We all dream of feeling whole. We dream of being more perfect than we are.
We work on our bodies, we train our minds, we try to focus on a better future. The reason plastic surgery and weight loss plans are so appealing is they fuel our hope that we can FIX ourselves. We mistakenly believe that if we fix our personality and body flaws we will be less broken and more worthy of love and self-acceptance.
But what if we’re focusing on the wrong goal?
What if we’re completely whole even with our broken parts? What if we should focus on feeling whole despite what we’re struggling with?
This week I was talking with a friend who exclaimed that he was tired of people who pretend they’re not broken.
It’s an epidemic in our world today. Put on a happy face. Post about the good stuff. Ignore the bad. The bad stuff is shameful.
You should be ashamed of yourself if you’re over weight. Unless you’ve lost the weight, then you’re granted permission to be proud.
You should be ashamed of yourself if you’re struggling with depression. Or mental illness. Or immune disorders. Unless you’ve mastered them, then you should be proud.
I get annoyed by incessant Facebook posts where stay at home moms wax on about their perfect lives. I know they get frazzled just like the rest of us. I get tired of business folks who post their constant accomplishments. I get tired of focus on the bright side/it could be worse blogs.
And I’m guilty of all of the above.
Lately, I’ve been trying to make my online presence authentic, more honest to show that I’m not perfect, but I keep trying.
We all know of celebrities and famous bloggers that seem to juggle the impossible and look fabulous whole doing so. I get tired of those blogs quickly. I want someone to tell me they had a God-awful un-Pinteresty day and then say, “But if I can wake up tomorrow and try again, so can you.”
So here’s my “Even If You Are Broken You’re Going To Be OK” Blog.
“The heart will break, but broken live on.”
– Lord Byron
The people I know who have been broken by life’s hardships are more whole than those who have lived charmed lives.
They’re the ones I can go to when I feel overwhelmed. They’re the people I count on, especially when I feel broken.
I often wonder why I get more flack from the universe than most, but try to believe that I can handle it better than someone else might. Or I just suck at life and am a Shakespearean comedy. Or it’s just more material for my future best-selling memoir.
I’ve had so much happen in multiple aspects of my life in the last three days that I joked to a friend, “I’m in the middle of an emotional bull-tinky storm. I need a stinking umbrella!” A parachute would be welcomed.
“I have woven a parachute out of everything broken.”
I’ve certainly survived a lot. Abusive relationships, divorce, near death child-birth, started a business from scratch, weeded the toxic people, single motherhood, all the while having Lyme disease.
So I feel qualified to say that if you’re having a bad day: it’s temporary.
If you’re having a bad day, the sun will set. The moon will rise. The moon will fade away as the sun rises again. Good days will come. If you’re having a good day, that’s temporary too. So enjoy it while you have it, nothing stays the same. Everything is bitter-sweet or sweet-bitter. Even the bitter moments are worth being present for. It makes the sweet that much sweeter.
Broken people are whole just the way they are. You are living and breathing. As your pain heals, your heart expands to wind the painful broken parts back together like cracked bones restitching themselves. It’s painful. It takes time. But being alive means your pain can heal.
When the pain subsides, broken people are even stronger than someone who has never been broken. Because you’ve faced the darkness and chosen to see light. You learn a lot about yourself when you’re at the bottom. It can be peaceful to let go of all the ways you “should” live your life. There are life-affirming lessons in being broken.
“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”
– Ernest Hemingway
I don’t care how long it takes. I don’t care how low you go. If you’re feeling pain, you’re healing.
Protect yourself while you heal. Pull away from toxic people. Cushion your being with those who make time to lift you up in your weak moments.
We can dream of perfection, but it’s far better to dream of TRYING. You will heal. Don’t discount the blessings of being broken.
Iman Woods is an American artist who specializes in pin-up photography. Through a unique and therapeutic process, she’s spent over a decade in perfecting, Iman helps women undo the damage from a negative self-image and unrealistic beauty industry expectations. She helps women embrace their own style of beauty and see themselves in a new light. You can find her on her website, Iman Woods.