Keep it together. I’ve heard it a million times, and I’ve likely told the same exact thing to my kids about 3,143 times. Things get hard, and we focus on the need to keep pushing through and to do so with eloquence. Have you ever stopped and wondered why? Who told us that it is not acceptable to let the world crumble around you? Why must we train ourselves and our children to work toward perfection at all times – even when it truly feels like it is breaking us to our core? After all, is it so bad to be broken?
I felt absolutely broken when my mom passed away. I was 34 and not ready to lose my best friend. I’d spent the last nine years living across the street from my parents. That allowed me to spend much more time with her, to be there during the good and the bad and to see the amazing influence she had on my children. So, when she passed, I didn’t have it in me to ‘stay strong’. I admit that I was a total mess. But that was the only option I had. I HAD to fall to pieces in order to somehow figure out how to go on without her here. I had to rebuild myself in the new life that was forced upon me. Hell, I’m still rebuilding from her loss, but that’s okay. I feel like the world, and especially our children, need to know that we are not perfect, nor should we expect to be. It is okay to break.
I think it is important to remember we aren’t of less worth because of our cracks and our imperfections. In fact, quite the opposite. Often, we are made stronger – reinforced. We have weathered the storm, picked up the pieces and put ourselves back together. There is beauty in that. In Japan, there is a practice known as kintsukuroi that literally means “gold mending.” It is used by mending the broken pottery with gold and clearly shows how much more beautiful it is having been broken. Talk about being reinforced and far more valuable after breaking!
There is also power in release – in breaking from what once was. Think of it this way: It is a way for us to rid our body of the toxin. In all reality, that’s what it is. We are breaking through the barriers and cleansing ourselves of the situation, the feeling or the overall weight it has put on us.
So, here’s my request: Next time you tell yourself to keep it together, take a moment to take a step back. Do you really need to hold it in and push through, or is it an opportunity to break? Don’t be afraid to fall apart. Think of it as an opportunity to rebuild yourself.
About the Author:
Sami Jo is a mom of two spirited little girls. She is a volunteer firefighter and first responder, serving her community alongside her husband, sister and father. She works for the American Cancer Society, is a pharmacy technician and helps teach youth at FROG (Fully Relying on God).