I’m all broken up over it.

27 Apr

I recently dropped a glass on the kitchen floor. The floor is tile so the glass broke into at least a million pieces – at least. I got the broom out, and carefully began to sweep up the dangerous mess, and then I got down on my hands and knees with a wet cloth to make sure I didn’t miss any tiny barbs destined to cut my feet. Broken glass can be tricky. It’s hard to see and very sharp. You have to be careful to get it all picked up or it’ll come back to cut you. And that’s no fun. After it was cleaned up, I reached into the cabinet again for another glass, and it slipped, but thankfully I did not drop that one, which was a great relief.

Bad and unexpected things happen to us sometimes. We aren’t made of glass, but there are times in our lives when we can feel broken by something that’s happened. The pain is too great, the suffering has gone on for too long, or the loss is too painful. We break. Not all the way like a glass on the floor, but enough that we feel like we’re in pieces, and nothing is fitting together. We feel disconnected. We feel untethered. We feel bad.  And sometimes during those fractured times, it’s hard to see how we’ll get it all put back together again. How we’ll clean everything up, and make it work.

There is no set timetable for fixing a break inside of us. It’s not like the six week cast for a broken arm. Every situation, every break is different. Some breaks feel all encompassing and take a lot of time to repair. Others aren’t so intense, and we can bounce back more quickly. But no matter how long it takes, the period during the break hurts. We’re out of sync, and it can feel like we have a flat tire, loping down the road slightly off kilter. The world is off its axis. Everything feels strange, and uncomfortable. We’re not ourselves.

No matter how extensive our breaks are, once we decide we’re going to fix them, they begin to mend. There is a saying that time heals all wounds, and in some ways time is the best medicine for a break. But time is just one part of how we heal.  Attention to the break is needed.  We need to look at it, examine it from different angles, figure out how we got broken to begin with, and determine how we can fix the situation.  It will take some time.  We may get impatient, but even in the impatience, things can move forward.  We can heal.  We will heal.

If you feel broken, if something is out of whack, something is wrong, take a little while to examine the problem. What happened? How can you fix it? How can you heal the break? All the answers are inside you. If you feel lost, seek the help of someone you trust. Listen. Think. Take your time. You’ll figure this out. When we break a bone and it heals, it is stronger than it was before we broke it. We are the same way. Once we fix what is broken inside, we are stronger than before. And being stronger is a great gift. No break is permanent. This will change. You’ll heal and be stronger on the other side.

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