Both Broken and Whole
"Life is funny like that, when the dust settles at the end of the day - and we’ve said all we can, we’ll realize every part of us, even the loving ones, were a little broken.”
I like that you're broken Broken like me Maybe that makes me a fool I like that you're lonely Lonely like me I could be lonely with you
~ Broken by lovelythebandThe song, "broken," by lovelytheband is on the radio a lot and it's my current favorite pop song. It's catchy, musically very similar to Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People, which was the big song on the radio a few years ago. Catchy melodies are nice, but the reason why I love this song so much is that its words speak to my soul. It seems sort of funny to me that such a pop-y song can make me cry, but it sometimes does.
We are all broken and it is refreshing to hear a song that acknowledges that deep, spiritual wisdom in an accessible way. Now when I say we are all broken I do not mean that we are bad or wrong. I've heard the sentiment from many a troubled warmline caller, so let me be clear:
You are not broken because you have emotions or cry
You are not broken because you have a mental health challenge
You are not broken because you struggle with addiction
You are not broken because of the way you look
You are not broken because you take medication or go to therapy
You are perfect and whole just the way you are.
We are all human and humans feel complicated emotions.
Humans cry and struggle and face challenges.
Disability is natural.
Having a disability does not mean that one is broken or defective or bad or wrong; it simply means that one needs extra support in order to make money in our society. (Literally, this is how the American government defines disability-it's all about whether a person can keep a job.) Money helps people live but it does not give a person moral value. (Sorry, Trump. #sorrynotsorry)
When I say we are all broken, I mean it in the way of Audre Lorde:
“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.”I am broken because our world is broken.
It's another dialectic:
I am a whole person who can declare her goodness to the world - I don't have to let the world convince me that I am bad.
Like the beginning intro to the music video, we are all a little broken due to the trauma of living in this world.
Immigrants and their children separated, mass incarceration of people of color, gun violence in our schools, emotional abuse in mental hospitals, women giving birth while in shackles for nonviolent crimes, hate crimes, rape culture, genocide, dead zones in oceans - There is no way a person can listen to the news and not acknowledge that something in our world is very wrong.
It is our ego.
When we think of ourselves only, we are living in brokenness - when we think of ourselves as inseparable from all, then we are closer to wholeness.
Being disabled is not a deficiency but a world that does not want to recognize and include the talents and gifts of those with disabilities is.
Do you understand the difference?
I like the song, Broken, because it speaks to my experience. I am dating and I am looking for someone that is willing to admit that they are sometimes lonely and who recognizes the brokenness of this world. But I also want someone who values themselves and is confident.
One can be vulnerable and confident at the same time. One can admit their brokenness and still value themselves. In fact, maybe those states of beings help each other out-perfectionism often comes from a person feeling so completely inadequate that they feel the need to go too far in the other direction.
I am a broken person and my heart aches.
I am a whole person and my heart sings.
I am both and that is good.
(a journal entry from a few weeks ago)