When You're Broken Down In Tiny Pieces - What Can Help You Mend?
What breaks the human spirit to a point where it feels like we have shattered into tiny pieces? Many times it is a single significant event, like learning that the love of your life no longer cares or the death of someone you cherish. But frequently, it happens when we begin to feel like life has become a battering ram that has persistently beaten us into little pieces of who we used to be. How can we put the pieces back together again?
Oddly enough, there is significant opportunity for personal growth when we become so weary we finally step aside from fighting the good fight. It is then that we sit down and acknowledge that it has all become too much to battle because we can't see the way through any longer.
Choosing to fight is not the problem; it seems like the only viable solution. It is the method and the tools we are using that defeat us in our personal battles to survive what seems to be impossible. The reason that most of us fail is because we try to put things back the way they were; we want to tell it like it used to be. Yet something significant has changed; something we cannot control. When this is the goal, we begin the battle with losing an assured outcome.
When death takes someone we love out of our life there is a finality that is missing in all the other things we encounter. We work through shock, unbearable pain, guilt about whether we could have made a difference in the outcome or things that happened in the past, anger, denial and finally acceptance that someone we love has died. Just beyond that lie the emotions that beat us down. We believe we cannot go on and begin to search for ways to anesthetize ourselves from the pain through drugs, alcohol or bad choices or to simply escape through suicide. We feel completely broken and cannot see a positive solution or a way to heal and begin a new life. Losing a significant relationship is closely akin to this; the only difference lies in the fact that the other person will go on with their life; without us.
Closure may be the first step out of this kind of despair. Taking the time to sit quietly and examine the things we wish we had done differently, the things we feel guilty about and the lingering anger about the outcome is the first step. Once we examine all of these feelings we afford ourselves the opportunity to accept that given the information we had and the circumstances involved, we made the best choice possible. Having done that, we can accept that it is OK to let go of those emotions.
Then we are left with the profound sadness of losing a loved one. Real grieving begins at this point because we are ready to deal with our own emotions and acceptance. This is the time to gather the very best memories we have and hold them close to us; to find warmth and joy in the best of times. Slowly, we find that being happy is not a betrayal of our grief, but a celebration of the best that person brought to our lives.
Choosing to put things back into our life that we did with that person allows us to recreate a memory that will bring new joy and life back from the activity. We still get to enjoy what we loved, but the memory will no longer be painful.
Our soul sings when we reintroduce laughter into our lives after deep despair. It is like a wake-up call that says things are going to get better and better; we are going to make it. Revisiting and talking about the things you laughed about together will allow you to laugh again. If you are recovering from losing a partner in your life, you may find it helpful to imagine them as a cartoon character and rewrite the most painful events as a cartoon to laugh about. Imagination is the gatekeeper of joy in our lives.
If you feel like life has been a succession of losses and you have taken a beat down; take heart. Significant events create significant change. Stop trying to repair things that are irreparably broken. From relationships to jobs, financial losses or anything else that has been a part of the beatings; let go. Stop trying to put things back like they used to be. Accept that they have changed and may never go back together as they were. And then, allow for the opportunity that this might be a good thing. Changing your perception is the event required to experience significant change. Let go and allow the things that are waiting for you to come in without you forcing them away because they are different.
When all that you remember of what you're trying to find lies between those broken pieces, stop allowing them to run through your mind and put the pieces of you back together again.