The Gift of Broken Open.

“You Aren’t Broken,” is a term we often hear in spiritual parlance. When I’m not feeling well resourced and I hear this, I might feel annoyed or triggered into biting my nails or worse

I mean really, look at my cup, it is broken. Where is empathy? Someone else might say, look at my relationship, my job, my sibling, my ill relative; the list goes on. There is so much breaking, changing or lost now. Our first impulse might be to run, hide, numb, ignore, deny, or fight until we get to a place of feeling safe to explore and let the raw feelings happen.

Feeling that are hard to feel when we are surprised or shocked with loss. Upon first bruise, the last thing we want to hear is, you aren’t broken.

Even though at one level we known this. Right now it may not at all feel like the case. You or I are in the process of grief. Grief comes in waves, I’m not sure it ever ends, it changes. Comforts comes but is it ever finishes — oh to care so deeply.

Often the first thing we want, is to tell someone about our circumstance, our overwhelm, our heartbreak — the implosion of doubt we find ourselves in. We want to give voice to the loss, betrayal, hurt, injury, violation, infidelity… When we are allowed to give something a voice without censoring, without judgment, the strong feelings will follow, they come all by themselves.

We are opened to see more and to keep walking through these openings. All traumatic experience comes without an immediate toolkit at hand to respond. Shock does not carry a handbag. We’re gutted. First, we react, until we don’t. The more we love, the more we learn. We grow our capacity to feel every part and be a full human being.

Kindness is called for. Oh, but of course.

Here’s my short super silly story of my broken cup. It is trivial. It’s replaceable. Maybe not in the exact same way, but most physical items can be replaced. Not the ones with sentimental value like this cup. I covet my clay mugs. Damb.

We are on this journey called life, to learn to participate in ways that feel meaningful.

When I woke at 7am my “save the queen bee” cup is spread out broken on the floor. Yes, on first glance, true, my cup is broken.

I must have had a good rumble in my sleep. I love a hot mug of chamomile tea to accompany a good bed time read like Mary Karr’s—The Liar’s Club. I have no one to blame for this breakage. No one else was in my bed this night. This alone would be rather shocking to my system.

As I look more closely. I see every break in this cup is akin to a wound, loss, split that becomes a doorway, an entrance. Hurts like hell but it’s the way, the opening — back inside to you. Can I let myself feel all of life’s hurts? Not dumb, clumsy or crazy lazy. We all get sleepy.

When we’re done blaming our slumber, the floor, the shitty circumstance, whoever, whatever, and stop looking outside for a quick fix. We begin to see all the pieces, the parts, small to large are inside waiting for us to pick them up—attend to them with kindness.

Some have sharp edges, the strong teachers, some parts we need to go really slow (like a snail) and listen tenderly. Some are tiny, old familiar patterns that may have been with us for a very long time. Now this break is opening a door for us to join with, not against a part that is mending. Nothing is missing, all the parts inside put us back together again. Our kindness is the glue.

Only when we are brave enough to walk through the door—the break—and explore our darkness will we discover the infinite space of us that it not broken—not wounded—already whole.

This is not to minimize trauma, loss or how F..ing hard life and love can be at times.
Reaching out for help (not fixing) is a good thing.

It’s Our STRENGTH that shows us we can do hard, we mend, Humpty Dumpty can be put back together again. Goodbye self-reliance!

We can live with scar tissue. It reminds us that we love—we care. It tugs us to the inside for a hug. It cushions our safe spaces.

Now—so I can get back to writing my second memoir with Mary Karr at my side, does anyone have some nifty glue? How about a wonderful cup of cacao? Yum, I love my cup!

Time to replenish.

(PS: My favorite read right now is Mary Karr. Love her wit, humor and insight)

#MaryKarr #wecandohard #lovehurts #traumaheals #wakingfromourslumber #youarenotbroken #scartissuememories #theartofmemoir