“I found heaven in pieces, the glimmer and dust. Broken glass in reflection till we shine like the sun.”
Glimmer in the Dust by Hillsong United
All of my life I have been afraid that I was too broken to be worth anything. I realize that everyone knows that they have something wrong with them but this was more than that; this was feeling like even the word “hope” was more of a curse than a comfort because that’s how far gone I was. I have since grown to realize two separate truths. One: everything in existence is broken or breaking and also simultaneously being restored; that my friends is just how life goes. Two: brokenness isn’t actually all that bad… in fact, Leonard Cohen once said “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.”
These two little revelations have left me pondering many things in the world that we all inhabit. Often we allow ourselves to be consumed by this ever present need to put on the brave face or to appear like we have it all together, why? Many people go to great lengths to cover up truths that are difficult to reckon with, but could set them and others free; why? We build up profiles on social media platforms that give people a glimpse at our lives that is so manicured that we lose our ability to authentically connect with one another as we seek to maintain this manufactured persona that isn’t really us at all… It’s MADNESS!
I believe we have a great desire to be seen as significant and this interrupts our ability to be authentic, but what is it that truly drives us in our pursuit of significance? (I realize the irony of someone writing a blog post expecting others to read their words about the pursuit of significance, but bear with me a little longer.) Do we believe that we are significant and so we must share our viewpoint with everyone, or are we so insecure about who and what we are that we need the validation of others to be assured of our worth? For me it has been the latter. Somewhere deep inside of me, I long for someone to comment on what I post, believing that I have made an impact. The crazy thing is that sometimes my words and what I share truly can make a difference, but what nobody sees is that I have also spent hours mastering my angles and editing pictures to present the best of myself to my “audience” instead of allowing myself to be seen as I genuinely am.
But I am beginning to see the beauty in what is broken.
I am starting to leave behind my desire to hide and instead longing to share my whole self with the world around me; to be FULLY MYSELF in all situations even when it feels like it will cost me. I recently saw a shirt that said “I am a mess and yet deeply loved” and I wanted to buy it immediately because its’s true. I AM A MESS, but damn it all, I AM SO DEEPLY LOVED! Brokenness and all. I believe that my broken pieces are being worked into the stained glass window of life that will illuminate the world with grace! I don’t need to hold it all together, but am free to fall apart whenever and wherever I might need to and I know I will be alright.
Pain is real.
But when egoic pretense begins to fall away and when pride can no longer be sustained, what I have come to know as my True Self begins to emerge. True Self is the stuff that you and I were made of from the very beginning — the very nature of God given in part to each of us to share with the world that gets hidden under years of shame and fear. Life is hard though and the need to self protect is a real thing that we learn to do as kids and we all do it differently, but each of us are made of something deeply beautiful that is hidden from childhood until the breaking starts.
So if you feel like you’re falling apart, let it happen. If you feel like you’re losing it, maybe you’re actually finding something deeper and truer than what was before. If nobody has told you today, you are DEEPLY LOVED and I want you to know that I am here for you! Know that you have people that you can reach out to who long to see the stuff that you are truly made of! Don’t hesitate to invite people into the journey that you are on because you never know, your liberation might just begin a domino effect of freedom that changes your whole world.