Saturday, December 15, 2012

A "Broken" Day

The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places."
~Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms
I'm having a "broken" day. The type of day when your soul, after diligently and successfully working to build a strong front of optimism, strength, and courage, reminds you that you are fragile. These days can be triggered by something, but more often than not I find that they are a summation of the "nothings." All the little things we so diligently repress: fleeting feelings of inadequacy, the sting of ill-timed criticism, the weight of small but ever-so-disappointing failures, the chill of loneliness. On the "whole" days, it's "nothing." Mere trivialities that can be shrugged off, countered with ambition, self-confidence, humor, and hard work.

But somewhere, those nothings live on. And amidst the days of joy, success, laughter, and friendship, the toll of daily living builds and demands to be acknowledged. And then comes the ache of feeling. The ache of living. The Brokenness.

Nothing went particularly wrong today. But somehow in the last 18 hours I felt all my inadequacy. The obvious weaknesses and even the flaws of strengths. The loneliness that can't be erased with a phone call and the physical and mental isolation of life in a foreign country. Fatigue and pain surfaced that I hadn't had time to notice. All the nothings of life merged into a dull ache, and while the logician in me can look at the day and find success, I---someone who loves to conquer emotion with reason---ultimately could do nothing against feeling.

And in feeling my vulnerabilities, I am all the more aware that there are those whose today must seem far more "Broken" than mine. And I ache for and with them.

But while being Broken hurts, ultimately I believe it's where we find ourselves and, in turn, our relief. So while my day was a dull throb, I'm grateful. To truly live, we must take time to feel our humanity, recognize our fragility, acknowledge hurt and doubt, and then move forward with hope, faith, renewed purpose, and likely still uncertainty. Being at once completely whole in our brokenness.


  1. It is difficult when feelings triumph over our reason and will power, especially when a situation triggers certain emotions that we don't even know exist. I'm speaking from a really low point this year. Take your time. My good thoughts and well wishes are with you. Hope you feel better soon. Hugs.

  2. Your head is so right. Take care of your heart too, dear one. Xk


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