You're worthless. If people really knew you, they wouldn't like you. You're a failure. Everyone knows you're not good enough. You're too old to go a different path. This storm will never pass. You'll never bounce back. This is the end for you. Just give up.
Sound familiar? If you've ever struggled with an inferiority complex, experienced a low point, got lost in turmoil, or struggled with depression, you know the voice of those condemning comments is your own. This isn't a matter of self pity, it's negative self talk accompanied by inner brokenness.
Everyone has dealt with bad times but it's a totally different feeling whenever we succumb to brokenness. We will experience a multitude of discomforts on this Earth but there are few pains as pulverizing, memorable, enlightening and life altering than a soul break. Unlike a psychical pain, a spiritual pain is complex, can’t be treated by a tangible thing, and causes a quake that cannot be ignored. It hits us like a ton of bricks and the havoc it wreaks cannot be ignored.
The suffering is seemingly felt through every fiber, pore, and nerve throughout our body. It not only stops us in our tracks, but also makes us question and analyze the severity of every step thereafter. We’re drowning in depression but experiencing a mental and emotional drought. Fighting with a multitude of deep emotions, we become consumed by numbness, a lack of direction, and hopelessness to the point that we can't even think straight or function as we once did. We begin to wrack our brains wondering how we become these people, where are these personal storms coming from, and why are we overcome by defeat.
Contrary to what we originally believe, our overwhelming feeling of brokenness doesn’t stem from actually being worthless, damaged goods, or inferior. It comes from some form of bondage. More often than not, the pain and problem we are dealing with is only the fruit of a deeper rooted issue and the misery we are experiencing makes us desperate and determined to pinpoint what it is. That breaking point is usually the game changer. Because we are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, we pledge to do something about it. It's then that we check into rehab, detach from unhealthy practices, seek counseling, or find ourselves in a church pew. We accept the fact that we need fixing.
It's the desire to mend our brokenness that pushes us to evaluate and mend our issues, stumble upon awakening, and open our eyes to alignment. And it's our determination to be better and learn from it all that makes us connect the many dots throughout our lifetimes. We had to go through the things we did and the decisions we made, both the good and bad, to be where we are today. To have the perception, empathy, and endurance we gained, we had to build from the ground up. It doesn't matter how far we fell. We stepped out of our old ways, crippled mindsets, and turmoil with our chins held high knowing that the people that walked into the storm are nothing in comparison to the resilient people that walked out.
In hindsight, we felt like we are dying or we just wanted to die because we mistakenly believed that we are damaged beyond repair. When in fact it was not the case. It was not the end. It was dark because we were in the middle. Darkness and isolation weren't intended to kill us. It was our second chance and our period of transformation. We couldn't become new until we were experienced, became humble, and were truly ready to do so.
The death we were experiencing was one of our worldly egos, pride, and ideals. It felt like we were dying because, in essence, the people we were began detaching from us piece by piece. The desire and fuel of the flesh was withering away which explained why we had such sensitive spirits and seemingly raw moods. What felt like torture gave us the tools to learn, grow, and become equip for our next stage. Time, darkness, pressure, and breaking are attributed to turning coal into diamonds, caterpillars into butterflies, and sand into pearls. Things of the old have to die in order to become new beautiful creatures. We, and the seasons of our lives, work just the same. We don't need the constant acceptance of others or always walk through life without a hitch, because it in those times that we work on ourselves, in silence and eager to learn, that we gain a better understanding of our authenticity, purpose, and passions.
Some people will always judge us on the chapter of our lives they came in on, whether it was a time of depression, rebellion, or anger and that’s understandable. But we have to remind ourselves that our lives did not stop there and we can't let ourselves or others keep us in a hole that we no longer fit in. We are free and whole now. Our stories changed and continuously gained more insight, wisdom, and beauty even if others weren’t there see it unfold, believe, or understand.
Last I checked, our oxygen levels are not dependent upon the number of people who like us or understand the peaks and valleys of our lives. Our spiritual, mental, and growth journeys are not validated based on the approval, discussion, or perception of everyone else. It is our own.
I refuse to lose my confidence and let my calling pass me by because of condemnation inflicted by myself or anyone else. My purpose is not about me, therefore it obviously isn't based on someone else’s judgement. I'm done losing my pace and peace by walking around in circles holding the bricks of past failures, flaws, and burdens. Now, if you excuse me, I'm going to lay them down and use them to build my new, strong foundation. The seasons, words, and times that were intended to break me will be used to build me.