Age brings a fair share of aches and pains from old injuries that have healed but still act up in certain weather conditions, muscles that don't bounce back from overuse as quickly, and joints that have developed arthritis from overuse.
Our hearts seem to age in the same way as our bodies. The older I get, the more I have similar emotional and mental aches and pains from old wounds that still echo with old sadness, fear, and regret long after they have healed enough for me to move on with my life.
There are days when it feels like I'm one big bundle of these old fractures and cracks that still ache now and again when the conditions are right.
While I still adamantly believe that we are not broken (ever!), there are still many times when it feels like I am never not broken somewhere in some way all the time.
Even if I am inherently whole, there are still places where my life is broken by losses or broken dreams or broken relationships or failures of all kinds. There are also ways in which parts of me are sometimes broken with a broken heart, a broken body, a broken mind, or a shattered sense of identity.
There is a Hindu goddess named Akhilandeshvari whose name means the "Never Not Broken Goddess." She inspires me.
Not only does her existence remind me that this sense of never-not-broken is a normal part of life (enough so that a culture thought to name a goddess for this), but she derives her very power from her never-not-brokenness.
Life is not static. It's in a continual state of change from one moment to the next. It is constantly falling apart and coming back together again in so many different ways.
We see that on a grand scale in nature, in cultures and societies, and economic cycles. We also see it in smaller scales in relationships, organizations, and individual lives.
This continual falling apart and coming back together is what makes being comfortable with being never not broken so valuable.
When I am able to hold loosely to the current moment—neither clinging to what brings me joy not resisting that which brings pain—I set myself up to be able to ride the winds of change (even those of loss) a bit more easily.
I can be a bit more like Akhilandeshavari who finds her power in her ability to let herself fall apart easily so that she can continually choose how to come together again in new ways to fit the changing environment around her.
It reminds me of the three kinds of brokenness that I've written about before. I don't believe that inherent brokenness exists, and imposed brokenness is something that happens to all of us without us having any choice in it, but Akhilandeshavari is the queen of invited brokenness where we choose to let ourselves be broken open in order to have more space to grow and choose new ways of being from the pieces.
The idea of being never not broken may sound discouraging on the surface, but I'm growing to see it more and more as a place of hope.
It reminds me that that I always have choices about how I respond to life's broken places and that I can find healing and empowerment even in a space where I find myself never not broken.
What does the idea of never not broken mean to you?
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