I think there is a song called “Pieces of Me.” Also, I cannot help but think of Reese’s Pieces. While I am at it, I might as well mention pieces of pizza. Oh, and do not forget about the seemingly infinite number of pieces of paper I keep stuffed in my bookbag, car, wallet, folders, and desk drawer.
My apologies I become distracted easily. In fact, my lack of attention led me to my therapist. Ah therapy, it is truly a gift.
About two years ago I made an appointment to see a therapist. I was having difficulty focusing on my reading for class and my professors. When I arrived, my goal was to find a solution to my focus problem. I thought it was going to take 30-minutes, tops. After all, I have a counseling background and have done my fair share of self-reflection.
Fast-forward to the present day, I have stopped looking for solutions, and I have started to accept the incomplete picture that illustrates why broken is beautiful.
Being a perfectionist, I enjoy when things are complete. There is nothing more satisfying than a completed picture.
But life is not full of completed pictures, is it?
Just when we feel like things have finally settled into place, something seems to break.
Glass, car, phone, plates, pictures …hearts, relationships, dreams…all shattered into a thousand pieces.
Sometimes we need help.
It is okay to ask for help.
Someone once told me I looked like I had everything together. I laughed it off and tried to convince them I was still figuring things out in my own life. If only they could see the pieces of me. The broken pieces. The ones scattered throughout every room of my house.
In one corner there is a lack of confidence. Behind the sofa, there is not only a television remote but a fear of the future. Moving into the kitchen, if you open the pantry you will see the failures that still haunt me, and a shelf fully devoted to the things I am not qualified for. When you enter the bathroom, there is a mirror I look into sometimes to see a person who is not good enough. The bedroom? I am sorry. I cannot show you that. Too many tears and too many nights spent tossing and turning with an anxious heart, hoping and praying the pieces of my life would somehow fit together.
When our lives are a mess it is only natural to desire stability, but in order to find structure, we must first do inventory and assess the damage.
We have to walk through the spaces of our lives and identify the shards of brokenness. When we pick-up what we thought to be ruins, we must interrogate it with our whole heart, soul, and mind.
Why do I lack confidence? What am I afraid of? Who says I am not good enough?
As my therapist would ask, “What is reality?”
Here is reality.
Yes, there are broken pieces in our lives. And yes, some of the pieces are sharper than others. But leaving broken glass around your life is dangerous.
Therapy is a journey, but it is worth the trip. The longer you walk and the more pieces you find, the less you have to watch where you step. When you can walk with your head held high and take a deep breath, the occasional break in life becomes a lot less scary.
Some people believe self-love is selfish. Others may claim it is idolatrous or arrogant. Perhaps the former and latter have some pieces to pick up in their life. The beauty of therapy is that it helps you to find a use for the pieces in your life. You learn to love what you thought was a scattered mess.
Learning to love yourself is a part of love being perfected. And the beautiful thing about love that is being perfected is that it could not care less about the broken shards your life is in. Love that is being perfected sees the broken shards of your life as a beautiful stained-glass window long before you do.
About two years ago, I inhaled deeply and knew what I had to do. I needed to ask for help. What began as a 30-minute visit, turned into a journey I desperately needed. Exhale.
I hope this encourages someone to begin to find their pieces.
To pick them up.
To find hope.
To love yourself.
To find beauty in what they thought was broken.
Thank you to my therapist and to all of the people who have celebrated, cried, laughed, and loved with me as I continue to pick up the pieces of my life.
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