Category Archives: Christian Life

Post 206. Piece by Painful Piece

Standard

I collected all the important looking pieces and swept the flakes into the bin.  I scratched around and found one tiny tube of Super Glue ( terrifying stuff)  and started to separate the pieces of the three bowls.

IMG_6151

I started from the bottom and worked upwards.   The base.  The foundation.  Where it all started.  Fix that and the other pieces should fit perfectly.   Easier said than done.

IMG_6150

When I was panicking that I was going to be Super Glued to a Cyprian bowl for the rest of my life.

The panic of feeling I was going to be attached to a Cyprian bowl for the rest of my life and my nails being glued to my fingertips forever was real.

I glued together one piece at a time.  Until the last piece.  That darned last piece!  It had to be filed down with my favourite kitchen knife to fit in to the only gap left.

Perfectionists would say, “You should have thrown the pieces in the bin.”  Well, I am far from being a perfectionist and these bowls are important to me.  I’m glad I took the time (the best part of a whole morning) and effort to put them together again.  No, they aren’t in the Fujisuzukikama (?)  league with gold paint filling in the cracks but they are back to being MY bowls.  (I have considered filling the cracks with gold glitter glue to make them look valuable but that may make them look cheap. Just sticking to down-to-earth real).

Ok, so… back to relationships.  Are they worth fixing or not?  If they can be fixed, why not?  Should we ignore the pain of the brokenness or should we face it full on and learn from what happened?  What happens if we try our best to fix things and we draw a blank?  What if I want to fix it and the other would prefer to discard it?

I make the call.  I call out my bravery and courage to face the truth of what happened.  No matter how painful, I need to do it if I want to grow.  I need to learn how to speak the truth lovingly and to hear it with humility and a heart that wants to learn.  When words gets angry,  I try to hear if there’s any truth in them. Just get to the truth.  It sets us free, but hurts like hell in the process.

Yes, I can overlook an offence.   Yes, I can forgive and try to forget but it’s easier when I know exactly what I am forgiving and what exactly I am needing to forget.  If I am living in Cuckoo Land only knowing what happened from my perspective, I am living in Cuckoo Land.  If I am asked the question, I will present only what I know.  If you don’t tell me how you saw things, how can I know?  I gave up trying to read minds a long time ago.

IMG_6154

So, yes, sometimes we can just, “Let it Go.”  But we can also talk.  We can have a deep, loving, truthful conversation doing our best to fix whatever is broken.  If we are mature and wise, we won’t add pain to the pain.  If it’s important to us, we will make the effort.  We will build up, encourage, put our relationship together, piece by piece even if it takes a lifetime.

My bowls didn’t just fly off the shelf.  I did that.  I take full responsibility.  Gone are the days when I blamed the pavement for my fall. (“Naughty pavement!”)  There was no Cat in the Hat to pick up the mess I made.  I had to do it all myself.

IMG_6156

The bowls are fixed.  They will never hold water,  but instead of looking pretty on my shelf, they are now homes for my baby cacti.   No extra drainage needed.  Pretty,  but no longer perfect.

There are cracks and small pieces and flakes missing, but in the words of my mother, “No-one is going to stop a galloping horse to look for those.”

Everyone I know carries brokenness.  We are fragile but we are free.  Free to fix things or to pretend nothing has been broken.

If it’s important to us we will pick up the pieces, piece by painful piece.

(I love seeing little daisies or greenery pushing out from cracks in a road or stone wall.  How robust.  How determined.  How courageous.)

 

 

 

Advertisements

Post 205. Fixing things (Part 1)

Standard

I’m generally not the clumsy one in our family.  I leave that title to they know who.  I like to fix broken things.  Especially relationships.  Broken ones.  It’s really hard for me to rest until I know I have done everything in my power to make things right.  It’s really important to me.

In the past couple of days, I have been communicating with a friend who is very important to me.  Trying to fix things.  Again.  Not that they keep getting broken, but they weren’t ever really fixed.  At least from my perspective.  Even after so many conversations and tearful moments.  I was sent an article about “Overlooking Offences.”  It was an excellent article and there were some good reminders which I took note of.  I slept on it and wrote this in reply.  “Some things can be overlooked but other things can be talked about.  People have flown across oceans to make things right with people they really care about.”   Talking may be more exhausting and for a while, things may seem like they’ve gone even further downhill; but isn’t that better than just pushing stuff in and down and pretending that everything is ok?

If we have questions, we need to be able to ask them.  No limits.  If those questions aren’t answered to our satisfaction, we need to have the freedom to ask them again; with no fear of rolling eyeballs and huge “Seriously?” sighs.  I’m not talking about being deliberately annoying, but in a mature and reconciliatory way.  Aiming at healing and deeper relationships.   I agree, sometimes we can just “get over”  things, but at other times, it is really helpful to talk things through.

I had this thought too.  If my questions aren’t answered and I’m not ok with that, it leaves me with a sense of emptiness.  It’s not as if I live in that place, but  every now and again something will trigger it off and I feel the pain again.  Maybe it’s like being an adopted child; so grateful for their beautiful adoptive parents, but empty with the unanswered question, “What happened?”  Most go after the answers and for a while, the pain is cutting.  They may even have more questions,  but at least they know what happened and they can move on.

When there is a misunderstanding or fall out, we can go one of two ways.  Ignore it and move on and away from the relationship, or do whatever we can to fix it.  If it still can’t be fixed, at least we’ll know we’ve done everything in our power to fix what is broken.

This requires bravery.  Courage.  Vulnerability.  The ability to face the truth about myself and own what I have contributed to the chaos.

Fixing things.

Piece by piece.

So, this morning I opened our curtains a little too enthusiastically and knocked down three beautiful bowls given to me by my friend Cathy from Cyprus.   They aren’t costly but really important to me.  When I saw the bits of pottery all over the floor, I was tempted to sweep them all into the bin and forget I ever owned them.  But then I thought of the letter I had just sent to my friend and I made a decision to fix them.  Deliberately.  Carefully.  Piece by piece.

I’m so glad I did.

Part 2 coming up 🙂