Breaking

Let’s be honest.

So, I know a lot of y’all thinking like why would I want to be broken?

 

I mean no one really wants to be broken. In fact, we avoid it at all costs. It’s not pretty or comfortable. It doesn’t sound fun and exciting. It doesn’t promise to give you all the things you’ve ever wanted in life. And when you think about it, breaking is not a season we want to enter into either.

But what if breaking is necessary? What if it’s exactly what you need to move forward.

 

Last week I read a piece at an MFA Reading Series at my school. Grad students sign up for time slots to read at local coffee shops in Norfolk, VA and last week was my chance. It’s always a dope scene. The vibes are urban and the people are live. I force myself to do it so I can rid myself of all the fears of public speaking, plus the crowd ALWAYS shows love.

During my reading I shared a piece that I’ve written recently called, Weight Problem (view a clip of my Live video by clicking here). This “breaking” for me was two-fold. I always find sharing truth through open mics on silent stages while overlooking waiting hearts and minds a feat in and of itself. The thought of having strangers’ eyes examine me and my words is a call to brokenness – a journey of sorts – one in which my listeners and I embark on together with only our selves (true selves) honesty and vulnerability to help us make sense of all the places of pain. For those 10-20 minutes or so, I and my listeners are one and I am never more present, more alive than in those moments. But the piece also put me in a place of reliving said brokenness – it isn’t so much that I have a weight problem but that other people have a problem with my weight. And I am still contending with that fact.

This “brokenness” I’ve experienced lately helped propel me into a healthier version of me. And this ain’t a post promoting fitness or healthy eating. Although those things are good, too. But the healthier version of me could not have been accomplished but if not for me breaking. You see, brokenness can either make you bitter or make you better. My bad eating habits wasn’t just that, there were layers of emotional baggage and mental bondage that needed to be brought into the light. Namely, I needed to be broken.  I don’t ever remember being smaller than a size 12. I have, literally, been overweight for as long as I can remember.

My breaking point happened when I realized I didn’t have to be. Two years ago, I started being more intentional about going to the gym and, of course, all those same negatives thoughts came like why do you keep doing this? It never works? You will never lose the weight? You can’t stick to a diet. And so many more I don’t even remember. So, one day I just got tired and I looked in the mirror, completely naked (seriously) and told myself you will be healthy. You will love the way you look naked. You will love your body, every pound of it.

And this sort of dramatic, climatic, cathartic breaking point was exactly what I needed. But the weight just didn’t go away easy, the insecurities didn’t magically disappear. But I know the breaking was necessary so that I could be better.

And in so many words I relived that moment on that empty open mic stage. Once I concluded my piece, the audience gave me a well-earned applause. Maybe out of courtesy, likeness or both.

For me “breaking” is defined as uncomfortablity that forces growth to happen. I know if I am ever too comfortable than I am not experiencing growth. I need to be challenged. I need to be uncomfortable. I need to be broken. Not so that I will be a jumbled up mess but so that I can push myself to be better. Some things in life only come by breaking.

So, let’s be honest, what in you needs to be broken or is breaking?

Share in the comments below.

 

Keep Being Honest,

Shanisha.