Accepting my Brokenness

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I miss my house in Memphis. That place was so healing to me. The garden was too big for me to manage. The bedroom had no door. The bathroom only had a stand-up shower, so I couldn’t take baths for years. And the sunroom in the back wasn’t very well insulated which caused it to be cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. But that place was fertile ground for my growth as a person.

Be still and know that I am God. That scripture was scrawled across my empty yoga room wall at the front of the house. I’m sure the room was meant to be the living room, but I wanted the front room to be empty except for my spiritual space and those words that grounded and inspired me to stop trying to fix my life.

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I texted a friend of mine this weekend to see how she was doing. “Learning some things about being okay with my own brokenness, and the ability to just sit with that. To love myself with all my brokenness, and accept my humanity,” she texted back. Ahhhh, I thought. Accepting our brokenness … what a concept. Be still and know that I am God.

So much of my life I’ve been driven to fix things … numb my pain … say I’m sorry when I did nothing wrong  … eat to ease loneliness … find a man to fill the hole in my heart where compassion belongs. I didn’t understand that brokenness is the birthplace of wholeness.

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I thought that my heart was a vase that when shattered needed to be superglued to resemble its original form. That was so shortsighted. Isn’t it much more beautiful to accept the broken pieces as they are and create a mosaic. Choosing the most beautiful chunks, we create a stepping stone or a hanging ornament which reflects the sunshine. A mosaic carries the beauty of the original amid the amplified emotion of the breaking. Acceptance of my brokenness … be still and know that I am God.

A man died of alcoholism in that house. That’s how it came to me. I felt that I was a part of its healing just as it was part of mine. That house was empty of furnishings but full of love. Women laughed and cried and sat in their brokenness in that empty space. I painted the walls in many colors and opened my heart to the garden’s lushness. I cried tears of joy and sobbed with great sorrow. I accepted its many flaws without trying to fix them, and the garden endured my lack of experience with landscaping. The space felt huge, and my heart healed.

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How do we accept our brokenness? It’s so difficult to sit with pain and sorrow and guilt until it changes us. It’s much easier to try to fix it or numb out. The easier path is not the transformative one. I don’t have answers on how to accept your brokenness, but I know how I accept mine.

Be still and know that I am God.

~~Psalm 46:10

 

 

14 thoughts on “Accepting my Brokenness

  1. This is very well-written. Also, I loved that house. It had a great personality. I hope your new home fits you as well as the Memphis house did. I know you will make many happy memories there as well.

  2. I always love to read your blog. I know that I don’t know you very well, but you are so open and honest about your life it helps me to know you better. Your house in Tennessee reminds me of my feelings for Cecil’s house he grew up in. It is so peaceful there. When I read the things you write, sometimes I am surprised. I always looked at you as being so confident and sure of yourself. I enjoyed the few times I was around you. Don’t ever sell yourself short. You are a great person.

    • Thank you, Bobbie. I appreciate your words, and I love hearing that you had a house that was this special. It felt like a safe place. I have learned over the years that we all have something. Anyone that says otherwise is in denial.

  3. Thank you again, Sharon, for your words of wisdom. So many times I read your blog and it strikes me as so profound! You put into words the thoughts I have! Today I forwarded this blog to my dear 21year old grand-daughter who recently broke up with her “first, love-of-her-life”. That first one is sooo hard. I’m blessed that she trusts me enough to text and say, “grandma, do you have time to talk?” Thank you for your words and know that your influence is going out into larger and larger circles that you might not even be aware of! With Love, Anita

    • Thank you for sharing that with me, and thank you for being the kind of Grandma that inspired emotional trust. Our world needs kindness and understanding. That first love loss is brutal. Hugs to her.

  4. This reminds me of the Japanese concept called “wabi-sabi”: the acceptance of transience and imperfection, and beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.” Broken does not necessarily mean ruined. Here is a good article about it: http://www.utne.com/mind-and-body/wabi-sabi

    And also, another Japanese technique called “Kintsugi,” to repair broken pottery with gold. It treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

    • Wabi-sabi was the topic of one of my meditations on The Calm app! I love that concept. I’ll check out the other one. Sounds very interesting. Thanks for commenting!

  5. Beauufully written and close to my heart. Be still and know I am…. That is my mantra this year. I’m heading to the mountains to do just that.

    I’m going to share this blog with my e-circle. Many of them will relate and love this. Hugs to you dear one!!!

    • Oh I’m so glad it resonated and glad you are headed to the mountains. This one must have hit a nerve. I’ve had more comments today than I have fielded in years!

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