Inanimate objects break all the time. Some we wouldn’t even consider trying to fix.
Take these pictures, for instance:
In looking closely at each one, I think we’d all agree that there would be no use in trying to mend, bind, glue, or otherwise repair any of them.
However, this is not so with humans.
As Ernest Hemingway said:
“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are stronger at the broken places.”
How is this so? How is it, that in our human-ness, we can withstand being broken? Broken hearts, broken spirits, just plain broken... yet we mend. And often times, we mend stronger in precisely the place we were broken.
By the mere nature of being human, we are resilient. We adapt. We rebuild. And those of us who are fortunate, as we gather our broken bits, we learn all the while — making us stronger in those exact areas.
Here’s a true story, one I think many can relate to. In high school, I was crazy about this guy. Long story short, he broke my heart, or so I thought. After a few weeks (or was it months?) of being sad and feeling broken, a blessing occurred; I call it ‘flipping the light-switch.’
Nothing prompted the light-switch. I mean, I wasn’t trying to solve any problem or figure anything out, it just flipped. And that day, as it flipped, I knew that he hadn’t really broken my heart, he hadn’t done anything to me at all.
I had been misdirecting my energy. It was as simple as that.
The light-switch, as I’ve come to know it, is Truth. The truth was he had been in my life for a reason, the relationship ended, and I learned from it. I learned to recognize and own my part (mend). I learned that going forward I would allow certain behaviors and not allow others (mend, mend). And I’m happy to say that since learning these lessons, little to no mending has been necessary after subsequent break-ups.
I was indeed stronger in the place I had been broken.
Whether it’s a broken heart, a broken spirit, or broken trust, remember these words, “…and afterward, some are stronger at the broken places.”
Are you the Some Hemingway was referring to? If not, what would it take to cause a shift so you too can be stronger at the broken places? Because the breaks will happen.
As for being stronger at the broken places, breathe into it. Your light-switch will flip when you’re ready to receive the blessing.
In the meantime, Trust.