Where The Light Comes In
Leonard Cohen wrote "There is a crack, a crack in everything - that's how the light gets in". Such a beautiful way to express how the broken parts of us, the cracks, is how light can travel both into and out from us. It's through our broken parts. The parts of us that have cracked under the weight of life's challenges. The parts of us that had to break and give way to somehow keep us standing.
There's a Japanese tradition called Kintsugi which is the art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold — built on the idea that by embracing flaws and imperfections, you can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art. A stronger, more beautiful you. I always loved that idea. I loved the idea that imperfection was being honoured that way.
I lived the majority of my life seeking perfection in all things because I had equated perfection with being worthy of love. No matter what activity I put my energy into while growing up, whether it was swimming, or school or music, I had to be the best at it because only then would I be noticed. Only then would I be loved. And if I could just be loved everything would be okay.
And so, as an adult, I built a version of that perfect life...a beautiful family, amazing talented children, success in business, a partner I was devoted to, who I would grow old with...and then it all started to unravel. Not because of some outside force but because I started to change. I started to grow. I started believing that I was worthy of being loved without reaching an imaginary bar of perfection...that I was worthy of being loved simply because I am me. And when I started to shift toward loving myself from the inside and no longer allowing outside forces in my life to dictate how I would feel about myself, things around me started to fall apart pretty quickly.
“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn't understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”
~ Cynthia Occelli
And it felt like complete and utter self-destruction. I was losing everything. My family, the companies I built, my partner, my vision of growing old together...it was all slipping away. Simply because I decided that my well being mattered. That my happiness matters. And there was no room for that in my relationship. There was no room for me.
So I had to make a choice - my well being or keeping my family in tact. That is not a choice I wish on anyone. As a woman and mother, I was conditioned to believe it was my job to keep my family together, that self sacrifice meant I was a good woman, a good mother and that having a "good" family made me "successful" and worthy of being loved. But I was cracking under the pressure, the push and pull of what was expected of me and what I needed.
What I needed won. It had to win because I was dying emotionally, mentally and physically. I was completely falling apart. But in that process of falling apart, I was also setting new roots in more solid ground - a deeper connection more strongly rooted in me. My authentic self. Now don't get me wrong, I'm on the other side now with the benefit of hindsight - it was not rainbows and unicorns and now I see the light. I was completely over taken by grief and lost in a deep sense of darkness. But I held fast and believed that I was making the right choice. That everyone would be ok on the other side of this, most of all me. In blind faith, I starting reaching and kept reaching for the sun - hoping and believing there would be light. And then there was.
The brightest, most beautiful, warm loving light. And it was shining into me and out from me through all my broken parts. And there I was. The honest, true, vulnerable, stronger me...and she blossomed. With all my scars, my imperfections...all the cracks...I started to shine in the knowing that I am lovable...filling all the broken parts with glimmering gold because I am precious and worthy of being loved - in all my imperfection.
And so are you. T xo
"I don't know if hard things happen for a reason but you sure taught how to find my fearless heart. Battle scars are more than just the marks of where I've been - maybe the wounds are where the light comes in. "