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Finding Hope: Piecing myself back together after life falls apart

by Lerae Drayton 2024

Shattered into a million pieces across the already crowded ground lays the remnant of what once was, but can never be the same. 

No matter how hard one tries, they will never find how to put the broken puzzle back in order. Designed as an image of the Divine, it seems that the pieces should all fit and bring restoration.

They don't.

Searching amongst the pieces, I pick up one, and then another, thinking they belong and saying it's mine. Placing it where I think it belongs, I pick up piece after piece of scattered brokenness and try to achieve the restoration of an idea or an anomaly that never was or never can be again. Once I think I have everything gathered, I begin gluing those pieces into my shell and discover that they, although some feel and look as if they belong to me and are so familiar, ultimately don't belong. 

I turn in circles and try desperately to find my pieces with an urgency to make myself whole again. But no matter how hard I look or try, I fail to find every shard and particle. Loosing hope as I go. 

As the hope flies away, despair sets in along with anger and fear. I want so desperately to not feel anything I feel. In the moment, I begin to put pieces that aren't mine in the holes that are exposed to the raw elements of life. Only, they don't work and either fall directly out or end up cutting even deeper, dragging pieces that do belong back into the shatteredness.

Despair and longing engulf me and I set back down turning further and further away from the pain, yet creating more pain in its wake because I can't figure out what else to do.

As I set in the darkness of despair and hopelessness, everything begins to go numb. Every thought and every feeling. I allow the numbness to incase anything and everything in desperation; not to feel, not to think, not to be. 

Ultimately, those efforts also fail and I begin to search again for me because I long to be whole.  As time passes, and I repeat these things over and over, I can never manage to be whole.

All the while, over and over, I scream as the anger and resentment is setting in deeper and deeper, more than I realize.

I fall away from the sight of the massive pile of shards I gathered as my own and lament the day I was born. 

I open my eyes slowly and, without thinking or purpose, pick up a random piece. Again, it feels familiar. I place it into my brokenness and discover it's mine. This action brings a drop of hope. Just a tiny drop that flows extremely slow, allowing me time to look some more and, even though I can't find every shard and particle, I begin building the framework. Although hopelessness creeps in, I never fully return to the darkness of despair. 

I try to remember where things belong and try not placing pieces that aren't mine into the frame. Sometimes I fail and sometimes I succeed. 

I am not completed and I am not whole, but I am still trying to be free of the pain, the anger, and the fear. And even though it tries to take hold, I cling deep inside to the power of hope.

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