To Break is Not to be Broken
When we break, we are not broken. We are given an opportunity to re-build
Damn. Damnit. God damnit!
With hands buried in my pockets and tears streaming down my face, I feel like the blind leading the blind. Two spirits torn between what was and what will be. Both of these are me. Directionally challenged in this moment of upset, I carry myself to the closest rest stop where the blizzard subsides and the whiskey mellows out. How could I not see this coming from many miles away?
I move through this wrecked night just to get home to something familiar. Something, anything that feels honest. Because right now I am convinced that dishonesty and lies are all that I am made of. Not mine though, no, they are someone else’s. Someone who can’t even recognize themselves in the mirror because their identity has become entirely wrapped in ego. I know because I have been there. And from where I am sitting now, it isn’t pretty. But I can’t tell them that anymore.
Through foggy windows and salt-soaked ducts, all I can see right now is what was lost.
When you love something, it becomes a part of you, an extension of how you think and breathe and act. And when you lose something it feels like a break to the spirit and the self. A disconnection to something that you gave life to. A person, a habit, an object, a passion.
These loves of ours become all of us if we let them. And for me, I began to let that love define me when it was never mine to hold so tightly.
I think love and loss are synonymous. Because loving something fiercely and without judgement can lead you down a snowy road in the middle of the night with no direction forward and a headache that turns your vision white. In that moment when the truth revealed itself, a brewing string of lies percolated in my eager cup I held out with hands that just wanted to hold. I lost the very thing I thought I loved.
Through a month long journey of showing up where I thought I was needed, I had misplaced my compass, lost my instincts, and signed off on my own mistreatment. After all, we accept the love we think we deserve.
And I accepted a friendship and a partnership that was not serving me. We have all done it. Looked into the mirror or the face of a lover and forgotten about our own worth, perhaps forgetting that we really do know what we need most.
“We accept the love we think we deserve”—Stephen Chbosky
But no matter what, I believe we can always come back to knowing what we need and what we deserve. So, here I find myself sitting in a cloud of palo santo smoke with the wind whipping through the dry cherry tree outside beating against my window, and below an icy landscape that reminds me to take my time in here, to not rush this process of venting so as to slip again on the slick soil that pulled me to its sheen once before. So I wait. I sit with my stomache in knots and move through untanglement to disect the feelings inside that are guiding me further. To something worth while.
“It had told him to dig where his tears fell”—Paulo Coelho
Breaking can be the most painful part of this process of rebuilding. We look into our swollen cracks and canyons that can often look back at us with empty eyes. We may realize there was not as much depth to our belief in that thing we cared for, not as much as we could have sworn. My recent disappointment looked eerily like a cracked vessel that was filled with hot air, lacking a substance that I believed so firmly would always be there, to keep me full. It turned out there were so many splits in the clay to begin with that it would never hold as much as I would hope for. That realization turned dire on the wintery road last night. I made it home in scattered pieces, a far cry from whole.
Accepting a shift in your life, especially one that was not expected can hold us in a place of inferiority. What we thought was ours and what determined our identities comes to a screeching halt and we can feel less than; a defeated version of ourselves. This can happen when you lose trust in a long friendship or get laid off from a job you spent years at. It is a sudden shake to our foundation. But these breaks, I believe, can transform us into fuller and more forgiving beings down the road.
The ruptures may come externally but can manifest into emotional trauma, and this is where we have a choice to break apart or to rebuild. For me, these moments of great energetic shifts are an invitation to reevaluate everything you think you had a firm hold on. And it is fucking hard. It is a practice of raw acceptance that there is so much we don’t yet know and people that we don’t fully understand and acts of injustice that we cannot control.
A setback is just a setup for a comeback
Through this acceptance of the cause of the break we begin to understand that we are not the suffering of our friends and family, we are not the projections from them displayed on our skin or their self-pity that masks themselves behind judgment. We can’t be their change or their solution. We have to take deep ownership of our own demons, our insecurities and our depression that has a resolution molded only by the beholders hands. It is up to us to choose self-empowerment over self-sabotage, no matter how much we want to repair the fault-lines in our family.
I hope they do the same for me. I hope no one takes on my savage energy when I am most angry and aggressive, I hope they walk away when they see me projecting a pain I have yet to deal with. Because enabling someone else's tragedy is what brought me here to this break in the first place.
So, I take my pen and paper, and throw myself into a dialogue to unravel what has been done. I step back through the moments when there were warning signs and I slate those on my past as markers for future events where I can have the wherewithal to step back when I am not needed and retain some self preservation.
For my journey alone requires too much for me to give all my love away.
Let if flow
My go-to practice to rebuild the body and the spirit is an intuitive body awareness flow. This work on the mat should come organically to your physical self wherever you are at with your health, strength, and flexibility—no need to push yourself here—simply allow your body to move in honest ways through stretches and fluid movements. The purpose is to make room for something new by inviting in fresh energy and forging a tighter bond between you and your body. A balance that can often fall out of sync when you go through trauma, loss, or emotional stress. This is the time to rebuild your being into a space where personal honesty flourishes and mental strength persists.
I stepped into this flow with a lot of frustration and disappointment from recent events. But within moments of being on the mat, bending into my hips, lifting my limbs high, and twisting from wrists to toes, I realized it was somebody else’s pain that was holding me back. It was within a moment of surrendering to the sadness that I learned where this discomfort truly came from, and perhaps it was never mine to claim.
Re-building starts small and with the simple intention to shift higher into yourself.