Injured vs Being Broken

When I hear the term “broken” referring a person’s mental state or functionality … I just… cringe. I totally acknowledge that sometimes people break things. Like bones, it happens. I understand that something can be literally fractured and not work how it used to. But referring to the person themselves, their psyche, or spirit as “broken” just makes me want to punch something because broken is such a value-laden word. Most of the time I feel like when people use it they aren’t referring to a laceration or something in the physical sense, more so feeling useless or unable to do something/handle life. But even for physical “brokenness” that doesn’t mean the person, the essence of them, is broken.

I wish we could normalize not being okay to the point that we could acknowledge that being injured doesn’t mean that you’re forever fucked or broken, [though it may feel like it]. I also realize that when people say broken, they may not always mean broken beyond repair. Maybe this blog just stemmed from me hating the word, lol, I don’t know.

But what I do know that has been helpful for me is coming to see myself as injured (whether that be mentally/physically). In my mind, if you’re not dead, then SOMETHING is still functioning and working to some extent. If you come to see something as an injury… then, that implies that it may be healed, even if it doesn’t look like it did prior or even if you are forever changed in some way albeit physically, mentally, or both.

I took this picture recently. Would this butterfly think of itself as broken? Of course not. It’s enjoying a meal on a flower. It’s in the moment and that’s all there is for it.

When I saw that part of its wing was gone, I didn’t think it was any less beautiful. I actually thought it was more so and more interesting because it could still fly. Even if it couldn’t fly, I’d still think it was pretty, but you get what I mean. Why do we tend to not see ourselves this way? Isn’t there beauty and spirit and integrity in going on despite our hardships? I’ve been injured in many ways in my life and I tend to see myself as now tainted or flawed instead of just viewing myself as someone who has lived… and despite all of my own trials, I would say I have lived life to the fullest more recently in the last few years.

I’ve traveled.

I’ve deepened my connection with myself and nature.

I’ve loved.

I’ve told people to get the fuck out of my life.

I’ve distanced myself from bullshit.

And I’ve cultivated connections that are meaningful to me.

If I were “broken” I don’t think I could have done all that. Though parts of you may feel broken, recognize ways in which you have been injured. They may hinder you for a time, yes, but recognize the things you are still doing. What is still working. What have you learned from the situation? That is hard to reflect on when the injury is fresh and you are in pain, but just by virtue of feeling at all… you, my friend, are not broken.

Much love


3 thoughts on “Injured vs Being Broken

  1. Natalie,

    This is an interesting take on the word, “Broken”, but it is interesting that there are over 32 different Hebrew words in the Bible that translate to over 100 as “broken” in my Bible. While some reflect vessels or other objects as broken, most refer to an individual who is broken. I believe that many men and women do not begin to see or seek God until they are broken — and that could be emotionally, physically. or spiritual brokenness.

    Blessings and joy on this Sabbath,


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