I used to hate to think of myself as broken, or that my kids come from a broken home.
I hated to think that I had “failed” at my marriage, like it was somehow my fault that things didn’t work. Then I had a series of failed romances and friendships.
At my lowest point I saw myself in the mirror: face swollen from crying, my skin red and splotchy, disheveled hair. But I looked a little closer and saw emerald eyes staring back at me—the greenest eyes I had ever seen. I was broken, but deep down I was still alive with my beautiful spirit shining out from under the brokenness.
That’s the day I realized that it’s okay to be broken. Because when we acknowledge our brokenness, we can then begin to rebuild.
I’ve read articles about women who are mending and I agree wholeheartedly that I’m one of them. But the underlying message is that it’s not okay to be broken. However, after surviving childhood abuse and the loss of my family unit through divorce (both my childhood family and my own family), the truth is I am broken.
I have been wounded in unspeakable ways and while those fissures in my heart will mend, the scars remain.
I am broken.
We are all broken; but the difference is that some of us don’t recognize our own brokenness, let alone acknowledge and work on the issues that have brought us to our knees.
My divorce, failed romances, and ended friendships brought me to my knees. I fell and I fell hard. Initially, I was ashamed of my failures—but I finally saw and admitted my brokenness.
In falling down, we embrace the weakest parts of ourselves. We claim them as our own and we should wear them proudly. When we do this, we can finally find balance in our lives. Instead of just showing our anger, we can show our pain too. Instead of just showing the hard exterior, we can bravely show our soft interior as well. I can show my strength as a strong, independent woman, but I can also allow myself to yield to my lover.
When we acknowledge our brokenness, all pretences are gone and we can truly be our vulnerable selves. Only when we are vulnerable, are we able to love fully.
Broken doesn’t mean unhealthy. For those who have not been able to acknowledge and mend their broken parts, it will be very difficult to have a healthy relationship with others. If you can’t have a healthy relationship with yourself, you won’t be able to have a healthy relationship with another person.
After my divorce, I began to mend my battered heart. I embraced myself and all of my flaws instead of allowing past hurts to keep me from opening my heart again. It’s a risk and only those who are broken understand how badly the heart can hurt when love dies. This is why people who acknowledge and see their brokenness are not careless with another.
After my last relationship, I took the time I needed to grieve my lover, heal, and move on. Even though I’m broken, I continue to allow myself to look another in the eye and willingly handed over my battered heart, with the hope that they are gentle.
Embrace your brokenness and then mend your bruised and battered heart. Allow yourself to become whole again and then you can become vulnerable and find the love you seek.
Author: Amy Weitzel
Images: Flickr/John Castillo
Editor: Erin Lawson