Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Goddess of Never Not Broken.

My sewing macchina, Maria, was humming along steadily last night, burning the midnight oil in my one woman sweatshop. Suddenly she began to slow and seized to a stop with a terrible groan. Uh oh. Unable to find a solution in the manual, I grabbed a screwdriver and pulled that baby apart. Poor, neglected Maria was long overdue for maintenance, and as I brushed out fuzzies and threads, I couldn't help but consider how fortuitous it is when things break. Split open all over the kitchen table, I came to understand Maria completely- every bolt and spring and screw. And don't we all deserve to be known so well?

This is true intimacy, honeys. It's propping each other up on the floor of the Phoenix Greyhound station at 3:00am, half crying, so exhausted. It's freaking out, drinking too much, spending the rest of the night with your head in the toilet and being loved anyway. When life cracks our little hearts open, we get to peer inside and see what's there- maybe some old, deep pain and patterns, betrayals, fear. When life cracks open the people we love, we get the immense honor of bearing witness to their raw vulnerabilities. To me, people in disarray are just as beautiful, if not moreso, than people in perfect harmony. The chaos of being broken open is a time of pure potential. We can plant seeds in the mud that we're mucking around in, this rich, deep soil, that will blossom later like the lotus- up and out of the filth, pure and perfect. The important thing is to avoid myopia, allowing the present moment, however awfully consuming it feels, to be something that will pass eventually. This is the reassurance of impermanence that we dread when life is great- everything comes to an end.

Why is it so wrong to be broken? Messy? Desperately sad? Sure, it can be uncomfortable to witness and is almost always uncomfortable to experience, but these moments are moments of becoming. We crack through the shell of our understanding and capabilities, and come blinking blindly into the light, stretching our wings. Bringing consciousness to our fucked-up-ed-ness allows the whole ordeal to become an exercise with much to teach. Being conscious of our fucked-up-ed-ness also makes it more okay to be broken...at least it makes it easier to function day to day. If we can be aware that the lens with which we're viewing the world is skewed, we can remind ourselves of this every time we have some crazy idea or get angry at someone for no apparent reason. Of course, this requires us to be aware that we may be a little crazy, and it's hard to know you're crazy when you're crazy. I guess that's the tricky part- becoming aware of what's happening, remaining aware of what's happening and taking it into account before you speak or make major decisions.

The pretty lady pictured above is Akhilandeshvari, the Hindu Goddess of Never Not Broken. She reminds us of the power, the beauty and the importance of being broken...not constantly, but long enough to crack open and shake out all the shit that doesn't serve us anymore, long enough to keep becoming ourselves. She inspires me to not only lean into the challenges of life, but to relish them a little. All these hard times and all this hard work are making me. This is, once again, over and over, my becoming. I find this so beautiful for the same reason I love helping people move- those in between, transition times are abundantly creative and ripe for deep transformation, like the moment right before the Universe existed and everything was and became possible. God opened Her mouth, took a deep breath and vibrated everything into being.

Don't be afraid to be broken! Remember what Marilyn Monroe said: "If you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." Keep vibrating. Shake apart. Lose the outdated agonies and self-doubt. Shine your remaining pieces and put them back together. Repeat.

((p.s. I got Maria back together and working initially with one, tiny bolt left over. I came to realize later that that tiny bolt was immensely important and had to take her apart again to replace it. A funny reminder of how even the smallest things can make such a big difference.))

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