Breaking to be Whole
I thought not breaking in the first place would be easier than trying to put all the pieces back together. Or, at least I could hide the filled-in cracks and glued together shards, my patchworked soul of personal betrayals and harms done by others. Letting it all show would be disastrous.
I had 2 rules in life:
Rule #1: Don't break - you'll never be the same.
Rule #2: Collect things and people that will complete you.
These were my beliefs and my instincts. I didn't want to be alone and I didn't want to be in pain. The problem is that the further along in my life I got, and the more roles I acquired - wife, mother, career - the more glueing and patching had to be done in order to hold it all together. I just kept going, kept working, and kept collecting.
There's an idea I love about gathering the scattered pieces of ourselves. Meaning, when we start to get curious about who we are, we begin a process of collecting and exposing all the things we have kept hidden. We start to dig and uncover. Instead of relying on someone else to fix us, we own ourself fully. We learn to accept ourself, forgive ourself, and take care of ourself, maybe for the first time.
I have a tattoo on my right arm that I got right after I filed for divorce. The tattoo says, "My beauty is made in the fire." When I got the tattoo, the words resonated with me because of the majestic Sequoia trees which need fire in order to thrive and reproduce. Fire that kills every other plant and tree in the forest is the only thing hot enough the break open the indestructible shell of the Sequoia. The extreme heat allows them to spread their seeds and continue growing.
Like these trees, my shell protected me for a long time. But at some point, I needed to break. Not only does breaking open add more beauty and more life, breaking open makes me whole. The things I was most afraid to face and reveal, are the exact things that will complete me.
I gather my scattered pieces, the ones I have given away or burdened onto someone else.
I've been searching for truth for a long time. I've been searching for happiness and fulfillment. I admit I am slightly shocked that happiness and fulfillment actually do come from within. Maybe I felt incomplete because I was in fact, scattered - my pieces were scattered so far into other people and circumstances, stories of who I thought I was or who I wanted to be. Afraid and incapable of understanding that in order to be complete, I had to address the brokenness in the first place.
Just a little curiosity, a little crack, will let the light in. And you'll understand your wholeness exists whether you think it does, or not. Your wholeness exists whether you've achieved any of your goals, or not.
My new rules are:
Rule #1: Beauty is made in the fire - you are meant to crack open.
Rule #2: No one will complete you. Gather yourself, especially when you feel most vulnerable.
Rule #3: You got this.