The “B” word is a word that we often do not want or know how to embrace. We feel it often in our lives. It is associated with our trauma. Shows up in our families, we raise our children out of it and it drives the narratives of our lives. It is something that has been attached to our worth constantly causing us to strive for perfection. We live it out silently as we find ourselves in constant movement and still feeling empty. This “b” word is brokenness.
In a series of conversations, I discovered that women of all ages share some of the same experiences with brokenness. Women shared that in their brokenness, they tend to try and detach from it. Brokenness caused them to believe the lie, the line and the labels. Brokenness became values and movement based in such a way that our sisters did not realize their pain was shaping their lives and driving them into unhealthy ways of coping such as drinking, being hyper-sexual and seeing themselves in diminished ways.
Other sisters have said that they found their brokenness driving them to indulge in education, performance based living, being tired and overwhelmed with people pleasing and the inability to say “no” to protect themselves from going deeper into the performance abyss. I know for me that “b” word was driving my life into shambles. I was living in a way that traumatized my trauma and I felt like I had no way out. For the better part of my life, I walked around like a zombie. Walking with myself but numb to myself.
Then it happened that I was asked to do self-interest training. As I sat in my room, thinking about what I was going to say and asking myself what was my self-interest, my trauma and brokenness rose up like a Tsunami. Suddenly everything that I knew was being overpowered by the uprising of my emotions as I pondered the question regarding my own self-interest. Suddenly the tears came down my face stinging my eyes and blinding me. Deep pains shooting through my gut as I realized I did not know my self-interest. As I sat and cried, stomach hurting, nausea seeping in it hit me like a ton of bricks – – not only did not I not know my self-interest I was raising my children out of my pain, my story and it was not fair, it was not in their self-interest or best interest. In that moment, I realized and recognized that I needed to apologize to my children and myself because I was not giving my best self to them, to others or myself.
While I did not discover my self-interest in that moment, it was in that moment that I had an opportunity to share my story with others. Let me tell you the room was filled with tears as people mediated on my moment and their own experiences. The “b” word had taken us to a place of community, but it also helped us to realize that there is beauty in our brokenness and we were demonstrating as we supported one another, held one another and affirmed and just listened. That was the beginning of a painfully beautiful journey. Do you find yourself in that place of brokenness feeling like it is wearing you out, numbing your or just plain taking over your life. You can’t name the pain, it is just there.