Recently an antique mirror hanging in our house for many years simply fell to the floor and the swirly gold gilt frame cracked in many places. So many pieces...too many? Too many to try to fix it? I knew I could never put the pieces back together perfectly the way they had been. I could just go and buy another mirror, one designed to look old. I mused about this option as I began fingering the gilt pieces around the fallen mirror. I got down on the floor, and began seeing what sense I could make of the gold shards.
As I bent over trying to fit the pieces back together on the frame, I glanced at my face in the mirror, clouded with a mixture of frustration and irritation. Pausing, I really looked at myself and said wryly, " You were really broken once. You put yourself back together. It took a long time. You surely do not look the same, girl, but there you are. Cracked, but mended. Give this old mirror a chance, too." My husband walked up, observed my frustration, and said, "Here, let me help. I'll work at the other corner."
Every one of us is broken in one way or another. Grief, betrayal, physical illness, financial strain, loss of employment, trauma, addiction, abuse...the list of things that brings us down to the floor on our knees is fearsome and brutal. After some time, we can slowly begin to gather our broken bits and see how they fit back together. They likely won't fit back together perfectly, and in fact, some pieces may need to be left behind. We can gradually work to grow new pieces that will graft onto the inner core of our self. We may remain vulnerable in some areas of our lives, but likely stronger in others.
And we don't need to do this mending alone. We were not meant to. We were meant to rely on each other and help each other to knit back together.
My husband and I did a pretty good job on this frame, don't you think? It is still beautiful, perhaps more so, because of its cracks. Just as we are beautiful despite our mended cracks.