On Being Broken


"He didn't just hurt you, he broke you." 

A person said this to someone I care deeply about late last year. We were all sitting at a kitchen table on a dreary day last fall. I stayed silent for two hours; not speaking, only listening to the words that were being said around me. I thought a lot about those 8 words, and even since then, I've thought about it a lot; how it was said, the reason why it was said, the horrible situation that it was about, and how offended I was indirectly. 

It bothered me. It bothered me a lot. It still does. 

This person I love, adore, respect, admire and so much more can't be broken! Because broken means unfixable; destined to never work properly again. What you've been through has broken you and that's that and there is nothing you can do to fix it. This person I thought the moon of and more couldn't be that. It's impossible, it's unfathomable. I refused to believe it. So I started to really think about the word broken, and since that cold fall day when those 8 words were said, my perspective on being broken has changed drastically. 

Our very own loved ones are breakable. We like to think that our loved ones are superheroes that are untouchable; we hold the people we love in such high regard, we forget that they are human.. and humans break and bend. Humans go through so much in their short lifetime, I feel like it's inevitable that we may all become truly broken at a point in our lives. 

I'm trying to remember that being broken doesn't mean we are done. I don't think that means the end. Being broken doesn't mean we aren't fixable. It doesn't mean we don't get to get up and dust ourselves off. We may have an expiry date that will come when it's time, but I do not believe that we cannot survive. There are trying times, there are times we can't stop thinking about a horrible situation and it eats up every good thought in our mind and replaces it with some not-so-good ones. There may be a discovery where you realize that there may actually be a place that is further than rock bottom.. but even with all of that, you're still trying to find the way out. 

Some chips and scratches and dents and flaws in our hard armour are proof of how strong and resilient we are. Maybe once you are truly broken, you aren't anymore.. because you know you have fought and survived and won, even if it did take a few tears and a lot of stress and pain to get you there. 

When I look at this person who was slapped with the label broken I do not see a human that is hindered or suffocating from the weight of the pressure. I see a human that is trying their hardest to get the life that they deserve. I see a human that is fighting for the well-being of their loved ones. I see a human so strong, their brokenness reminds me that I can fight and get broken and beat up, but still come out the other side and win. I do not see someone that is broken; I see a human that I cherish even more because of the way they wear their armour with pride, taking on each day as it comes.
- Naomi Shihab Nye 

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