To the Broken People:
I read this quote the other day and it rambled through my head twisting and turning and jumping up and down. I awoke and headed for my computer to write a word or two at first, then more.
The reference to "broken people" conjures up visions of people walking around with casts on, missing parts, shattered pieces laying on the ground all around them and people gluing pieces of themselves back on. But somehow the brokenness continues to happen. We face an epidemic of brokenness!
The more I looked at the word "broken", the more it rambled on to me. Like there's something wrong with broken people. Like they are literally broken. What does it really mean to be broken? I looked up the word "broken" and found its meaning online at the Merriam-Webster dictionary. The definition included such words as: "shattered", "damaged", "altered", "fracture", "violated", "discontinuous", "interrupted", "disrupted", "made weak or infirm", "subdued", "crushed", "sorrowful", "bankrupt", "reduced", "cut off", "disconnected", "imperfect", "not complete", "disunited". As I read through the words in the definition, it's obvious those kinds of broken happen to people.
You can see the reference has multiple meanings. Mostly to me, it means figuratively broken in feelings, thoughts and emotions of your heart, will, spirit, motivation, mind, body and soul. Like someone or something has or is trying to suck the living right out of you. Like you are left with the outside shell that surrounds your inner being but your passion has vaporized into the ethers from time to time or is gone and feels like it may never return.
Stresses of Life
Broken people have always been around this land. Some people feel they are more broken than others. Some have felt one episode in life has broken them. Some people have been broken by constantly being physically, mentally or verbally broken. Helen Reddy's "Coat of Many Colors" tells how someone can be broken mentally and verbally by being made fun of. Some people have always felt broken and don't know why or how. Some people are worn down to brokenness by stresses in their lives. Stress can cause a lot of damage.
Mostly we refer to people being broken but people are not the only ones broken. Some people prefer to break an animal by beating it, sometimes to near death, until the animal agrees to do what the person wants it to do. But it is not always easier to go through than around. Others, like Monty Roberts, as he wrote in his book "Shy Boy", respects the horse's current view of the world to make a connection with the horse and is successful in joining up with the horse to show how great life can be together with compassion. Unfortunately, while it is a human characteristic to be compassionate, it is not always admired by humans. People need to connect to others and themselves in compassionate ways. Instead of asking, "What is wrong with you?" Why can't we simply appreciate others?
I heard a comment one day not too long ago: "I just want to be normal". The first step is realizing we are all broken to the point we are all normal. What is it meant by being normal? Well, all people have imperfections. We are all imperfectly perfectly normal. Just because we are not like each other or all the same, we are still imperfectly perfectly normal the way we are supposed to be.
We are meant to be different to have the skills to make this planet go round and round. Some of us are doers, some are dreamers, some are helpers. We are supposed to be special in our own ways with our own gifts. We are each unique. What skills do you have? Are you willing to give them up to be what you believe is normal? Not all people can do the things you can do. Instead do the things you love more to feel more unbroken until you wake up one day feeling unbroken, not normal, because being normal is abnormal.
Society has made us feel like we need to fit into a checkbox or our square needs to be changed to a circle. But not everyone is a square or a circle. I say take yourself and be proud of all your smooth, rough, jagged, fine edges, polish to your own liking and if you want to be a circle than let that be your own decision. Well rounded people are also broken.
Be Strong, Love Life
People that are not broken live in fear of being broken too. They don't plan on getting broken. Brokenness is not contagious. It just happens. Sometimes the brokenness creeps up and you don't realize it until you are broken........and sometimes, WHAM! It's like being a deer enjoying a midnight stroll in the forest under the moonlight and soft summer breeze and then....getting caught in the headlights. "What was that, OMG, what happened, where did that come from?" It takes them off their feet and whoops them into the air and landing is not sweet. Only the broken ones get up and still have compassion. They forgive and move on. They are the first to rush to the aid of people who get broken because they know how it feels and want to comfort others. They don't sit back and laugh at others in broken pain. They are strong and love life.
Essentially everyone is broken in some way. Especially the ones that claim they are not. Running away from the brokenness people soon learn does not make it go away. Take someone you think is unbroken. The more a person appears to be unbroken, the more in truth they could probably tell you how they have learned how to hide well being broken, how they learned from the broken parts of their life to neatly pick up their pieces, hold them together, dust them off and move on, gluing themselves back together each night as they lay each piece in bed for the night hoping they wake up in the morning unbroken.
