The Beauty of “Broken”

Broken. It’s not a bad thing. The connotation is that “broken” equates with the negative. Understandable. Broken insinuates that the thing or person that is broken is no longer whole or the way that they should be. That they have been altered or changed in a bad way.

When I was decorating my new kitchen years ago I had a friend who was an artist. He offered to do the backsplash for me in tile, custom and unique and a gift from him to me. I was thrilled… even more so when he arrived with a box of stunning italian tiles. He laid the tiles out on the deck on a drop cloth and I watched, intrigued… thinking he was planning a pattern or simply laying out his material. I walked away for a moment and went rushing back when i heard breaking tiles. He was seemingly randomly smashing the tiles with a mallet, leaving behind shards and chunk of tiles – broken and no longer what they were. Horrified even more by the smile on his face and the obvious glee that he was enjoying. He laughed when he saw how I was reacting and explained to me that he was going to put them together again piece by piece and they would be something amazing. He was right. That backsplash was outstanding. Each piece laid by hand and placed meticulously. Every tile broken and no longer what it “should be” but in the end creating something far more than they would have been had they been whole and unbroken.

I say often that I am “broken” and those that love and care for me reiterate all the time that I’m not, but the truth is that I am.. and it’s not a negative. I am starting to see – and feel – that now. My life was shattered and blown apart. With that, so was my belief in so many things in my life that I held as truths. An integral and core part of me is unscathed… the base of what and who I am is there and always will be. Just like the pieces of tile are still, essentially, tile… I am still, fundamentally, me.

Don’t try to tell me that I’m not broken…I know I am and I am starting to own that and see the strength and beauty in the pieces. Broken does not equate weak or un-whole or incomplete… it is simply not what it was… and that is all right. For the first time I am looking at the pieces and seeing the perfection and beauty in my brokenness. It is part of me… not who I am, but part of my path. Not bad or wrong or taking away from my strength but instead simply another facet that has made me who I am today… and that “Self” is someone who I am starting to like… so when I say I’m “broken” when I am having a moment, know that it is, deep down now, a mantra to myself of my strength and wholeness…Acknowledging a truth of all that I am and what I’ve gone through to be where I am now. Denying that truth belittles the hell I have gone through, and still do, to be here and to live – and I refuse to do that.

Broken can be stronger than what it was to begin with. I know I am.

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