Updated: May 31, 2020
Moving from brokenness to wholeness. Learn how to put the pieces of your life back together again.
Self-awareness is key to becoming whole so that healing can take place. Recognizing the broken pieces of our lives will help us to understand our incredible worth in God to be whom He has created us to be and calling us to become. When we think of ourselves in fragmented ways, we keep ourselves from seeing ourselves and others as whole persons. Therefore, we need to identify and restructure those negative thoughts and patterns that cause us to create a fantasy world in which we live, ignoring the realities of our broken pieces. We waste much energy looking for wholeness in places that will never be satisfying through unhealthy relationships, becoming a parent, or a demanding career. The consequences will cause us to experience anxiety, frustration, worry, bitterness, discouragement, anger, or feeling stuck in our circumstances. These are powerful emotions that cut to the core of our soul and define the person we are on the surface. The bottom line is that we cannot handle the exposure of who we are because it does not correspond with whom we think we are. The reality is, the more we believe and live out the things that make these emotions powerful, the more these emotions become embedded in our souls to act out loud.
Hide and Seek
The reality I created was when I became a mom at 18 years of age and worked a full-time job to care for my child. I did not grow into adulthood; I had plunged into it. I began to operate independently by routine, unattached to the world, but the world I created. I did not react to life situations or circumstances. Instead, I would put out one fire after another with no effect on who I was, just accepting things as they were. My reality was, I did not know who I was other than what was in front of me. The challenges of being a single mom and work-life were all I had to rely on at this point. I ignored the voice inside of me that wanted to be heard or do something more significant. I was on a journey with all this stuff bottled up on the inside, but what I presented on the outside was not really me—walking on a path that was created by others for me. My eyes would ask, do you see me? No response! My daughter could not see the real me. Her memories of me were not valid because she looked up to a person that was not me. I even hid things from her that I did not want her to know. When she reached the age that I was when I gave birth to her, she became a mom. I then discovered that I did not see who she was either. How can I stop this cycle of hiding and seek? Do I dare to me? Yes, I ponder, how do I mend this broken soul?
The truth is, I liked the person I created but did not love myself while others loved me and did not like the person I presented to them. When we can differentiate between being likable and lovable, understanding that their poor behaviors and decisions determine likability and lousy thinking and character defines lovability. By exploring self-awareness in the “why” we do not love ourselves through spiritual transformation can make the authentic person come to life. For the most part, I came to realize that God forgives us and that I had to release the impact unforgiveness that had embedded in my soul and forgive myself and others. Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (NIV). As I built upon my relationship with God, I was able to see the underlying bondage of unforgiveness and discovered my frailties that welcomed unhealthy behaviors.
The Challenge of Being Authentic
When we move out of our own way, we can get to know the unique qualities that make us distinctive as a person. There is a person inside of us that is dying to come out. We are more than who we are right now; we were made for more. We can make an impact not only in our space but in the world. If we can believe that the world is in a better place because we are in it. We have dreams, desires, and aspirations that can take us wherever we want to be or as far as we want to go. There is a purpose and passion in our pain that makes us a unique asset to our future. We can start by building our confidence to discover who God created us to be and stop living our lives for other people, instead seek to please God so that we can fulfill His purpose for our lives. Taking steps to please God may be difficult, but with the determination to find our authentic self and our place in this world.
How can we do this? Acknowledge that life is difficult; we endure great suffering and even inflict pain on ourselves and others. Most of us pretend we are happy when we are not; it is okay to express anger, anxiety, and depression while we are experiencing them. However, do not allow it to be the focus of our being and control us to cause damage to ourselves or others. If we look at life in a manner of despising broken things or need to be thrown out, then we will begin to consider ourselves as damaged goods and allow the spirit of rejection to permeate in our soul. Here is a tip; the beauty of brokenness is that broken things can be mended. The world is filled with broken hearts, broken spirits, and broken relationships. God wants us to give thanks not just while we are in brokenness, but give thanks for the brokenness. In 1 Corinthians 11:24, Jesus said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me” (NKJV). Remember, in our brokenness; there is purpose in our pain, God sent His Son to be broken so that we might be healed and He looks at our pain with compassion.
Some Things Need to Be Broken
Many of us feel despised as worthless, and we respond with false pride, self-will, stubbornness, and sinful habits. We tend to walk away from relationships with others for an extended period because of disagreement and do not try to reconcile our differences. We allow pride to control us rather than admit we are wrong or humble ourselves when things do not go our way. How did we get to a place in our lives where we think more highly of ourselves than we ought to? We operate in self-will, which is destroying us and justifying our behavior as appropriate when, in reality, it is disrespectful and meaningless. We see ourselves as unworthy of love disguised in low self-esteem, unable to get our needs met, wanting to be accepted by others when we do not accept or love ourselves. We spent years developing and learning to see, think, and feel a sense of nothingness about ourselves to the point that we have collected a sizable amount of loss in the world and loss of identity. We could never treat others as worse than how we treat ourselves because we want to be accepted by them, we unconsciously seek approval. Yes, these things need to be broken; we must be broken to realize our need, and our most profound need to be reconciled to God.
God responds to our brokenness in Isaiah 57:15; “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite” (ESV). God can take what is broken and remake it into something better to be used for His glory. We have to learn to be more gracious in the way we treat ourselves, which will not happen overnight but in due time through God’s grace and mercy. The Bible tells us that “you were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24). Furthermore, know that what we are feeling or how we behave, we are not alone for Isaiah 40:30-31 says, “even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint” (NIV). What we have to do is develop our relationship with the Lord and trust in Him to make way for the changes we want to make in our lives. When we finally realize that what we need is God, then will we begin to move towards wholeness. In Matthew 11:29, Jesus says, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (NIV).
The reality is this: God loves you, and it is essential to remember that He can handle all of your flaws. Let go of all the bad stuff, past hurts, and hold onto all the good that is inside of you. Find the courage to really love and move forward in your life. Find peace in taking risks, making mistakes, and allow yourself to be vulnerable when necessary with others, yourself, and God.