Friday, October 08, 2010

Broken Bits

Anyone who has been on the planet for more than a few years, and done any amount of living, has accumulated some of what I call the "broken bits." You've got a few ex-lovers, a few former careers and a few moments you're not too proud of.

I have more than a few of those moments. Harder than owning up to them, is accepting that I could have done better if I had only chosen differently. But, I didn't. A different decision seems so obvious in retrospect, but it's too late then. There are no do-overs. No mulligans. So, I just have to gather up the broken bits and put myself back together again, all the while hoping it's just myself I've broken and no one else.

But, how often is that really the case? There's always collateral damage to those in our worlds. People we love, that we'd never want to hurt, seem to get the worst of it because they're nearby. And the ones who truly love us barely flinch. Instead they gather 'round to help us find all the broken bits, right there in the fall-out zone.

It would be so easy for me to rewrite history. I'm a creative sort. I could craft something far more flattering than reality. But, it wouldn't accomplish much. It's easy to lie to other people, but it's much harder to make yourself believe it. The truth is always there, staring you in the face. You can't put the broken bits back together when they don't fit, and they never fit without the framework of truth.

So, while we might entertain some fanciful thoughts of how things should have gone, we have to accept how they really went. Then we can dull the sharp edges so the broken bits aren't quite so dangerous, arrange them in a colorful pattern and eventually cement them all together again into a new design.

That's what we call growth. The new person we are - that new design - can be beautiful, but it never masks the process. And that's not always pretty.


Judith Robl said...

Shards of the past can be painful, but everyone who has done a mosaic knows that the pattern cannot be completed without some breakage to the larger pieces.

And if we work skillfully, the resulting mosaic is as beautiful as any rose window in the most beautiful cathedral. We just need to give God our broken bits and let Him do the repairs. His design is so much more beautiful than our own.

Patsy Terrell said...

Life is a journey of such things, it seems.