By Kenneth Stepp
A state of being… Broken. Being single brings days of feeling empty inside. I’ve had my share. My friends have too. Being single can create a state of being I call aloneness. This powerful feeling comes with a measure of pain. Always after a near miss with love. One day you are certain your search is over. You are deciding when permanent life together will or should begin. Where my stuff fits into her world. The next day you are left alone in a state of being broken. It’s the risk we take when we offer another person our whole heart. If you are single long enough, and you give your heart away too many times. I believe you can no longer offer your whole heart again. I also believe you are not able to know this about yourself. Then someone comes to you, totally surrendering all they have thinking both of you can love the same amount. Only to fail magnificently soon after. I’m not sure which one is worse. The person still able to offer their whole heart or the one who can only offer scraps, thinking they have offered themselves completely. Both are broken. But only one is aware of it.
“She made broken look beautiful
and strong look invincible.
She walked with the Universe
on her shoulders and made it
look like a pair of wings.”
― Ariana Dancu
So, what’s the answer to brokenness? How does one become unbroken, or whole again? I wish I knew the answer. From where I am I believe, but hope I’m wrong, the person who continues offering their whole heart will one day, not be able to offer anything but a few scraps of their heart. Like the ones who broke them before. I know for myself, I no longer feel whole. I’ve been here once before. It seems the heart can only take so much. Or this is the theory I am working with. Self preservation eventually kicks in and thicker skin grows like armor over the heart. It isn’t ice, it won’t melt when loved enough. I once thought if I loved someone enough that I could penetrate the armor that grew over years of neglect and sorrow. It can’t be done. As love is a life sentence, so is the level of hurt that causes the armor to protect the heart. Once there, it will always be there. I have loved unconditionally a few times in my life. I will always love them. It’s how real love works. Half hearted love is all that can be given from an armor covered heart. Maybe instead of dreading that, I should look forward to it.
“There is no perfection, only beautiful versions of brokenness.”
― Shannon L. Alder
We are all broken to some degree. We have all been hurt, confused, lied to, and let down. Some more than others. How many times we can have this happen before we can no longer love properly is anybody’s guess. But for all of us, I am convinced, there is a number. Twice now I have found myself here. “Getting over it”, isn’t possible for me. I offer love completely and beyond myself. I wish I hadn’t, but real love controls us, not the other way around. Although I long for their touch, a word, a text, anything really. My heart just wants them to be happy, safe, and content. Maybe as a human, I should stop calling this broken and call it whole. Perhaps love makes us whole in whatever form we have to live it. Maybe unconditional love was the goal all along. Doing life with someone and doing love with someone… The difference could be an amazing gift I’m not far enough evolved to understand yet. If you feel broken but love someone unconditionally. Perhaps you are more whole than others.
“One small crack does not mean that you are broken, it means that you were put to the test and you didn’t fall apart.”
― Linda Poindexter