Beauty in the Broken Places
For years, I've been shoving mine into a trunk in a back corner of me and locking it, terrified that anyone who saw the contents would run away and never come back.
When people in my life would reach for that trunk, I'd laugh and lightly bat their hands away. That's all it would usually take.
I carried my trunk with me into every interaction and relationship, the contents seeping out into the atmosphere, though still contained. People stopped asking about what was in the trunk.
It's become second nature for me to look "together," neat and tidy. The only problem, is, of course, that I never know if I'm loved and valued for who I really am. You might like the entryway, which I've whisked into submission, but would you like the living room with the books strewn haphazardly every which way? Or (heaven forbid) the bedroom? Or the kitchen?
I don't remember the first little piece of truth that I let out of the trunk. I only know that it wasn't earth shattering, because I let another one out after that.
I didn't rent a billboard and proclaim to the world, but I did continue to share pieces, each time, with less fear.
As I did this, holding up a jagged piece to the light, a little repulsed by the sight, more often than not, the person in front of me would dig around in a trunk of their own, find a piece just like it and hold it up to mine. The broken pieces fit together.
I've spent my life running after belonging, secretly afraid that the broken pieces would keep people from getting too close. What a shock to find that the opposite has been true. When I share my broken places, I find that they are the point of connection. They are what take that relationship to the next level.
My best interactions do not happen in the entryway, standing awkwardly near the door, in a draft. They happen when I welcome someone in a little further, stepping over the dirty dishes, and the dust I haven't swept under the rug.