The Beauty in Our Brokenness

“… a sense of wholeness arrives when we finally locate the beauty in our brokenness, and live in solidarity with it.”

This excerpt comes from a piece I wrote quite a few years ago but stumbled upon recently. A lot has changed in my life since I first wrote this, but what hasn’t changed is the fact that we live in a society that still seems to view emotional/mental well-being as an exercise in hygiene – i.e. an undertaking not too dissimilar from that of washing the dishes. That is, we have been led to believe the issue is one of needing to be cleansed. Whereas I have come to know the matter personally as one arising more from a need for greater depth of understanding, patient self-care, incremental restoration and, eventually, a greater sense of wholeness.

There’s so much we fail to ‘get’ about ourselves, so much we fail to appreciate both in terms of the complexity of living out the microcosmic details of everyday life, and also our place in the larger scheme of things. It’s all too easy to get mired down in habitual patterns of thinking that pass for ‘reality’ and ‘the way things are’ while simultaneously missing out on our actual experience of what we are acutally immersed in moment to moment. Our view of the world and of ourselves then both shrinks and becomes wildly distorted.

The only way I know of reliably counter-acting this is a contemplative practice of some sort be it meditation, knitting, yoga, swimming, keeping a journal or what have you. We simply require a space in which to slow down the whirring of our minds and beating of our hearts, a place where it is safe to be with ourselves as we are, to listen, to feel and exist compassionately with whatever bubbles up in the way of experience and insight.

Easier said than done, as with most things worth embarking upon, but very doable. And the rewards are enormous – the return of our sanity and the blossoming of a joy native to us though perhaps long forgotten, just to name a couple.

Both the answers and questions that arise in this space are the veins of gold you’re after, the material with which restoration incrementally takes place in the creation of a full-bodied and beautiful life.

This for me is what it means to locate the beauty in my brokenness and live in solidarity with it.

A central part of what it likewise means to live the poetry of being human.