What makes you Whole?

Is it the food you eat? The people you’re with? The books or blogs or articles you read? Is it your current state of mind compared to somewhere you’ve been in the past? Is it a state of being? Is it a way of being? Is it an achievement? Is it a goal? What is it that makes you Whole?

What is your feeling of wholeness dependent on?

We tend to think that we need something more. Something else. Something other than what we have, or different from it. That we need to fix ourselves in order to be to be whole. That we need to glue together the pieces of that which has fallen apart in us. That in order to be whole we need to not be broken.

A dear friend of mine is going through a heartbreak. I can hear the pieces of her heart hitting the ground as we talk on the phone, shattering further into smaller and smaller particles. Her pain is real. She feels like she’s a total mess. Yet her sadness has taken her on a most magnificent journey into herself. Deep into the process of recreating who she is. She’s changing. Transformed by the creativity that comes with the dissolution of a dream. She’s crafting a new reality. Entirely awakened by the experience of her broken heart, she is watching the pieces come alive. Not by coming together. Each broken piece makes more of herself. I watch her in total awe, as she walks herself tenderly on the fierce path of transformation. I am inspired by the tenacity of her soft and graceful spirit. I am reminded that the universe breaks itself in order to make itself. The mess is transmuting into a masterpiece.

Entropy is the means by which the cosmos takes form. The Universe creates itself through the process of dismantling itself. From the perfection of oneness into the expression of manyness. From unity into diversity. Bang! It went big. And still it goes. And its pieces continue to break. It makes new shapes, it coalesces as new entities, it becomes more of itself. All by the process of falling apart.

We are forged by the breaking of our lives. Every time we shatter, more of ourselves is being made. Every experience that burns our world, becomes the fertile soil that grows our soul.

Motherhood broke me.

Boom!

I know, I know! It sounds dramatic and over the top and extreme.

It is the most meaningful thing that I have ever done. I love my children more than the sun loves to shine. Yet motherhood has shattered every part of my identity. It has stripped naked my experience of being me. Every plan. Every dream. Every idea. Every desire. Everything has been hit by a wrecking ball (Insert Miley Cyrus in that video… naked on the wrecking ball. Smash breaking Hannah Montana). Every boundary has been pushed. Skin shed. Mind changed. Heart exploded. Body forced through unimaginable experiences. New boundaries have to be established. New skin is growing. I am made to rise from the ashes of who I once was, every single day.

Our wholeness is not made of what we have perfected. We are Whole because of all the parts and pieces that comprise who we are. The skills. The weaknesses. The protective. The vulnerable. The figured out. The uncertainty. The wounds. The healing powers. And the healing processes. Our brokenness is what makes us who we are.

It took me five days to write this. I was interrupted every time I sat down to write. And urgent things keep coming up. And the dishes keep piling up. And the house hold keeps demanding my attention. Last night I was in the bedroom. It was getting super late. I was writing while breastfeeding my baby and trying (yet again) to help him sleep. The candles I lit up to create a sacred space for myself, along with the hot chocolate I had just made, were in the living room, waiting for me. I was writing on my phone. “This. This is whole.” I thought. Imperfect. Asymmetrical. Later on when I was back out in the living room I was falling asleep while trying to write. Frustrating. Annoying. I never get to my own stuff. I was impatient all morning. I was trying to get to this all day. Incomplete. Not on top of it. This, this imperfection – this is wholeness.

To be a person who is whole, we kinda gotta get with the program of being a human living a human life. It’s gonna be full. Full of joy and inspiration and love and excitement and stimulation and wonder. It’s also gonna be full of interruptions and changes of directions, dissolution of plans and unfinished business, disappointments that leave us empty and wishes that didn’t come true.

So how do we empower ourselves in a world that breaks us? How do we inspire ourselves through the way that life cracks us open?

They say that a heart that has never been broken cannot be open.

Can we bring our raw and tender incompleteness into the light, so we can see more clearly the fullness of who we are? Can we tend to the dark places of our forgotten mistakes and hardened shells so we can be more present with the whole of our being? Can we turn the mess into a piece of art? Can we live in harmony with the dissonance that is an inevitable part of life?

And like the moon, can we be loyal to the waves, in charge of the tides, moving with the ebb and the flow of life? Can we break in that gorgeous way that only conceals our wholeness temporarily, in order to come back to it again and again and again…