You Are More Beautiful Because You Have Been Broken

Trauma is a thief and it loves to steal your joy, your sense of worth, your sense of safety, and your ability to trust.

The impact of trauma makes me feel like broken is my normal. I’ve been shattered, damaged, smashed, and split open both literally and figuratively and, for a time, I wanted to declare myself healed. You know, I wanted ignore and dismiss my triggers because they caused me shame.

It was easier to hide under a mask of empowerment, to call myself a survivor because I didn’t want the stigma of being a victim, to bask in the glory of having risen above and overcome those tragedies.

I decided to be vulnerable, but I told my story in past tense, and while much of it is, some of it isn’t. There is so much I’ve been through and a lot of the time, it comes back to haunt me – uninvited and unannounced.

We are often deceived thinking that being beautiful means being perfectly together: flawless. Heartbreak, betrayal, abuse, lack, disappointment, tragedy, trials, and trauma can be unavoidable, and there’s no shame in feeling the pain, but as we learn to embrace our brokenness, we can allow ourselves to be healed, mended, and blessed.

Consider the Japanese art form called Kintsugi (“golden joinery”) or Kintsukuroi (“golden mend”), which originates in Japan in mid-1500 and consists in mending broken pottery using lacquer resin laced with gold, silver, or platinum.

Rather than considering a breakage the destruction of an object, the Kintsugi or Kintsukuroi technique treats it as a part of its history; something to display proudly and prominently, rather than disguising it.

I don’t know about you, but I’m done hiding my scratches, lines, chips and cracks. I want to embrace my brokenness and believe that, like a good Japanese tea bowl, I’m more beautiful for having been broken. 

What broke me doesn’t define me… but if I’m honest, it did change me.

What broke me doesn't define me - Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from every experience is that brokenness can lead to breakthrough – if we let it. Have you ever considered this?

Scientific evidence now suggests that trauma can improve all areas of your life. Researchers and experts have found positive psychological changes that happen as a result of distressing, scarring, disturbing events and call it by the name of posttraumatic growth.

I’ve had a hard few last months, trying to cope with the ups and downs of motherhood, and the aftermath of several car accidents that triggered many panic and anxiety attacks, because they brought back memories from my near-fatal accident in the 90’s. It’s been so liberating to allow myself to just be where I’m at, even when I’m depressed and suicidal, without judging myself or bypassing the healing process just to seem like I have it all together.

There’s a Leonard Cohen song that goes “there’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in,” and when I relate that concept to my life and my wounds, I am reminded that we are all fragile and we all go through struggles that tear, damage, and crush us.

The wound is the place where the light enters you. ~ Rumi quotes

No matter the cause of our drop, sometimes we feel the damage is irreparable, that we are beyond repair, and therefore, worthless, and what is worse, just like a broken bowl: useless. 

Kintsukuroi teaches us that the true life of the bowl began when it broke, and that there’s more meaning in the rebuilding process than the process of its creation.

Brokenness is not beautiful in itself, the beauty lies in knowing that when we are hurt and shattered, we can choose to stay broken, to hide our suffering, or to allow ourselves to go through a painful, difficult, lengthy rebuilding process that is guaranteed to give purpose to our history.

I look at my scars, my stretchmarks, and my triggers and they are definitely not as beautiful as golden seams, but there are indeed lessons I’ve learned that are far more precious than any metal or stone.

What hurts you blesses you ~ Rumi quotes

Embracing my brokenness is accepting my humanity, acknowledging that though there are pieces of me I’ll never recover, I am better for having let go of them, and it means appreciating my ability to truly connect with those who may have just been knocked down or are a few steps behind in the recovery process.

But being grateful for my progress on the path to wholeness doesn’t mean that I’ve mastered the art of being broken. I often wonder about what my life would be like without the painful drops. I also question whether “that one piece” was salvageable and I was wrong for letting it go, and, at times, I have to recognize I rebuilt myself with some pieces that didn’t belong and now have to go.

And most of the time, gold and all, I don’t feel much of a masterpiece. I focus on being useful and end up being used – and then tossed to the side like the cheap bowl I feel I am: flawed, imperfect, not good enough. It takes unspeakable effort to focus on the gold seams when my other pieces are still cracking, tearing, and shattering. 

So now I speak in present tense and I am truly vulnerable. I am still broken. I am in progress – under construction – and I am at peace with that.

