You Are More than Your Brokenness

October 28, 2020 | Filed Under Things I Think About | No Comments

“Stories like yours and worse than yours are all around, and your suffering won’t mark you out as special, though your response to it might.”
Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby

Your brokenness does not make you special. Your brokenness is something that happened to you, but it is not the only thing that determines who you are.

Sometimes, we become so attached to our broken self that we refuse (consciously or otherwise) to engage in healing work because our brokenness is so tied to our identity, we don’t know who we are without it—and can’t imagine a new, healthier self.

Healing is then a frightening prospect, because it requires us to take action, to take responsibility for our well-being, and to find new ways of being and living that move us beyond our broken condition. As long as we stay broken, we don’t have to do anything except continue in our brokenness.

Our circumstances may be awful, and we may be miserable, but it’s familiar, even if it’s not comfortable.

We keep ourselves trapped in a negative comfort zone because we can’t imagine life being any other way.

Often, we’re told to imagine our best life and best self, and make those our goal. If you’re unemployed, poor, and depressed, that goal seems impossible.

Start with one thing. One achievable thing. It could be as simple as consistently doing the dishes each day before you go to bed, so they don’t stack up in the sink. Or changing your sheets once a week so your bed is pleasant. Or even just putting on shoes and walking around the block once a day so you’re not completely cut off from the world.

You’re not going to dramatically recreate your entire life in one day, but you can do one small thing each day to make a change, and those changes will accrue into a noticeable difference. And then you’ll find it easier to start working on other, larger changes. By doing one thing at a time, and letting those things accumulate, you can create a new life and a healthier self.

Choose to heal and be more your better self, and less your broken self.

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