One of the worst feelings one can feel is when they feel broken. Broken can be something someone gives you as a label or the voice inside our head repeats it like a bad record.
In a mind that believes its broken, any thought is possible from divorce to suicide, or maybe just walking away from everything.
A broken mind can appear whole on the outside as was with Robin William who later we discovered suffered for years with depression.
The thing with feeling broken is we want a super glue that can just repair the crack or a magic pill to fix us.
Something that I think far too often with veterans is they we are labeled as broken when they are just pleading with the world to be understood and listened to.
As our society goes more and more digital the harder it becomes for people with this mindset to find healing.
In a world that only shares the positive of our lives via Facebook and other social media networks, it becomes harder and harder to face the raw truths of our lives and to find outlets where we can work through them.
The echo of broken in our minds can reverberate a never-ending cycle of unfixable with only one way out.
What can reinforce this echo is the tougher than nails attitude veterans are expected to maintain even after serving. What was thought to serve us well while serving, is what can keep us broken once we leave.
I struggle with this every day, growing up I was obsessed with always trying to be liked by others that I rarely was just me. What this means for me in my everyday life is that an ego takes shape that I want to celebrate what I accomplished in some cases at the expense of others.
How does this relate back to the feeling of being broken?
When we feel broken in a world that dresses up people as perfect, we find ways to compensate and hide our true self.
If we have a scare on our back, we will always make sure it is the side hidden from view. The idea of scars applies to superficial injuries as well as subdermal in the form of PTSD or demons of our past.
While I struggle with my ego every day, the broken echo inside my head, I rely on my core values to keep me anchored, even if that anchor can come lose.
One of the simplest explanations of integrity is to think of it as an integer which is a whole number, non-fractional. With integrity, we need to live a whole life. Only then can we be viewed as living a life of integrity.
My core values are my lighthouses on the rough open ocean of life. Daily, I lose sight of land, but my values always help guide me back to safe harbor.
We can even connect this with my overwhelming sometimes of feeling broken. Sometimes our boat no matter how much work goes into it can still spring a leak and these moments is where our lighthouse is most important. When the shit hits the fan, the lighthouse will always light our way home.
It’s when we lose sight of our lighthouse that we become stranded at sea with the feeling of isolation.
My core values are:
Trust, Integrity, Balance, Curiosity, Wisdom, Growth, Authenticity
What are yours?
Also published on Medium.