Recently when life threw a curve ball at me I felt broken, I even went so far as to say I was broken. Might not sound like a big deal to you, after all it's only a word, but it was a BIG call for me.
Most people who know me will tell you, I am very thoughtful with the words I speak, and say—I know how powerful words can be, and how what you tell yourself can either help, or hinder you. When I felt so shattered recently, I didn't know where my pieces were, let alone how to put them all back together, and my self talk went to the shithouse, and of course (as we do), I felt even worse.
Turns out, I wasn't beaten, wasn't broken and wasn't shattered, and the pieces I found, and picked up, were all I needed. I felt beyond broken at the time, yes, bloody hell did I! But what I've learned is no one is ever broken, even though we may feel it sometimes—we're not. None of us are.
Our pieces aren't all meant to be put back together— the universe shakes us up so we can get rid of our dead wood, so the pieces we don't need fall out of our energy like dead leaves fall from a tree. Some float out along a universal breeze never to return, some die and disintegrate back into all that is. And as hard as it is for us, and as much as we don't understand it at the time, it's all meant to be.
We're meant to lose these pieces because we've out grown our self in our current state. We need to free up space to create room and opportunity to re-create, re-design, grow and evolve into a new version of ourself, a BETTER version! Hooooolllyyyy look out!!!!!
On some level, we know and get that, but consciously it provides us with little comfort as we experience the biggest tests of our character, learning the greatest life lessons, and experiencing more of what we're made of to come through to the other side with acceptance, and the new knowledge.
We need to be challenged, we need friction to force ourselves outside of our comfort zones to progress, move forward, learn more about ourselves and others, evolve and grow.
Solo you will face challenge, as a family unit you will face challenge, our kids will face challenge (as much as we hate to hear, or even think about that).
If you have kids, showing them how to face, process and respond to challenge is one of the greatest gifts you can teach them.
Like us, they will be shook up, hurt, sad, pained and feel broken at times too. What you need to remind them of is they are not broken, not bad, not unlovable, not undeserving... they are just facing challenge that has been presented so they can learn, change, evolve, strengthen who they are, develop resilience, learn more about who they are, and also who others are too.
As a family unit, we all face challenges—always will. Life is tough, but we, and our kids need to know we are tougher! Communication is vital to keep a solid, healthy family unit that is not in a mental state of brokenness, but has a mindset of a courageous fighter, a survivor—capable of overcoming anything that life throws at us. Sometimes this challenges need to be overcome solo, sometimes together.
Throughout the challenge whatever it may be, honest emotion will give way for honest communication, and help develop emotional intelligence that can't be learned any other way than by seeing real, raw, and vulnerable emotion.
By being vulnerable ourselves it gives our kids, family and friends the opportunity to show up in challenge. I have learned to openly cry (as uncomfortable as it is) because my boys need to know what it looks like, not be awkward with it, how it feels within their own mind and bodies when faced with it, how to process feelings about it, and how to show up for those they love who are challenged. They need to learn how to be courageous when uncomfortable themselves, and it is going to be uncomfortable for them, but not knowing what to do, how to show up, how to process it, and get through it will be a far harder experience for them if they don't learn it in a loving supported environment when faced with it now.
Life isn't always a bed of roses, they need to feel comfortable when someone is being vulnerable, needs support, a hug, and empathy. My boys hate when I'm sad (or anyone actually), but instead of feeling all awkward about it, and being useless in a challenge or crisis, they are now more confident and comfortable asking questions like 'are you ok?', (which so many adults aren't even comfortable asking). It also opens up the space for others to say 'I'm just having a sad moment', or encourages conversation, truth. Conversations they need to learn how to have, and be ok about having. Healing and overcoming challenge doesn't happen without communication.
My boys have learned so much recently about challenge, and even though as a Mum I would prefer they NEVER experience any challenge, I know they will need to and the way they have handled it has been inspiring and impressive. I'm proud of them.
Processing challenge takes skill that none of us are naturally born with. We need to develop it. Like a muscle, we have to develop the mental muscle to be brave enough to allow ourselves to feel the pain and breathe into it, process the challenge, then pick ourselves up, change our self talk, and make a choice to not keep saying, or thinking, we are broken from a challenge. Instead change our perspective to one that is more about the opportunity than the challenge. Focus more about what we'll learn than what we have lost or are hurting from.
Saying we are broken is a choice that we don't want to keep saying to ourselves, or keep in the energy of, because it renders us incapable of seeing our true, powerful, potential. Saying, or thinking we're broken keeps us small and in a state of limbo, preventing us from growing, healing, learning and being creative. We don't want that—nothing is achieved there otherwise we'll just stay in a victim space which is a powerless, useless, bloody horrible place 😬
We are not broken, our families (whatever they look like) are not broken, our kids are not broken, NO one is broken. We are changing, evolving, and growing in the face of challenge.
The longer and the more we baulk at challenge, the longer it it takes to grasp the understanding of the lesson within it, the more we hurt, the more we pain, the more we want to go to ground and curl up and never wake up. But learn we must. Accept the reason we must change even though we may not see the 'why' for a while. Sometimes you just got to have blind faith.
And in the moments you feel broken, remember you're not, you're growing and the quicker you embrace and welcome that learning, the less painful it will be.
Breathe through the resistance, embrace the challenge, seize the opportunity.
Keep your hearts open, your arms full and ready with hugs, spend quality time continually getting to know each other, listen to each other and be thankful for the special people in your life. Reach out to people for support and help. Allow and receive help!
And remember you are tough! So much tougher than you give yourself credit for.
Breathe easy in between the challenges and stand strong with a resilient, powerful mindset together when change, or challenge occur.
You got this.