We’re All A Little Broken
“I love all of you
Hurt by the cold.
So hard and lonely too
When you don’t know yourself.”
-Red Hot Chili Peppers, My Friends
This is for the broken.
The ones who walk through life in spite of it. The ones who are just trying to make it to tomorrow.
This is for all of us. Because we’re all a little bit broken.
Everybody’s got something. None of us make it through the years without being tossed around by life. We’re banged up and bruised and some of us are still bloody.
But we’re still here.
And that’s something.
And I want you to know something. I see you. Beneath the face you project, beneath the hollow laughter, beneath the wan smile. I see you.
I see you struggling. I hear the anguish in your voice and in your words. I know you look around and you feel alone. You feel like the rest of us are ok. But looks can be deceiving.
We’re all a little broken.
We cut ourselves just to feel the pain.
We pick at our scabs.
We dive head first into the shallow waters of unhealthy relationships. We subject ourselves to toxic friends, toxic drugs or drink.
We eat ourselves to death. Or we refuse to eat.
We throw ourselves haphazardly into dangerous situations, taunting the gods to unleash their wrath on our foolishness.
We keep ourselves so insulated no one can ever touch us. We create cycles and drama to push people away.
We evaluate and examine and scrutinize and demonize every part of our beautiful natural bodies. We measure ourselves against every impossible ideal just so we can confirm our lesser-than status.
We do all of these things in private, hiding them with shame from the world. But we all do some of it, on some level.
But I see you.
I see you hurting.
And I want to shake you. Comfort you. Wrap my arms around you. Reassure you. Promise you. Take all the bad away. But it’s not that simple.
I want to shake you when I see you spiral down the abyss of self hatred. When you cast insults and blame upon yourself. When you are relentless in disgust for yourself. When you absorb the things that were said to you by someone more broken than yourself. Someone whose statute of limitations on self hatred had run out so they heaped it all onto you.
I want to comfort you and the loss of innocence you suffered at such a young age. When I see you feel the shame and the guilt of a crime you didn’t commit. I want to somehow make you understand that what was stolen from you at the hands of a sick person doesn’t make you any less. It doesn’t define you. What you are can never be stolen.
I want to hold you up and support you when you are struggling with a brain that can’t seem to pull itself out of despair.
I want to hug you when your heart is breaking because love has lost again and you feel like you can’t take another hit.
I want to hold up a mirror when you are beating yourself up again. When you are scrutinizing every inch and every pound and every wrinkle. I want to force you to look into that mirror until you see something good. Until you discard the ideals and the pressures and all the ridiculous and superficial bullshit that society would have you believe. That would have us all looking the same, a boring and pitiful army of symmetry and perfection. I want to make you admit that there is beauty in you, that your beauty is just as valid and just as breathtaking as anyone else’s.
I want to take that little child inside of you, the one that’s been hiding and hurting and scared all these years. I want to tell her, It’s all lies. Those things they said. Lies. Those things that you see all around you that invite comparison. All Lies. Those things you tell yourself to keep you still or stagnant or afraid. Lies. Those words and long ago hurts that keep you from allowing any love or happiness into your life. Lies.
I want you to look at that child, and I want you to tell her. Tell her you won’t lie to her anymore. You won’t heap any more hate or fear or judgement on her tiny shoulders. You won’t keep trying to finish the job that someone or something else started so long ago.
I want to take my hands gently to your face. To turn it from side to side, forcing you to take in your surroundings. To whisper in your ear, Do you see them? You’re not alone. We’re all a little broken.
I want to stand with you toe to toe and say to you emphatically You. Are. A. Survivor.
You are a fighter.
We all come screaming and thrashing into this world. Clamoring for breath, fighting to inhale life. We are all born with a scrappy determination to live and thrive.
So find your fight.
Dig deep and rummage through the muck and find that fight. And when you find it, you strap a rope to it and you don’t let go because you are going to lift yourself out of this place. And you’re not going to stop until you don’t feel the tug anymore. You’re going to hold on until the pull that tries to bring you back down is a faded memory. You’re going to cast off the lies and the bullshit and you’re going to go forward into a beautiful life waiting for you.
I want to drape my arm across your shoulder and stand with you. I want to look out at the world.
I want you to know that you kicked and you fought for this place. You beat back the beasts and conquered the fears.
You’re here now. And here is a good place.
There are still sunsets and whispering breezes, there is still laughter and there is still joy.
There is still danger and fire and passion and music, dear god there’s still music.
There’s making time, making art, making love.
There’s so much to see and do and delicious trouble to be had.
It’s all waiting for you. For us.
Because we might all be a little broken. But we’re here. And that is something.