I attended a counseling conference recently themed "Transformation through Adversity." I love that. It reaches right into a little place in my heart gives it a squeeze. "God yes," my heart says. "Let's do that."
One of the speakers talked about the Japanese art of kintsugi, the art of beautiful repair. When beautiful things are broken, the cracks can't be "vanished." The breaks are there, no hiding them. Instead each of those breaks, each chip, is filled with gold resin. Smoothed down. Made whole again. Made even more beautiful.
When I walked into counseling months ago I sat down and said, "I'm here because I am broken." there was no question if I was broken, I knew it. I felt it all the way into my bones. I hid it, so well. I was a good hider. But I knew.
I knew that I woke up and wondered if I would be alive at the end of the day.
I knew that I had panic attacks driving to work.
I felt like something was sitting on my chest and stealing all my fresh air.
I felt like I was about to come apart, gravity pulling me down, down, down.
I could never be good enough.
I said, " I'm broken, and I get that. But I have to learn how to live, because right now I feel stuck together with scotch tape, like after any breath it could all come apart. And if it does, if it all comes undone, I think I'll fall down and never rise again."
A lot has happened since then. It is amazing, the journey. The people that we find, that find us. The hands that show up to hold us.
I am able to sit here today and write words that I thought I never could. I am enough.
I do not have to earn it. I can't work my way toward it. I'm not better than you for knowing it.
I am enough.
So are you.
The most amazing thing is that all of my hard times, all my sadness, all of my dark, blocked out moments, are becoming my gifts. These are my stories. These are my lifelines to throw out into the stormy sea, what I can use to float someone else just a little longer.
These let me say, "I've been there," and mean it. I know, I do, what it's like to sleep in fear, what it's like to starve myself to be worthy, to be ashamed of my voice, to want to sleep forever. To question why I deserve to even exist. I speak, not from a place of professional skill and education, although I do have that. I speak from the other end of the tunnel.
Being broken isn't the worst thing. The cracks let the light come in. The cracks are what make us beautiful.