Live in Love
The ones that work so hard at being unbroken are the ones living in more fear than the ones who admit to being broken. For they are scared they will become more broken, but, you see, they already are broken, just like the imperfectly perfect normal people but their hearts have turned hard for they scorn and shun the broken. It is fear taking over instead of compassion. They see the compassion but think it is weakness. They decide to live in fear instead of love. You see love begins inside each of us. We have a choice to love or not. They are scared if they show love they will be weak but it takes a very strong person to love over fear in this world. When you love you see the beauty that exists all around you, inside yourself, inside others, floating in the air all around you, the miracles of life, the trees and flower buds opening, the wonderment in the world of all things unexplained, the vastness of the world and you right in the middle of it, right here, right now, is you.
Broken people are the ones that are willing to help and are sometimes chronic helpers; however, the world is too busy helping themselves taking the help offered as if it was their right to take and break. But broken people continue to offer help because they are gracious and want the world to succeed. They see the big picture, not just themselves in the world. They continue to find their way to help others. They continue to live their passions for without passions, life is lifeless.......and broken.
So what if we looked at this another way? Broken people have a lot in common in that they are compassionate, kind-hearted, loving, understanding, and caring. Hold your head up high "broken people" because you are actually "compassionate people". Because that's the kind of heart broken people have. They have a "compassionate" heart full of love that gets rejected in this world for one reason or another and sometimes for no reason at all. Compassionate people feel they are broken because they feel like they are different, like other people don't feel the same way. Broken people become compassionate as a result of all the experiences they have had in life. All the thoughts and feelings and stress they have had to endure wears them down. No, it's not ok that you feel broken.
Sometimes events or people don't even realize they broke you. Sometimes people want to hold you down to break you but that is what makes you get up and surge forward in this world. As Simba said in the Lion King, "I laugh in the face of danger". Don't let them get you down. Get yourself up and keep going......in another direction. Let yourself run toward your passion and never stop. Take great leaps of passion within yourself and create great feats.
Becoming broken is part of becoming conscious of yourself and the world around you. It is feeling the love that is missing in the world. Knowing that it exists but not finding it in others. But it is inside of you. You wouldn't know it is missing in your world if you didn't notice it missing. Feel the love, love is all there is really and truly - love. I hear the Beatles song "All You Need Is Love" breaking out in my mind….."All you need is love, love, Love is all you need......"
It's when your mind knows that deep inside your body that your spirit is broken and longing to be healed, longing to feel love all around you, searching for the goodness you know exists in the world, somewhere out there. And yes, it does exist. It starts inside of you. For all the bad days in the world, make me want to love even more. It makes my spirit want to come out and be love. For all the mean people in the world, it makes me want to find the nice people. They are out there.
Looking forward, would you really want to give up being compassionate, kind-hearted, loving, understanding, and caring ? Would you rather be a robot and not feel anything? How boring that would be.....and broken.
Clear Your Mind
When you go to sleep tonight and every night, I want you to clear your mind of the negative thoughts and think of people, animals, places, events in your life that made you smile - really smile because you were happy. Can't think of one? How about music, movies, gardening, painting, crafts, sports, your favorite meal? Think of this as you fall asleep to induce happy dreams. For you can do many magical things in your dreams. Think of times when you have felt love wrap around and hug you tenderly. Ok, yes, Elvis Presley "Love me Tender" is now playing in the background. Love tenderly in this world, be kind to you.
Protect your greatest investment....yourself. Look inside to see you need to love yourself first, then love others. It may sound selfish, but, you can't love others if you don't know what love is so practice telling yourself that you love yourself and hold that love inside and let it grow. The more it grows and grows the more others will see your confidence grow. Yes, there will still be mean people and things in the world that want to break you, but you will be able to turn away from them and not look for their approval. You will learn to help people who are nice to you. People who know what love is and how to share it. You will learn to love the imperfections of yourself and feel a little bit less broken the more you love yourself. Take joy in the rays of love and sunshine when they happen....and it will, keep being you.
Rise up broken people! We need more compassion in the world. Recognize that love is universal but not practiced universally. Love has no boundaries. Love is free. With all great things that come in life, we have learned that free has strings. I welcome the strings that tie my love to my compassion. Wrap me in compassion and help me show others how wonderful life is when we are kind and love and help others. Create an epidemic of compassion, love, understanding and kindness.
And yes, for all the mean things and people in the world, continue to help others, continue to love, continue to be compassionate people in this world.
With much love, gratitude........and compassion,
Maria Lisa Polegatto
March 12, 2015