Maybe it’s the should that’s broken

There are many ways in which we sometimes feel ourselves to be broken. (I’ve written about the three main categories these fall into before in The three types of brokenness.)

One of those ways we often feel broken is when we feel like there is something fundamentally wrong with us.

We think we’re too much of this or too little of that or not enough of something else. We don’t measure up to who or what we think we should be.

Or maybe don’t fit with what the culture or our family or our religion or our friends or our employers think we should be, and they spend a lot of time trying to make us fit their expectations.

We look at that gap between who we are and who we (or they) think we should be and assume we must be broken because we are this instead of that.

I would argue instead that we aren’t broken at all. It’s the should that is broken. Not you. Not me.

That should that you are comparing yourself to is nothing more than a box. A box that doesn’t fit you.

Most of us are like cats who try to fit ourselves into whatever box is placed in front of us, whether the box is actually suited to us or not.

We see the box that our culture (or family or someone else) has placed in our path and assume we belong in it. That its size and shape must somehow be right for us simply because it’s there are it seems to fit someone else.

We cram ourselves in and assume that we are broken when we don’t fit. We think the parts of us that spill over the edges or that just can’t quite get comfortable must be worthless pieces to get rid of (or at least hide away).

The box becomes our entire measurement of ourselves when it’s really nothing more than a random box with no more intrinsic worth than any other box.

Rather than spending our time trying to cram ourselves into the boxes that don’t fit (no matter how much we love the person who gave us the box), we’d be better off spending that effort finding a better box where we do fit.

Or even better yet, what if we ditched the boxes altogether and just let ourselves be the people we were meant to be!

The next time you feel like you are fundamentally broken because you don’t fit some idea about who you should be, maybe it’s time to ditch that particular box instead. Because you aren’t what’s broken. It’s the should that the box is imposing on you that’s broken.

What box (or boxes) do you need to give yourself permission to climb out of right now to claim all of who you are meant to be?

 

Image by Kim Newberg from Pixabay


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