Every day in the people I meet, especially in my role as chaplain, I get the privilege of hearing their stories. These are stories about their lives – victories, defeats and everything in-between. When you listen carefully, however, you can hear more to the story underneath the words.
I discovered that deep down, no matter how much a person holds it together…
We are all broken.
There is something each of us hides from the world, burying it deep within and smothering enough layers of ourselves on top of it so others don’t notice. Some of us wear our hearts on our sleeves, but there are some wounds that run deep beneath the skin. Even the altruistic among us who seek something greater in life are still brought down by their human brokenness.
And that is the clincher – it is a universal human experience to be broken. We all feel it, but we’re afraid to admit it. We’re worried that we’re the only ones who are experiencing pain and soon enough, it begins to surface.
It surfaces in ways that does not always correlate to what’s hurting us. It could cause us to be more cynical about life, to protect ourselves more, to be angry towards those close to us or to feel sad without understanding why. Some of us seek professional help and some may peruse the endless self-help books hoping one can give us the answer to a question we’re not even sure about.
While I can’t encompass every single theme that has come through my office (and by office, I mean the physical one at my workplace and the space in front of me in life), I did notice some commonalities. These are the themes I’ve tried to capture in this manuscript.
I guess I’m writing this to let you know you are not alone. Many of these themes are also coming from my own life and while your story is different, and maybe some of these themes will not be applicable to you, that’s okay. This isn’t some guide providing definitive answers, but rather messages of encouragement.
Nobody has all the answers in life.