I am broken.
Not in a way that begs to be fixed. No, I’m shattered. I’m sitting on the floor, surrounded by the shards of my heart; spread about me is a mosaic of my distress. There’s a tragic beauty in the mess. I look at it with a watery smile, trying to forget that, dear God, I have to put it back together. I have to put myself back together.
I fool myself into thinking I’m stronger than the world. But I’m not. Otherwise, how am I constantly being knocked down? Every time I try to get up and began anew, I’m hit again. I feel as if I’m living life on my knees, tears in my eyes, and holes in my soul. I don’t feel strong. I don’t feel whole. I feel as if I’ve been torn to pieces, each day taking away another piece of my dream. Waking up only means I’m one day farther away from what I want; never one day closer.
I feel as if I’m caught in a rip tide pulling me out to sea. I see the shore and the things my heart craves, but I’m going in the opposite direction. And no matter how hard I fight, no matter how much I will myself to the shore, I only drift farther. But never completely out of sight. It’s more than cruel, because I can still see my dream, but I can’t touch it or have it. It taunts me.
I’m left empty.
Empty of feeling. Empty of happiness or joy. Empty of passion. Empty of ambition. Just empty. And defeated.
Life has won, it seems. If it’s a contest or a game, I’m always one step behind or sitting out my turn. I’m not allowed to play, to make my move. Or perhaps I’m just making the wrong move, over and over like some farce that never ends, because I won’t let it. Because even though I’m stuck, I don’t know how to get out. I don’t know how to undo it. I don’t know how to ask for help. I don’t know how to put it all back together.
I just don’t know. Maybe I don’t know anything at all.
Are we meant to understand our lives as we live them? Or does that knowledge only come as we look backward, seeing where we’ve been and being able to make sense of what is unchangeable?
Maybe life is always messy in the midst of it. A wretched, draining, beautiful mess. A mess that doesn’t always resolve; at least not like we’d want it to. Maybe life is hard, because it matters. Because it makes us feel. It makes us see and begs us to be changed. To grow. To become strong though we feel weak. To live a better story. Because every mark on our skin, every broken piece of our heart, every tear-filled night is a story we can share. A story that will speak love and light into the darkness of someone else’s life. A story that is lovely and worth sharing. A story that deserves to be told.
Because everyday we wake up is a day we’ve survived. We’ve made it through. And that is something wonderful. Because tomorrow will help us make sense of yesterday. Tomorrow will help us put the pieces together.
And we don’t have to do it all at once. Every struggle, every distress, every broken piece can’t be put back together in one day. Life can’t be lived that way. We’d miss out on the beauty, the small moments, the little things that make us smile. Not every day has to end as a momentous victory.
Maybe today just means we picked up one of the broken pieces and tried to put back where it belonged. Maybe today is nothing more than a day where we asked the right question, met the right person, and wrote the right words. Maybe today just paves the way for tomorrow, or even the day after that, and each of those days will bring us closer to our dreams.
Maybe today makes us stronger so we can keep on going.
And tomorrow I am still broken, but I am not beaten. I am not defeated. I am still fighting.
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