The Broken Pieces

The Broken Pieces.

At times in our lives we have major things happen to us, we get broken apart. It feels like our lives have been shattered. One day we are quite happily going along, living the life we have been used to, maybe growing, maybe stagnant, however it is, happy or not, it’s what we are used to. Set in our ways we are comfortable and the future is clear. Even those times when this isn’t the case, life is not clear, laid out, planned, we still have a certain amount of reassurance that tomorrow will still be there, much the same – good, bad, ugly, a struggle, a breeze. And even within our own minds doubts and fears, we still plan “the worst scenario”, – what does the boss want to see me about? How much will that tooth cost? Will I make it to the airport on time?
But when something changes big time and our world crashes around our ears; a loved one dies, a husband declares it’s over, we lose everything in a fire, this is when we become broken. Something sudden. The priceless vase has slipped from our fingers and it has smashed on the floor in front of our eyes. We see it, and we continue to picture it happening over and over again, slowly, painfully. If only I had moved a little quicker, if I had done this or that, if I had …what? The broken pieces of our lives are before us, there is nothing that can be done. It is there and needs to be dealt with. Most times this broken life is too hard to face straight away. The process of disbelief, blame, anger, grief, fear, has to run its course. This is part of the healing process and we can’t stop it even if we know and understand it.
By being broken in this way does have a positive side, however hard it may seem to believe. Every fork in the road, every choice we make is a tiny “break” in our routine. Miniscule sometimes. This barely affects us, at least not in a traumatic way. We have a change in direction and we see it as a step forward or a step back, nothing more. But when the bottom drops out from beneath us and there is nothing solid to stand on, we crash, shatter, smash into a thousand pieces.
Are we dead? No. are we still breathing? Barely, through the tears, the sobbing, the pain in our heart, but yes, we are still alive. Okay, so all the pieces are still there. Let’s put them back together. It may take time, probably will, it doesn’t matter. However long it takes to get through all those things in the grieving process all the pieces are still there, still “me”.
Gradually the reason for this broken life becomes clear. It becomes apparent that all the pieces are in the wrong place. As nice as our lives were, as happy as we thought we were, as smooth as everything was going, or as rough as the seas were, perhaps, we were not as we were meant to be. There are things in our lives that need to change in order for us to grow, to learn from. A thing, a situation, a person may be the thing that is stopping us from moving onwards and upwards. To be able to recognize this early, deal with it and benefit from understanding it can be nearly impossible, or at least, implausible. To leave my husband because he doesn’t understand my dreams and laughs at my ambition is perhaps a little far-fetched. To allow him the opportunity to change, to become a help for me to achieve my dreams is far more appealing. To see my dreams crumble and disappear in an avalanche of his disdain, his anger, his domination, his total lack of respect for my soul, that’s destroying. Sometimes the only way for our lives to be made whole is to break it apart and reglue it. Life takes all the pieces that are you and reforms them into a shape that works. Imagine a jigsaw that has been randomly put together. Sure the pieces might fit but, is that the picture?!! Sometimes the pieces that were in the centre have to move out to the edge. Sometimes pieces don’t become familiar or recognizable until they match up with similar parts of the same scene or group.
To become broken and in pieces can sometimes allow things that are unnecessary now to be removed. The excesses and encumbrances that are weighing us down that are no longer useful in our lives can now go and allow us to grow, move forward, become the person that is there within and have space to blossom.
Knowing all this will never ease the pain as we go through it but it can lend some hope as we eventually dry our eyes and begin to see again. The way forward is clear.

©copyright Nick Meadows 2007

The Broken Pieces

Nick Meadows

Thornside, Australia

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