as a mosaic.