January 30, 2013

Brokenness a Strength?

This past year has been full of feeling things deeply. Sobs emerge out of the calm, and laughter erupts in broken moments. I can't figure out if I'm waking from emotional sleep or just having more of an awareness in life, but I'm grateful. I'm immersed and I feel it. It's powerful and terrifying.
I sat beside a mom at a basketball game on Saturday who was holding her two-year-old son with his thumb in his mouth nuzzled close to her. He didn't say a word the entire game, just cuddled and stared with big eyes. I sat there almost grieving; not because my kids are older now, but because I didn't do things the way I dreamed I would. I'm not the perfect mom I imagined. I seem to live by the If/Then complex ~ thinking if I had done {fill in the blank} then I would've been {insert great word here}.
Deciding between a perfect person or someone that has faults and admits them; I have to go with the latter. At least that's what I say cognitively. But the way I live is quite different. I let the guilt of not being perfect cling to me like static clothes. It's hard to let go of those perfect shadows.
I'm broken. And as hard as I try, I can't fix it. I will never be perfect. But I can be patched. I can live a life of chipped thoughts and cracked moments. I can feel them deeply and love them as they are. I can remember that brokenness is like a pile of mismatched fabric pieces that when arranged properly, can become a beautiful patchwork quilt.
Maybe our lives are meant to be like that, a melding of broken pieces into one beautiful life ~ like stained glass or a mosaic. We so avoid those splinters of life that we forget the art it's creating up ahead. I'm beginning to see brokenness not as a deficit, but as a strength. It's what bleeds us together and ties us into one unified mass. Seeing it, I feel more alive, more connected to everything around me. The wounds help me love deeper, sing sweeter and hope stronger. Yes, I believe brokenness is a strength.


Photos: //an apple in the kitchen window//colorful straws//the plant I love and forget to water//Harry Potter wands {diy here}//

20 comments :

  1. What a beautiful post - so honest, sinking into your feelings - embracing it all. I think we try to avoid the shadows, we try to live in the sun light - avoiding at all costs the pain, the brokenness - but you are so right in your observation - the brokenness is actually something to almost 'cherish' because it is where we find our strength. What a profound post - thank you dear Catherine for being open and allowing us to see the broken bits.

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  2. none of us are "perfect" why should we be? our differences are what make us unique. lets embrace that!
    ps, so sorry i have not been around much. ive been pretty private lately..probably due to the fact that I am 4 months pregnant, and not feeling like telling many people. ill just wait for them to notice. ha
    anyways, im still here, and glad to see you are too. Thanks for always checking in at my place! its always so thoughtful, and appreciated.
    -m

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    1. Agreed! Our differences ARE what make us unique, and embracing them is exactly what we need to do. I'm excited to hear about your baby news! Hope you're feeling good. :)

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  3. yes I do too, broken open....Harry Potter wands, who'd have thought! I was just trying to figure out what they were. Can you wave one at me! Heather x

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  4. Oh my goodness Catherine, some of your posts lately have just been astounding.

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  5. just came across your blog and so glad i did. i truly do believe those chips and cracks we get from life do build character and make us who we are.

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    1. Yes, I couldn't agree more. I wish it wasn't so hard for us to see that sometimes. Thanks for visiting. :)

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  6. Lovely thoughts, Catherine. And I agree, I think being broken makes life richer and us stronger perhaps - even though it is painful. Xo

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    1. Ah yes, it is painful sometimes and as much as I hate it at the time; I must admit it's grown me in the end. Thanks Kristin.

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  7. I think it's lovely what you shared here Catherine. I've been feeling guilty for a long time I wasn't feeling all too well when our son was born. I was seriously sleep deprived and breastfeeding didn't work out that well. And even now I feel guilty about that. I sometimes feel like I am not that much of a great mom after all. But then I think it's life and it's completely normal to feel bad sometimes. It forms our lifes and characters. And it does makes us stronger. I guess you're absolutely right that you must embrace life, flaws and all. :)

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    1. Thank you, Inge. We can be so hard on ourselves, can't we? It's so easy to try to be a robot--attempting the impossibility of perfection. But the truth is we all have foibles and limitations. The fact that you're concerned about being a bad mom, says to me that you're a good one. *big hug*

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  8. *Deep sigh* Sometimes you just hit it out of the park! I FELT this post! :)

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  9. there was only ever one perfect man - Jesus

    He is the potter
    we are the clay

    brokenness is a strength
    praying for you xoxox

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  10. Once again you are able to find the words, open your heart and be real - so that others have the permission to do so too. thankyou for being you, and for sharing that with us.

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    1. That's one of the most beautiful things you could've said to me, Sarah. Thank you.

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