Day 353 - The Brokenness of Souls Touching...
I have been spending a lot of time lately dealing with my own dysfunction. This is not a new thing...seems like I have spent decades here. Sometimes making little progress...however, this concept of being broken seems to have landed squarely in my lap so I would like to address it.
Brokenness implies a need for fixing. That something has happened that has created an issue that now renders us in need of repair.
Life does break us down. It is part and parcel to all living things to become injured, broken, in dis-repair. This is what happens in life. Things happen to us. People hurt us, we hurt others. We have needs that are not met. Abuse happens. The one thing that remains crystal clear to me is this:
Hurt people, hurt people.
And this is an endless cycle. If you pay a visit to any prison, you will see a bunch of our society’s most traumatized persons. I am not saying that their trauma justified whatever horrible act they committed landing them behind bars, just that if you heard their stories of what they experienced (largely as young children) you would completely understand why they are sitting where they are. In fact, you would wonder how they didn’t get there sooner.
Trauma happens to all of us. Some of us are better equipped to deal with it. Some of us are immersed in supportive loving environments that can help heal the trauma when it happens. Some of us are enmeshed in a family system or environment that does not have a functional way to process the trauma. So it is ignored or denied. There isn’t a functional way for the trauma to be expressed so it goes underground. Causing untold amounts of related trauma - like shrapnel under the skin, the body keeps the score.
The resulting adult walks around with this unexpressed chasm of grief, and loss and sorrow and pain...just festering, and infecting everything they touch. The person comes to believe that they are bad or wrong or damaged or sick. And they begin shutting down avenues for healing because they usually believe a story that somehow blames them for being traumatized the first place.
And the cycle perpetuates because the amount of courage required to face down a trauma reaction is immense. Huge. Terrifying. So we become inured to the pain of living with it and it becomes normal. Peaceable even. The thought of really digging at the trauma and uprooting it seems like such an undertaking that it seems like it is easier and better to just live with the pain. Accept the hardship of the life lasting grief as your path. Your existence. And so we do.
But every once in awhile someone crosses your path that is brave enough to stand beside you while you heal. To walk next to you while you do the work. Sometimes, someone comes along and is willing to look at your pain, grief and loss and just hugs you tight and you know that the secret is revealed. The loss addressed. And in a moment, you begin to heal. They didn’t have to do a lot - they just showed up and really looked at what happened to you and they bore witness to the truth. And they held you while you began to unpack and deal with what got you all locked up in the first place.
To be clear, it isn’t theirs to heal. The healing is yours. Always. Forever. But I believe (because it happened for me and to me) that another person who was willing to bear witness to my grief, shame and loss and pull me tightly to their chest, gave me something that I needed to heal. I could have never gotten there alone. I needed this other person’s grace to move on and forward on my journey. Had they not shown up like they did, I would not have been able to get around the barrier that stood in my path. I needed support in a particular way and was lucky enough to receive it. And it made all the difference in the world.
So I am going to throw this out there...what if instead of putting it on everyone else that they are broken and in need of repair...that we all are healing and perhaps we might have something that we can give to others along the path that they can use on their journey towards themselves that might alter the course for them. Perhaps we could look at the whole of human relationships as a vehicle to heal. That we are brought together because we need to give and receive with others in order to become our higher, most evolved selves.
What if we were willing to give it to others for fun and for free?
What if we loved ourselves enough to show up in our flawed and fractured form enough to allow others to do the same?
What if we loved through the lens of being injured and healed at the same time?
What if we found a way to be grateful for the pain because it was the link to sharing a life with other people? Truly touching them and allowing them to touch us back.
What if it was the tears and choking sobs of life that really and truly made it worth living?
What if we spent the whole of our lives trying to prevent the very thing that was our salvation?
I don’t think it matters what we call it. Being broken, damaged, injured, traumatized. We are all bent and burnt and twisted in some pretty fantastic ways. But if we are lucky enough we will meet another spirit upon our path that will see the mangled mess of our souls and will love us anyway, giving us full permission to show up in our most flawed form and allow that to just be ok. To me, this is the greatest gift I have ever been given. To have someone else show up and hear the story, see the pain and wrap their arms around me in care and concern for the person that the horrible thing happened to. That while nothing the other person can do will ever right the wrong, there is some crazy alchemy that happens when one soul shows up for another with nothing but a desire to love, and comfort and allow.
It is not easy to bear witness to the heartbreak of another. But it is a worthwhile venture just the same. One where you will meet yourself again and again and again. And if you are really lucky, you will see grace in another’s eyes and in so doing, heal in a way that was not possible before...and perhaps if you are really lucky, you will be able to give back in a similar manner.
Living life takes a lot of willingness to be broken...open. Things happen and we get all caught up in locking away the pain but it leaks out all over our lives, fucking it up and making it way messier then it needs to be. Love of self and love for others is the way to unlock all the tiny places where we were harmed along the way and let in a little sunlight and air to that festering wound of our soul. It may not be the prettiest process, but it is, in fact, the most amazing result of facing your pain and moving forward anyway. Not in spite of the pain or because of the pain but because it is ours and we get to decide its rightful place: in our past or present. And my most humble and sincere wish is that all of us get the chance to walk that path unalone. Touching each other with loving embraces that heal.