Our brokenness is itself our gift. This, however, is not easy to see. Often, we think we should not have that brokenness.
It’s always the "shoulds" that plague us. After all, what would there be to bother us about losing a leg except the thought that we should have two of them? Does it bother you that you don’t have wings and can’t fly? Inability to fly doesn’t bother us much because we don’t have in our heads the idea that we "should” be able to fly. Get over the idea that we should have two legs, and one leggedness won’t bother us either.
Brokenness, affliction boil down to this: failure. And failure is always relative to the success we think we should be having. We failed – or something failed. Our bodies failed, our relationship failed, our job failed, our brain failed. There was a failure of something in ourselves or in our world to be what we were so sure it should be, was supposed to be. Brokenness, the blessing of our affliction, arrives as failure.
Failure and “should” are concepts that go hand in hand, and that separate us from reality.
Now, don’t get me wrong: this is not about being complacent. Acceptance doesn’t mean that we don’t speak out against injustice. I just want to say there’s a way to do that without being upset, without “demand energy,” without rancor, without thinking anyone is evil, without discomfort or distrust. There is a way to stand for justice while also being at peace with ourselves and at peace with those whose actions seem to us to have been instrumental in creating the state of affairs we are working to change.
There’s a way to be a peaceful warrior. It might be possible to become a peaceful warrior without having to break. I don’t know. Maybe. For me, though, and for everyone I have ever known personally, somewhere in growing up our lives became as a vase, shellacked with “should” until opaque. And the light within us does not shine out until something breaks us. Some very important “should” fails, and we crack. We break open.
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This is part 3 of 4 of "Blessed Affliction"
Next: Part 4: "If You're Lucky Your Heart Will Break"
Previous: Part 2: "The Brokenness Is the Gift"
Beginning: Part 1: "Nobody's Perfect?"