Have you ever felt broken?

Have you ever been broken? Not a bone or physical state, but a very low point emotionally. It could be a divorce, abortion; death of a child, death of parents and (or) siblings or spouse; incest, domestic violence, sexual trauma (assault, rape, molestation), substance abuse (alcohol, drugs, prescription), etc.

Basically the pain of life can seem too much to bear. Your heart is beyond broken. Your world has been turned upside down. Have you ever been broken?

Recently a client asked me how I could be so positive. I didn't know how to answer her initially. Sure I could give her any politically correct answer and smile, and then encourage her to do the same. But looking in her eyes she was BROKEN and barely holding on to the facade that "everything was okay." I told her I chose to live in the dark for a few years and once finding my light, I held on to it for dear life.

For about six years I worked with sexual trauma clients who suffered from PTSD and adolescent pedophiles (male & female).  Now talk about a true conflict of interest. My first client was seven years old. This was my first counseling client ever. She was BROKEN at just seven years old. We talked for 10 minutes and I couldn't keep my composure. I wanted to fix her. I began tearing up and my supervisor removed me QUICK (as she should have). Since that day I was trained to develop an eye for the broken. Almost like a secret superpower. This superpower has it pros and its cons; especially since I want to help so many women achieve happiness, but I'm realistic and I know that no one goes through life without pain. 

The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.
— Japanese proverb

I've been broken maybe two or three times. I would say probably two times, since I have a high resiliency. The third time my feelings were just heavily hurt, but I wasn't broken. Resilience is the capacity to adapt to difficult or challenging life experiences. Regardless of how I became broken, I accepted that I was in moments of despair. I wanted the pain to stop and the hurt to leave. Although during brokenness, you don't see the way out.

I developed a simple prayer that has helped through trying times:

Dear Lord,

I'm asking you for peace, not for healing because I know that will come in time as I learn from this unfortunate event. However in order to gain that insight, I need peace.

-Thank you! Amen. 

Peace of mind is everything! Peace allows the mind to think clearly and helps us to discern the lesson and choices we need to make, which aides in our healing.

Often times when we're broken we just want to be fixed, and fast. I blame society. New here? Society and I don't get along. I'm a rebel with a cause & we rarely see eye to eye. Society has the tendency to make it an issue if we feel any emotion aside from joy and happiness. Society labels us as “emo,” anxious, and depressed. And NOTHING is wrong with those emotions, the negative connotation that people place upon them is why so many flea from accepting pain.

You have to learn to identify and accept your feelings just as they are. It's okay to not be okay. If you are feeling hurt, embrace that hurt. Hiding it and denying it for face value will not help you. There’s no reason that you have to be strong, as we all are conditioned to think. It is okay to be weak at times. It’s normal and acceptable to hurt, when you are hurting. You don’t need permission, but I’ll give it to you just this once…you have permission to hurt, cry, and scream. 

Heal and build your resilience during trying times by incorporating the following:

Accept the situation as it is. Black and white, no grey area here.

Let go of things you can’t control.

Be optimistic.

Strengthen your relationships. Don’t isolate yourself from others. Draw to them and accept their love and understanding. You will need it.

Increase your gratuity. Be thankful for the things that you have and the situations that are well in your life.

Live in the present moment.

Nurture yourself.

Avoid alcohol and drugs when you’re hurting. Please…for me.

Look for the lesson and self-discovery.

You don’t need all the answers, so stop looking for them.

Be gentle to yourself.  

Accept that change is a part of life.

Understand that this is a “part” of your story, but it not your whole story, or does it depict who you are.

It has been said that resilient people are like bamboo trees in a hurricane, they bend rather than break. Even if you feel like you’re going to break or are in a state of brokenness, know it will get better, and start leaning with the wind as you prepare for your light. Brokenness can either lead to bitterness or wholeness, you decide.