Break: verb. Separate or cause to separate into pieces as a result of a blow, shock, or strain
“There is nothing broken here.” –Titilope Sonuga, poem, “Becoming”
I keep hearing this problematic message that all human beings are broken.
And I don’t believe it.
Perfect? No. (And yet, we also somehow are.) Weak? Yeah, bummer. (And also very strong.) Vulnerable? For sure. Confused? Mostly. Overwhelmed? So often.
Not broken, though.
When you walk on the grass, do you look at the birds, saying they’re broken? Do you think the tulips and the roses are, too?
Is the sky, made of scattered clouds, broken?
Is a sunset a broken, damaged thing?
When I look at my children, whose eyes are big and wide, who have a range of emotions that flow through them, who want this, or that, or the other thing, before forgetting that they wanted anything at all; who yell at their siblings, who refuse to eat their dinner; who color a picture and sleep deeply, I have never once thought, This kid is broken.
And God doesn’t look at us as broken, either. God, like a mother, looks at us as beautifully whole, made with divine light, many of our resources and potential simply unrevealed. So much in us is just waiting to surface.
You are not broken, honey, but it’s likely you have, or have had, a range of wounds. Wounds don’t have to stay scabs on your body. They can heal, but they need nurturing. They may require you to sometimes rest. And even though a wound may feel like it has ripped you apart and made you useless, you still have power. You can still overcome. You are still capable of the most important thing in this world, which is love.
Most of us are looking externally for wholeness, I think, because we’ve been convinced that we’re only half. We don’t believe we were made well. Our faith is lacking. What is true is that we can’t live in this world alone, nor should we. We do need other people. But that doesn’t mean that other people are meant to fill us up and make us new. We have that capacity within us, already. What we need from other people is to teach each other, to love each other, to help each other grow.
And when it comes to romantic relationships, I don’t think it works very well if two broken people cling to the other with the hope that the other person is going to heal all their wounds, all their past, all their worries, set the world right again. That’s just setting a relationship up for disappointment. So do your inner work. Discover more of what’s inside you, know yourself, so that you know what you can offer and what you can’t.
Two whole things can still make something new.
Becoming whole is not about acquiring something or someone to fix what you perceive as your inherent brokenness. Wholeness is simply the realization, through time and effort, that everything you need is right here.
Isn’t that grand?
Isn’t that true?