Like me, you’ve experienced rejection, abandonment, betrayal, failure, fear, limiting beliefs, self-sabotage, heartbreak, shame, guilt, regret, and disappointment, and you are more beautiful because you have been broken, even when all you see is brokenness and ugliness.

If you sometimes feel inferior, insignificant, unlovable, awkward, inadequate, unworthy, hopeless, deficient, defective, disgraceful, discarded, deserted, disowned or lost, you are not alone.

I know it’s hard and I know it hurts, but you’re still here, and that’s a miracle in itself.

How has your brokenness led you to breakthrough? Imagine the broken pieces in your life and feel as golden liquid is poured into you, filling in, healing, and repairing you into the masterpiece you’re here to become. xoxo

Elayna Fernandez - Author - 
Speaker - Success Guide to Moms and Mompreneurs
© Elayna Fernández ~ The Positive MOM

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31 thoughts on “You Are More Beautiful Because You Have Been Broken

  1. I love your post, really! And I agree, I have been broken before and I’ve been stronger since then and I love it! Life doesn’t happen without trauma

  2. Everyone is broken in one way or another. That is what I like about people. It’s their story, their life and how they put the pieces back together again that make them and life so interesting. It builds so much character and teaches us so many life lessons.

  3. Lovley article it was so heart touching
    I never heard of this Japanese technique
    Of Kintsugi or Kintsukuroi it really can relate to our lives and teach us lots
    Thanks for sharing this love article!!

  4. I heard this quote from a movie, The broken are more evolved. I so agree with this because we will rise above the ashes like a Phoenix. I strive to do better than others.

  5. I love this blog post so much. I definitely needed this as I am dealing with trauma on my own. I will forever wish trauma did not happen to people. Thank you for sharing your story and everything about it. Speaks volumes!

  6. “Rather than considering a breakage the destruction of an object, the Kintsugi or Kintsukuroi technique treats it as a part of its history; something to display proudly and prominently, rather than disguising it.”

    As they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And to acknowledge this, accept it, and be free of the societal chains associated with brokenness is liberating.

    Not to mention, this builds the strongest characters. Great post, I think we all should do more of this.

  7. This is such a powerful message, and sometimes there are those who just won’t receive it until they experience a break. I’m one of those who was very “cabezona” and was always striving for perfection until I experienced a tremendous loss a little over a year ago. That experience brought me to my knees where neither a broken childhood nor countless breaks as an adult ever could. Now I live with and honor that chip in my armor every day.

  8. This cannot be more beautifully said. I think it’s really important that we realize that just because we went through something doesn’t mean that will define who we are forever. We can come out better and stronger!

  9. This is so very true. No matter what little bumps we hit along the road that causes us our scratches or chips they have changed us.

  10. Accepting ourselves with the cracks and the scars is a lifelong journey. Some days it is easy to connect with ourselves at the deepest level of acceptance, and other days it is more difficult to embrace the pain and imperfections. Thanks for sharing this!

  11. This is another great post of yours, as usual, very touching, honest and vivid. I love your quote “brokenness can lead to breakthrough” and I believe it is true if we are strong enough to understand that the broken beauty doesn´t rely in the many pieces spread but in the sum of all the parts combined and glued with the liquid gold.

  12. My brokenness has taught me to be grateful for the good things in life. For a while, they happened so infrequently that I would discard them as a fluke. Eventually, I learned to hang on to that moment. The attitude of gratitude helped heal me.

  13. What a thought-provoking post! Thanks for sharing and expressing a vulnerability that many of us can likely relate to. Regarding lights and cracks – I’ve also heard an expression about how the cracks allow our inner light to shine through to others!

  14. This was a beautiful post. I mean that in the sense that it was so raw and real, but it is a reminder that we can be made strong even through adversity. This reminds me of a song by Kirk Franklin, Everyone Hurts. Thank you for your transparency.

  15. Pingback: 21 ways to be happier TODAY! Happiness Hacks from The Positive MOM ★ Elayna Fernandez ~ The Positive MOM ♥

  16. This is really so true. And poignant. It takes much introspection and acceptance and maturity to be able to see life this way. Reminds me of Ann Voskamp’s awesome book, “The Broken Way.”

  17. What a well-written post. Being broken doesn’t mean that you are weak. It’s mean that you are in the first step to be strong. If you upon a stumbling block, get up, dust yourself off, and use it as a stepping stone.

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