many days, i feel as though in my short lifetime i have lived as one thousand different shards of a single unrecognizable soul. and with every memory of every seemingly separate identity comes a new wave of shame. it is as if i have tried over and over to simply exist as the true and only human i will ever be in this world, and have never ceased to fail.
i feel as though i’m holding each broken fragment of my being up to the light, weaving it through my fingers, allowing each angled glint to hit the walls that surround me, and then throwing each wrong piece to the ground.
and sometimes, i feel as though i’m getting to the bottom of the shattered mess. as if i’m running out of options. every piece feels too shameful. too wrong. shards to be disposed of.
the littered pieces that are strewn around me are as cutting as knives, and yet never quite as painful as the loathing i have for this being that undeniably must be who i am, whatever that may mean, and yet in no way has ever felt like my own.
so here i am. on my hands and knees sorting through the disarray, my body battered with scratches. i am tired of searching for what belongs rightly within me, for each old piece of myself that i stumble across leaves me more and more uneasy, more and more uncertain if i am deserving of this searching at all.
i find the sharp piece of my young soul who tied a belts around my chest after coming home from each day of sixth grade, making sure she was neither a girl nor a boy nor a woman. just a human. i just wanted to be human.
i find the sharp piece of my young soul who swallowed enough pills to hurt but not quite enough to die, needing someone to pull me out of my darkness and tell me that i was allowed to live. even the hospital was not as lonely as my existence.
i find the sharp piece of my young soul who hid myself away and only did what i thought i was supposed to do, say what i was supposed to say, act how i was supposed to act, exist how i was supposed to exist. my god, i couldn’t comprehend that conforming into a normal human was this difficult for every soul in this life.
i find the sharp piece of my young soul who was not incapable of fighting, was not incapable of eating, was not incapable of taking steps towards freedom, and yet did not think the world could ever be a place in which i could exist. the world did not seem kind, did not seem like mine.
i find the sharp piece of my young soul who thought i liked a boy because this boy liked me, and that’s what girls were supposed to do, right, like boys, and he pleased himself while i felt nothing, and one day he carved my name into his flesh with a knife. my mind put that away.
we all have a pile of shards like this, deeper than we could ever write into words available for the whole world to read. we all are carrying our brokenness in our hearts, hoping that one day we can forgive all the pieces that we wish we could discard.
i find the sharp pieces of my young soul everywhere. there are the fragments that want to be ill, and there are the fragments that want to be whole. there are the fragments that want to be forgotten, and there are the fragments that want to be held.
there are the fragments that want to gather up all my shameful shards and burn their traces until they are never again to be found, and there are the fragments that want to hold each and every broken piece and bind them together with grace, forgiveness, and compassion.
and the most terrifying and most truthful part of it all, is that every single shard is, and will always be, mine.
so here is where we begin. here is where we forgive the shards we lived when we were young. here is where we forgive the shards we fit into our broken chests when we were first afraid and alone. here is where we remember that we may have lived these shards in vivid truth once long ago, yet we are not deserving of our own self-inflicted and unspeakable shame because of that.
here is where we understand that there is no single piece that is going to fit; we are all each our own assemblages of our broken shards and rough edges, bound together with our own trembling and overwhelming empathy.
here is where we understand that we do not need to despise the fact that these pieces still do reside within us, and rather we must fight to live out new fragments that feel true right here, in this moment.
maybe we all feel as though we have lived as one thousand different shards of a single unrecognizable soul; maybe this is the binding part of our shared human existence.
and maybe, maybe, we can understand that we are all more than worthy of our own complete and utter forgiveness.
shattered and raw, fragmented and scattered, we are here. alive. human. and unfathomably together in our brokenness.
maybe we are not failing. maybe this is just healing.