Bandaids and Broken Hearts

Thursday, July 31, 2014
Back in April, I wrote a blog called "Changing How We See".  The feature photo of that blog was this tree:
In that blog I talked about how everyday I'm drawn to this tree that stands in the 'forever wild' area behind my house.  I'm drawn to its character and its appearance - all gnarled and worn, yet strong and determined to remain standing despite its weathered and tattered condition.   I spoke of how what we see isn't always the reality of "what is".  Recently I noticed that the tree is even more compromised:

Now a large section is missing from the tree (see the arrow I placed pointing to the missing wood).    Yet, the tree still stands - broken and weathered, scarred from conditions beyond its control.

The human spirit is much like this tree.  We live through illness and loss.  We endure hardships and heartaches.  We lose parents, either to death or dementia.  We lose spouses, friends, pets and even children.  We are forced to face the unthinkable.

We endure financial hardships, job loss, break ups.  Sometimes friendships we thought were sacred and lasting become victim to misunderstanding or betrayal.  Life can leave us tattered and gnarled, broken and scarred.   But like this tree, we find a way to stay on our feet and keep moving forward.  Though we are compromised, bewildered, and convinced we cannot go on, somehow the human spirit finds the strength and the determination to get back on our feet.  Eventually when we look into the mirror, we stop seeing ourselves as victims, stop seeing our battle scars, stop feeling hopeless and decide to embrace the remnants of our ravaged self and face life head on.

The human spirit doesn't depend on beauty.  It doesn't depend on acceptance, it doesn't require perfection.  The human spirit knows the value of persistence, and the reward of determination.  The human spirit finds self-worth and pride and is able to let go of pain and loss.  We all experience all sorts of battles in our life, some much more tragic than others.  If we're lucky, we find a way to rise from the ashes and remind ourselves that "Life Goes On" and so must we.

We might be tattered and broken on the inside, and we might even look worn and tired on the outside, but in the end, what matters is not how we look, not how broken our circumstances have left us, but how lucky we are to get a second chance.   The next time life treats you unfairly, the next time you feel sucker punched, misunderstood, mistreated and unloved, remember this tree and remind yourself this:
You may be hollow inside, and you may feel broken, but in the words of Joel Osteen:

"If you can see the invisible, God will do the impossible!"

Please share this blog with someone who might be feeling broken.  If you missed my earlier blog, "Changing How We See", use this link to check it out.  As always, thanks for reading and for giving me the opportunity to share my photos and my thoughts!

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