Sometimes we can’t fix things.
There is no shortcut or light at the end of the tunnel.
Sometimes we have to endure regret, loss, heartbreak, rejection or failure and there is nothing we can do to change it.
Sometimes life just hurts. Sometimes we just have to live in the brokenness and sit with the pieces of our hearts rather than trying to put them back together.
I used to believe that everything would always work out, that somehow a happy ending was just around the corner. I’ve realized now that sometimes, “happy endings” don’t happen. We have to face the fact that broken can still be beautiful. It can show us that heartache and pain, though excruciating at times, is a treasure. It is valuable because it reminds us that we are capable of enormous love, intense passion and life-giving dreams. It reminds us that in spite of past pain, we continued to live and to feel and to dream, and although it may feel far off—we will do it again.
So many of us draw our future lives out in our minds with clear, steady lines that all lead forward when really, it may end up looking more like a shaky hand and a paper full of smudges. That’s life. In fact, we should be proud of our messy masterpiece, because a clean, methodical picture cannot come from an open heart and a passionate soul. These things lead to mistakes and failures—and those are good things. They mean we are truly living.
True success in life is taking a pile of ash from the pit of our hearts—the burnt remains of all of our pain—throwing it into the wind and somehow seeing it morph into a breathtaking murmuration.
We can watch all of our if only’s and could have been’s, I wish I would or wouldn’t haves, our why’s, I’m sorry’s and our goodbyes, swirling on the wind and playing out the story of our lives. Showing us our strength, reminding us to forgive, giving us peace in goodbye—showing us the story isn’t over yet. There is life yet to be lived.
Right now I’m sitting in the pieces of my life, knowing there’s no fix for much of it, but also still believing that I can arrange the pieces into something beautiful. I’m thankful that I have had the chance to love and to lose and to fall down and get back up. I’m okay with broken. I’m hopeful of the future—feeling stronger, wiser, more real and authentic in my own skin and heart than ever before.
If broken is where we currently reside, we need to take a breath and release the urge to try and piece it all together. We need to let it be. Sit in it. Try to discover its purpose. It may not, in fact, be a mess, but possibly an abstract image in which beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We can try to view it from a different angle and maybe see something beautiful. Until then we will need to…
Be patient with ourselves.
Cry our eyes out. Laugh.
Forgive ourselves. Ask for forgiveness from others.
Breathe. Feel. Release.
Believe in the future. Let go of the past. Allow ourselves to dream.
Move our bodies, fill our lungs with life and feel our own heartbeat.
Watch for the amazing in everyday things, it’s there for the taking.
Help someone else.
Listen to that jam that makes us dance and sing like an idiot. And do just that.
Get our butts outside, squish our toes in the sand, sit by a river, lie down in the grass.
And more than anything, we need to have hope…
There will be sunshine on our faces again.
We can start today and choose to be present and to embrace life for all that it is—be it joy, sorrow or somewhere in between—we are here because we have a purpose.
Author: Vicki Lynn Severson
Apprentice Editor: Savannah Robinson / Editor: Catherine Monkman