September 1, 2011

Beautifully Broken

See these two sand dollars? They are broken, like the hundreds on the shore in Pacific Beach, WA. Not all were broken, while walking with my daughter Mia, now 18 months, we found a dozen or so whole sand dollars, and she gleefully picked each one up and placed it in her pail like I’d shown her to do. Earlier that morning I’d gone for a run along the shore, under the crystal clear robin’s egg blue sky, with the salty mist in my lungs and the wind across my body, I ran my heart out in that exquisite moment of perfection. That is why I had to stop and look at the broken sand dollars. 
There they were broken, broken in my exquisite moment of bliss on that shore, and yet although broken, they were perfect. Perfect because they were right where they should be, at the edge of the ocean, right where they were supposed to be in that moment.
I saw that they were beautifully broken, not just half a shell. They were in that spot for a reason… if no other than to make my moment perfect.
I think that so often after child birth we girls can feel oh so broken, imperfect. We’ve been stretched, stressed, burdened, huge, heavy, and sleepless, aching, hurting, and all the while in love with our new bundle, yet we do not feel like ourselves (at least most of us don’t).
 Our bodies have been out of our control for nearly a year, and counting, as we adjust to postpartum differences, breastfeeding, and a myriad of emotions that we can rarely put a name to. It can be difficult, and some of us struggle with things long after birth… I myself still have a couple little quirky issues that linger from birth, and since I am still breastfeeding, I some days still do not feel like I have my old body back (as much as I love being able to continue breastfeeding).
So here is my thought in this moment… You are beautifully broken. You may not be completely back to normal no  matter how many ab exercises you’ve done, how many miles you’ve run to burn off the baby weight, no matter what your issue is, maybe you’re feeling broken just today… but it is beautiful because it is exactly where you are supposed to be in your own moment. You are supposed to be here, right now, with your new baby or toddler, feeling all these emotions and taking this journey not back to who you were, your old body and self, but a journey forwards, morphing into the woman you are becoming. The mother, the lover, the homemaker or working mom, it doesn’t matter.
This is your journey, your moment, and you are exactly where you are supposed to be, broken and all. Let yourself be in this moment and chose to see it as beautiful, and know that it is only temporary. Because love conquers all… love of one’s child, love of one’s self, and love of life. If you are broken, or just feeling broken, be beautifully broken, and don’t underestimate yourself. The best is yet to come, if you so desire.