We bought a brand new refrigerator. I had never had one with an ice maker and cold water. After a few days I went to get a glass of water and when I pressed the button, water shot out of the back of the refrigerator. The hose was not attached properly. I wanted to call the guy back who installed it, but he wasn’t the most pleasant and I didn’t really want to have to spend more time around him. So I wrote on a paper towel “broken” and stuck it on the water button. There it has sat for years now.
I am so used to seeing the sign that when I open the fridge I don’t even look at it. For some reason, today I looked at that word. Broken. It hit me. I felt like the sign was pointing a finger at me saying, ” You feel broken don’t you?” I had a plumber here just last week and I thought about having him fix the broken hose. I assume it is a simple fix. I thought about the what if’s of him pulling out the fridge and if he damaged something or didn’t fix it properly and water leaked on the wall. So I just left it broken.
It was a good thing I didn’t have the plumber fix it. Because the two toilets and the sink he “fixed” leaked two days later. I was excited to have 3 things on my to do list scratched off but the plumber didn’t do his job so I had to add them back on.
There are many things on my “broken” list. Many things on my “get fixed” list. The garage door won’t open, the bathtub drips, the toilet STILL leaks, etc.
I sat there looking at the scribbled broken word on the paper towel just stuck there with masking tape on my fridge and I just sat down and started to cry. My own “broken” and “get fixed” list I have been working on for years. Scratching off the things that I have finally overcome, checking off the things that I feel are truly fixed. I always have goals with myself and I always work to make myself a better person, to grow, and also to overcome obstacles.
Yet there are days when I still feel broken.
Today I still feel broken.
My fridge needs the hose reattached. Then it will work just fine. I feel like I need something to be reattached so I can work again. I want to work just fine. But I don’t think that I can hire someone to fix me. I don’t think I can cross this off the list. It is like broken is at the top of the list. Like I am a house. The roof says broken. I can can cross off the toilet, fridge, bathtub, garage door, but if the roof is still leaking, and the foundation is cracked, then all of the other things fixed don’t really matter. I think my roof is still broken. I think my foundation is still cracked.
So like with all emotions and feelings that pop up I sit with them. I ponder why I feel this way and how I can tackle it. I let myself be and just let myself feel.
My ponderings and deep digging into my soul of feelings made me realize why I was crying. I can get rid of all the little things. I can whittle away at them forever. I can get rid of negative hurtful people, I can move forward with new perceptions and a new open mind. I can conquer things I didn’t think I’d be able to. But as long as I still feel broken then whenever things go wrong in my life, things break, curve balls are thrown, I will go back to feeling broken again. I don’t like feeling broken. I don’t want to feel broken every time something goes wrong. I don’t want that feeling to come back when I am feeling desperate and alone, helpless and lost. But it was sitting right here.
BUT this is simply an acknowledgment of something I didn’t want to see before. The fact is I was broken. Many people broke me. Many situations broke me. They broke my body, my heart, and my soul. Purposely. They chose to break me. I put the pieces back together so many times. So you drop a vase. It breaks into a hundred pieces. You glue them all back together piece by piece. You can see the lines where the pieces were glued back together. You could paint over that vase and no one would ever know it had been broken. But if you hit it just the right way or bump into it it could fall right back apart. I always hear people say that adversity and pain and traumatic things make you stronger. Glue is strong. But once you have been broken you are just a little more fragile than before. And I don’t mean to say I will break again and fall apart over every little thing. I’ve taken too much time and come to far rebuilding myself to let that happen.
I do realize this and I accept this though, I was broken. I have put myself back together. Those things have made me incredibly strong. My will and my perseverance are stronger than they have ever been. My ability to not allow people to step on me and bully me is stronger than ever before. But I am still fragile. And it is OK to be fragile. It is OK that by being strong I didn’t decide to be HARD. I can be mended. I can have the roof of my house fixed. I can have the foundation of my house secured. My mind being the roof. My heart and soul being the foundation.
So I redefined “broken” today. I was broken. I am not broken anymore. But I can be, and today I am, fragile.
Being fragile does not mean that I am weak. It just means that I am…well one definition in the dictionary says, “delicate and vulnerable”. While I am feeling this way I will be honest with myself and with others. Hopefully they will tread lightly and kindly knowing that this is where I am right now.
I AM secure in my foundation. I AM secure in my heart and soul. I WAS broken. Today, I am fragile. I accept this emotion. I respect it. It is just the way I feel. And it is OK. Sometimes we have to redefine what we label ourselves. Broken is a pretty big word. We don’t need to be broken anymore. It is OK if we just stay fragile for a little while.