There is a movement afoot, and it is a vital one. It seems to me that we are finally accepting that the world is full of broken people, and it’s time we stopped pretending like we aren’t.
The reality that most (if not all) of us are stumbling along the path of life is nothing new, for sure, but I feel like the acknowledgement and embracing of it is new. Letting people in on the secret that you haven’t gotten the life thing figured out has created a “circle of brokenness” that helps us understand that we are anything but alone.
And that makes a world of difference.
As I’ve written on my About page, I have learned a bit late in the game that being broken open is better than keeping everything sealed tight. This has not been an easy understanding for me to come to. Growing up, for various reasons, I learned it was best to keep the lid shut tight, and that’s the way I operated well into my adulthood.
But after having my son and experiencing all of the emotions that came with that, I realized that tamping everything down was a not a recipe for a healthy life. And I began a journey to change that.
And you know what? It’s super hard. Some days it’s crazy super hard, and some days it’s only super hard. But I believe it is worth it in the long run, though there are plenty of days where I must admit I am not so convinced.
But allowing others to see that I am half-cracked helps to make me truly whole.
When we see that others are struggling with some of the very things we might be, our compassion grows. We learn that love heals. We learn that that love is not always easy to give, but that it is the very thing that matters.
That has really been the impetus behind this blog—I didn’t choose the name for the rhyme, after all. I hope that sharing the struggle of juggling the various things that I deal with—that so many of us deal with—helps to create a place where you feel understood—that you are not the only one that feels like you are barely holding it together every day.
The blogosphere has played a big role in pushing this movement along—at least for me. People are sharing their less than perfect lives, resulting in a cybercloud of vulnerability and compassion. Writers like Brené Brown, Glennon Doyle Melton, and Jenny Lawson offer wildly different ways of sharing their stories and helping us connect to our own truths. I am grateful for them and to them.
And now it is time for me to share a part of my brokenness in order to grow closer to becoming whole.
I deal with both depression and anxiety.
Depression runs in my family, and anxiety is apparently an orphan that I adopted. Neither of these is in the “major” range, but they wreak plenty of havoc in my life. Let’s just say that if they were people, they wouldn’t get invited to many parties.
But they are a part of who I am, and I struggle with the ebbs and flows of each.
When I was first diagnosed, it was something I shared with only a very few people. But as I started to better understand what this meant in my life, I owned it better. The next step was to share “me, too” with others who had revealed to me their own stories of depression or anxiety. The step after that was to share first. It was then that I truly understood the safety net created by sharing my broken self. “Lisa…you? I never knew. Well if you can say it, then I can, too…” and the spirit of compassion and community sprouts to form a bond of understanding.
And I guess the step after that is to say it today. And if “just” one of you reads this and feels a little less alone, then my goal has already been achieved.
We all have our imperfections to deal with, but I believe by sharing them, our weaknesses become our strength.
But that doesn’t mean it’s easy, though. It is anything but that. Anything but.
I once wrote about how life is like sea glass, but I like the metaphor of stained glass, too. The idea that several broken pieces—each with their own hue and shape—when put together can form a beautiful work of art. A work that, when the sun shines through it, can cast a warm glow. It is a life mosaic of sorts.
I believe that God is arranging the fragmented pieces of my life to create a new work of “beautifully broken” art. For sure, some days those pieces feel like they are coming together more than others, but only time will tell. I am indeed a work in progress. A beautiful, broken work in progress.