I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of being broken. It’s a concept many people use to describe out human frailty, our human condition as a result of all that life brings. I hear a lot, particularly at church, that we’re all broken…and I rally against it.
Now don’t get me wrong, that’s not to say that I haven’t had a lot of “life,” a lot of things thrown at me, and a lot of things I just straight up stepped in. I’m not saying that I’m perfect by any remote stretch of the imagination. Seriously. I am constantly examining myself, looking at my thought processes, my reaction, my own behavior. I feel like a train wreck half the time. And I work on it. I seeking counsel, counselling, and advice from people I trust. I pray and I ask God about it.
I feel like the experiences I’ve had, my choices – good and not so good – have made me who I am. I believe the constant examination, though exhausting at times, leads to discovery. The constant chatter and voices in my head are still there, but I believe I’m gaining on them. I feel better able to call out when I’m letting myself go down a dark and dreary path and make a different choice.
But back to my original point, even though I know I’m made up of pieces that have been shattered, reassembled, readjusted and redesigned, I still fight against being broken. To me, there’s judgement associated with being broken, like I need to be fixed. To be honest, my self-assessment only recently led me to this. It feels like broken is a state of being wrong. And I wonder to myself why I look at it that way. Is it the way people have said it to me? Is it my own inner voices telling me that it’s a wrong way to be? I don’t know that anyone has ever told me it’s wrong, or bad, or not where you want to be. But I know I’ve said to someone close to me that I was not broken, that “I just wanted to be.” Even in saying that though, “just being” is a constant state of work, yet somehow it feels like a healthier place to start than broken.
I think a lot of times we (ok, me), attach our own meaning to words, to experiences. Wouldn’t it be easier if we didn’t feel the need to define, because defining often involves a degree of judgement? And that’s exactly what I’ve felt when referred to as broken. Instead of making it the line in the sand, I could have chosen to not make any judgement about the word or what I thought was the meaning at all. I could have chosen to hear it and ask questions to understand. I could have tried to understand what drove the message instead of discounting the messenger. Maybe whether I’m broken isn’t really the point at all and it’s really more about leaning in, and leaning on someone else, leaning on God. Something tells me that’s really what comes from being broken anyways.