You are not broken. Many faith traditions and spiritual communities are predicated on our brokenness and our need to be healed, fixed, set free, redeemed, renewed. It’s almost as if they depend on this to give their structure and presence validity and reason. Maybe, like me, you’ve grown up believing that you are inherently wrong, evil, broken from the start; that your humanity is your demise and that God saves you from yourself. Eventually when you get to heaven, you’ll finally and at long last be fixed.
But what happens if you’re actually okay? If you’re not broken? If the goal of faith traditions and communities weren’t to fix you, but to bring you to here and now, to open your heart to the life that you have and the life all around you, to bring you peace among the tensions of all the contradictory truths that are real within you and in the world?
Wounds will happen as a normal part of being alive in the world, but wounds don’t make you broken. They do not mean you are a problem that needs fixing. They mean you are here, soft and tender and real. Your life is not an exercise in how to be cured and fixed. You are not a problem to be solved, an illness to be healed, an anomaly to be defined. The spiritual life is, yes, about healing but also about thriving and living in the wholeness that you already are and are becoming.
Yes, there will be things in your life that will make you feel as though you are broken, that will need mending and tending to. Things that will require your immediate and intimate attention; things that will need to be tweaked and changed. You’ll find there are beliefs you hold that are harming you; there are biases you’ve inherited that are harming others; there are habits and words and thoughts that are keeping you in a holding pattern of stagnation. And even still, you are not broken.
You are healed and healing, you are a work in progress and more than enough. You are learning and growing and becoming while ancient wisdom is etched into your blood and bones. The spiritual life is not about being fixed, finally being holy, being cleaned and made right, being saved from your humanity and your dark, evil, self. How can you be saved from here, from now, from this, from yourself, when you are how God shows up in the world, here, now, in this, as you are, where you are?
God doesn’t save you from yourself, from the world. There isn’t a rescue mission in play to take you away from here and now, from the earth and the world, and the way we are and who we are. The Divine trajectory of life and love and living is to show up to here and now, in love and grace, in truth and responsibility, to forgive and repent, to come home to ourselves and each other, to finally and at long last find God, the Holy, the Divine, stitched into the fabric of everything, to open our hearts to the wonder of life as it is, as we are, even here, even in this.
May you leave behind your search for a magic bullet, that elusive cure, that will make you feel as though you belong and you are good and you can enjoy life, so that you can live deeply into the life that you have and discover the joy of being you. May you understand that you are not broken, even though there are parts of you that need healing. Wounds don’t make you defective, they show that you are human. Healing is its own kind of grace. May you come home to yourself and, finally, at long last, wrap yourself up in love, having the courage to believe that you are good, you are holy, and by grace you are here. That that is all the fixing you need.
Words of healing and wisdom from Liz Melani, the Practice Co. This week’s series is called You Are Not Broken. Here’s a mindful prompt: You are healed and healing, you are a work in progress and more than enough. You are learning and growing and becoming while ancient wisdom is etched into your blood and bones, all at the same time. Embrace the tension, find the peace.