August 18: The Shattered Glass

Years ago, I suffered a loss that was so devastating and painful to endure that I was willing to try to take my own life to escape the pain.  At the time I had just become a full-time, single father.  I felt abandoned, hopeless, overwhelmed, and incredibly depressed.  My sister told me something that hit me hard.  It woke me up:  “If you are okay, your boys will be okay.”

She explained to me that my boys were watching me closely to see how I reacted to every situation throughout each day.  They were learning from me about how to think, how to respond to similar situations in their own lives, how to process information, how to speak, and how to do things.  The thought of them thinking like me and doing things like me scared me.  It made me want to do better and to do more.  I needed to do better-if not for myself, then for them.

She told me I am like a glass.  She told me that I needed to fill up my glass until it began to overflow, so that my boys could then benefit from my overflow.

The problem was, I was a mess.  I was a glass that had been picked up, thrown onto the hard floor, and shattered everywhere.  As it turns out, it was all a blessing in disguise.  All of my sisters contained the situation.  They made sure nobody stepped into the glass or got cut, or walked away with pieces of me stuck in their feet or shoes.  My mom and her husband had a broom.  My dad and his wife had a dust pan.  They all swept up the shattered pieces of my life and put me in a pile on the counter top, careful to pick up each and every piece.  My sisters, my mom and her husband, my dad and his wife, and the rest of my family, friends, and loved ones, worked hard to help and empower me to put myself back together.

I was so incredibly blessed to be surrounded by so many good, caring, understanding, wise, experienced, loving, accepting people.

In Japan, when a valuable item has been broken, they fill in the areas of breakage, mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, as they repair the item.  It is called, Kintsugi.  They believe that when something of value has been broken and then repaired, it is more beautiful and valuable, and much stronger, with gold having been in-laid into the cracks during the repair job.

So my family, friends, and loved ones got to work, and laid within my cracks traces of gold.  They helped me, empowering me with resources, perspectives, ideas, beliefs, and taught me how to become more beautiful, more valuable, and stronger than I had ever been before.  They started to fill me up with love, and suggested tasks that would empower me to fill my life, or my glass, with valuable liquid.  They inspired me to join the gym and begin to work out and take better care of myself.  They encouraged me to do things I didn’t want to do at the time, like go back to church with my children, visit them on Sundays for family dinners, and cultivate new friendships.  They supported me as I enrolled in school and furthered my education.  They supported me, called me, loved me, and constantly bugged me, even when I didn’t want them to.  They made sure I stayed busy.  Pretty soon, I was at a place in life where I was able to fill my own cup.  Pretty soon, it started to overflow.

Sometimes, along the way, the repairs would crack, spilling valuable fluid, rendering me unable to provide an overflow to my children and those around me.  Many times have I been repaired over the years.  I have learned to repair myself.  I am grateful for the help, love, support, and empowerment, that came through and by so many, all along the way.

My children watched me for years and they learned from me.  They benefited from my cup when it overflowed, and I worked hard to make sure it overflowed as much as possible, for their benefit.  They decided what they wanted to copy, mirror, and mimic, by observing my behaviors.  They experimented with these teachings, and applied and adopted them into their own lives.  They also learned how imperfect I was, and what characteristics and behaviors they didn’t want to apply and adopt.  Either way, we all grew and learned together, forming a beautiful, deep, meaningful connection that will last forever.

The truest thing I have heard about pain is this:  One day, your pain will be useful to you.  That is hard to hear or to think about during the moments when the pain is greatest, but after it subsides, we realize the truth in the statement.

One day, our pain will be useful to us.

We realize that because of what we suffered, endured, and learned through, we are more capable of empathy, connection to others, understanding, light, and love.  We have grown, improved, and progressed because of the pain.  We are more valuable because of the pain, and therefore can be of more value to others.  We benefit in many ways from pain, struggles, difficulties, and hardships, and have the opportunity to help and empower others because of our experiences and learned wisdom, each and every day we are alive.

As we acquire the skills to heal through trauma, we become stronger.  We become wiser. We become better.

We are all a part of a larger family.  We are all one.  We all suffer pain and loss.  We all have the opportunity to help one another through it.  We all have the opportunity to deepen our connections, making them more meaningful and more beautiful.  It falls upon US, to heal the pain caused by generations of trauma.

We all break.  Many of us are shattered.  Together, and through one another, the beautiful mending process of Kintsugi can, and will, take place within us all.

Today, I will find a way to help another who is broken or shattered, like I have been, and who is experiencing pain.  I will find a way to somehow help mend the area of breakage with gold through love and acceptance, and begin helping and empowering them to learn to heal them self, as others have done for me.    


goodinthehead is also on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.  The goodinthehead Podcast can be found on YouTube.  Follow me there, as well, for daily messages, inspiration, motivation, and reminders.  Please pay it forward, and share this, and ANY message, which may empower someone you love or may care about.  It is through adding value to others by sharing and spreading wisdom, that we become more valuable as individuals, and collectively, as a whole, we all become wiser. 

Remember:  Mindset matters.  Character counts.  That which we choose to consistently focus on is what EXPANDS in our lives.  WE CREATE our personal realities.

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