This week, I have been challenged internally. I posted on my Instagram something that summarised how I’m feeling. This season – 2020 so far, more or less – has been one that has magnified the parts that still need my attention and my healing. I’m all for sitting with emotions and doing the work but I’ve hit the wall. Stick a fucking fork in me, I’m done.
Today, I snapped. I felt the panic rising in me. “I need to get out of this fucking house,” running around to grab my car keys. I hit the road; music loud and windows down. I needed space, I needed movement, I needed to expand for a moment…
I’m driving. I’m moving. I’m concentrating on the road. The wind is thundering through the open window. The music is playing. I’m forcing myself to sing along but my voice cracks as the tears roll down my face silently and continuously.
“What the fuck is wrong with me? I’m fucking broken.”
I carried on driving until the tears stopped and so did my karaoke attempt. Onward I drove until I had a thought…
What if I’m not broken? What if I’m being invited deeper into my humanity?
This feeling we have – this feeling of brokenness – maybe our interpretation is incorrect.
If I drop a vase and it smashes, it is broken – I can’t put flowers or water in there because that’s going to make even more of a mess. Likewise, If I crack a mirror, I cannot see my reflection. Thus, the definition of broken in this respect, and the one that we are imagining of ourselves is this: deviating from it’s intended purpose.
But what if our intended purpose is to feel our humanity? How can we be broken if we are, in these moments, acting very much in accordance with our intended purpose?
This whole feeling of being broken is felt when we no longer function according to socially acceptable norms of being. When we do not have the energy to be jovial, we haven’t the energy to be nice, we are unable to get out of bed in the morning, we have no motivation, and no hope. When we are left wondering what the fuck is going to happen next. When we are a sobbing heap on the floor, screaming and heaving with rage. When we stop being these cultivated, cultured, perfect people; when we drop the bullshit act and throw ourselves on our knees before life and say – I’m done.
When we are in this state, when we are feeling so deeply, when we are bereft of hope, when we are on our knees, when we cannot take anymore – we are being invited deeper into our humanity. We seem to think that if we’re doing life right, we will only feel joy and it’ll feel easy. What if doing life right felt uncomfortable? What if it felt like despair, pain, heartache, grief interspersed with the moments of elation, joy, and laughter?
To be fully human, we must engage with all of the above. To understand this human experience, we must be prepared to feel loneliness, heartbreak, heartache, and grief. We must be prepared to feel rage and embarrassment, imperfection and sadness.
This is not wrong – it is human.
So when I am driving down the motorway, with tears falling down my face, wondering how I spiralled to this point – this is my invitation to go deeper into my raw, vulnerable, less-than-perfect, but wonderfully authentic humanity.
And then I think this – I am not broken, but I am breaking. This is an active process, not a passive state. It is not something that I am, but something that is happening for me. The seed breaks before it sprouts. The shell breaks before it is hatched. The waters break before the birth. The bud breaks before the petals show. The clouds break before the sunlight pours forth. The cocoon breaks before the butterfly takes flight…
The next time I am on my knees, I will remember that I am breaking to be birthed again, and again, and again.