Thursday, January 19, 2012

The World Breaks Everyone...

"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." -Ernest Hemingway

In my observations and personal experience, nothing seems more true. When I look back at my most painful wounds, it is there that I pinpoint the roots of my deepest strength. 

When I was 23, my dad died. I was shattered. For a long time, I couldn't even acknowledge the reality without a visceral, physical reaction.  There had been "an accident" and he had been "killed". Those words alone were too violent, too painful to stomach. I would wince in pain and clench my jaw every time I had to hear the story. And I had to hear it a lot, because my family members were grieving. I was grieving. I was angry, lost, and hurting. I thought I was forever broken. 

The good news is, that wasn't the least bit true. I do believe that there's a survivor's edge that comes from living through trauma. The loss of my dad changed my life in too many ways to name. It changed our family. It changed my relationships. It changed the way I viewed the world, and it altered my sense of self. I couldn't have known this at the age of 23, but these changes, and the person I am today,  are the scar tissue of a wound that has healed.

 Although sudden tragedy is an unwanted journey, the path is not devoid of beauty. 

An excerpt from a poem by Patricia Lynn Reilly hits the nail on the head, so to speak. (Did I mention, my father was a carpenter.) 

"Imagine a woman who acknowledges the past's influence on the present.
A woman who has walked through her past.
Who has healed into the present.""

Maybe this is one reason I love Devastation Trail in Volcano National Park (above). The area was decimated by a volcanic eruption years ago. New life is springing forth, yet sun bleached branches litter the area. Change is so beautiful. 

1 comment:

  1. Talk about beautiful - this post is not quite as beautiful as you!