What do you think of when someone tells you that something is broken? For me, I see small fragments scattered across the ground. Just a collection of separated shards, which I can never imagine as being able to go back to what they once were. Now they are broken, they are unusable and no longer fit for purpose. They are broken. They are unfixable.
But what happens if we look past the cracked piece of pottery, the wobbly garden gate or leaking roof of the garden shed, but instead to an individual? A person who has become broken. Do we view them in the same way? Can we help them?
I think that feeling of being broken is a feeling of helplessness. You feel lost, desperate to try and get to how things used to be, but yet you don’t know where it all went wrong. You don’t even know where to begin, and you don’t even know if you are strong enough, or brave enough, to try…
So what can we do? How can we help?
Well, how do we solve the cracked pottery vase, the wobbly garden gate or leaking roof of the garden shed? We slowly gather materials, and we work on it. It may take time, it might not go to plan, but we make our main goal to get that object, now deemed as broken, back to how it once was. With this effort, we may not actually get it back to what it was, but rather improve it.
Because when we look at this, once broken, cracked piece of pottery, we begin to see a lot more. We see a vase, a beautiful vase, sat proudly in the centre of the room and filled with bright, fresh flowers. However, if begin look a little closer, tiny, hairline cracks, can be seen. Cracks, which edges have been smoothed down and carefully placed back together. We see the endless hours spent rearranging these broken fragments, slowly piecing it all back together, one piece at a time. We see the time when the glue didn’t set properly and so it crumbled once more. Where frustration was felt, but they persevered. They went back and they tried again. They kept going because they desperately wanted this vase back to how it once was.
And now when we look at it, we see all of this. We see the proudness of the individual who worked so hard, as this once broken vase has now become the highlight of the room. And we smile together, because it was once being broken, but a commitment was made to fix it.
I suppose the same could be said for a person. They know themselves how hard they have had to try to get themselves ‘unbroken’. The days, months, or years where they feel they haven’t achieved enough, tried hard enough or faced setbacks that have made them feel as though they have tumbled right back to square one. But even in this frustration, they’ve got back up and fought once more. It has taken time, effort and it certainly hasn’t been easy. That’s why I think that it is important they should feel proud that they were once broken. It gave them a chance to prove to themselves that although they thought of themselves as broken, it actually showed how strong they truly were…
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