I’ve felt broken for a while now, so I constantly remind myself I am not broken. However, I can certainly say I’m a little chipped, bent, torn, ragged – but I’m not broken. I still find the strength to wake up every morning, go to work, socialize, etc. I’m still moving, breathing, trying. Maybe it’s the latter of those actions that reminds me I’m not broken.
I believe you truly break when you lose the effort to try – even in the least bit. Right now I’m still trying to learn, to love, to understand, and to forgive. More specifically, I’m trying to learn about, to love, to understand, and to forgive myself. “Be kind to yourself,” I repeat in my head every morning, because if I am not, the day will surely outlast my energy.
Moreover, to love yourself is – in my opinion – the greatest human, emotional challenge. How often have we fallen out of love with someone or something because of revealed flaws – a chip in the paint or the shedding of skin? Every day we look in the mirror, we listen to ourselves (and others), and have to acknowledge our flaws – our faults and shortcomings. It’s hard to love yourself when you see every bandaged insecurity and stitched-up mistake. But the more you try the less broken you feel.
The more effort you make to accept yourself, the less you’ll care about how much others show their acceptance of you.
Self-judgment is the heaviest burden. Think about all the things you do to “make yourself feel better.” It’s a one-sided battle without a shield. You feel the jab of every judgment or disappointment. The only way I’ve been able to tame this internal quarrels is with a fortress of friends and loved ones, the people who have the ability to externally remind you of your worth.
But wait, there’s another obstacle.
You have to believe them. You have to trust their opinions and insights are genuine, that their care and interest are sincere. You might have control over when you feel lonely, but you can control when you are alone.
Recently I finally realized that if I already feel lonely, being alone is just going to exacerbate my stress. Solution? Be honest with your friends, and invite them into your life in that moment. If you lack the energy or imagination to make plans, be honest and ask them for options. Why? Even if you do breakdown in tears from the weight of your stress, at least you’ll have someone there to remind you of the positives when you can’t get past the flaws.
So when life feels heavy, you feel broken, and the negativity grows like a weed, remember to just try. Not “try” as in “try to feel better,” but try to trust in the genuine support of those who reach out to catch you when they see you falter. Simply try to trust yourself. It’s not an easy undertaking, but it’s certainly a valiant one.