This afternoon, I had a call with a friend who has had a tough year. We are at that age, where we suddenly find ourselves not only losing our parents, but also losing friends to things like heart attacks and cancer.
That had suddenly happened last spring to my friend, and then this winter, he took a particularly bad hit to the head. It compounded a lifetime of injuries accumulated playing sports, skiing and just living a courageous life. And it took him out.
For the last three months, he’d been seeing specialists, physicians and all kinds of people in the health field, but as I listened to him today, I heard something else.
We spoke about how our bodies have this weird way of hanging onto things, emotions and memories. The tension in your back or shoulders, the stomach churning. More often that not, it’s born out over a habit of coping. Our bodies are so strong. They can handle a lot, until they get some kind of external shot to the system.
And he talked about the work he is doing to heal. To put the parts back together. The broken parts.
As he talked, I listened, thinking about the glass bowl that once broken can be mended but it’s never the same. You always see the crack.
And I said, “What if the broken parts are meant to happen? To make room for what is supposed to evolve? Maybe we hold on so tightly to what we think we should be, according to some inherited programming, and we have to break, to let ourselves open up to what we are supposed to become?”
And I talked about how this work broke my heart over and over again. Expectations shattered, relationships changed, broken bodies and dreams. I fought it for a while. I’d lay with it at night, thinking, “This sucks. This really hurts.”
And I remember getting to a place where I realized that the hurt, the push against my expectations, my beliefs, my definitions, were my boundaries being challenged. I got to the point where I realized that those moments were designed to teach me something, to make me strong, to expand my vision.
And I’d lay there and think, “Help me understand the lesson I am supposed to learn quickly.” I’d say it to myself almost like a prayer.
And one day, I realized that the hurts, the setbacks were teaching me things. They were making me stronger, making room for new things, an authenticity. And I realized that my heart had to break to make room for all of the love that was needed to do this work. The boundaries had to come down, the walls had to fall.
And I had no intention at all to put it back together. I didn’t want to do anything with the broken pieces. They’d made room for what was supposed to evolve, to be, for what this work was supposed to become.
So as I listened to my friend, he shared where he was and how he was trying to heal, to put the parts back together.
“But what if you aren’t supposed to? What if this is all happening for a reason, opening you to something you may not yet see?”
What if we are like seeds, and we are meant to break open to allow what is inside to fully form and become what it is supposed to be? That’s a beautiful thing not something to be resisted or fixed.
And as I listened, I thought about how deeply I truly believe that we are here to evolve into our own unique design. How great it is to see a friend brave enough to do it. We are here to become the best version of ourselves that we can be. We are here to own our story. We have to break through old designs, dismantle those protective outer shells. Sometimes, life happens, and things happen that get us there faster than we were going to get there ourselves.
There really are no accidents. And once you realize that all experiences, even the terrible ones, are here to teach us something, show us something, you stop fighting them and let them teach their lessons.
Life throws curve balls. Our happiness is defined by how we handle them.
The seed has to break open to allow the breakthrough, and it has to break open in order to root down.
Maybe we’re not that different, and things have to break open to make room for us to root down and become all that we are meant to be.