We all know that sunken feeling, in the pit of our stomach, that we get when a sound or an image reminds of a time when we fell apart– whether it be someone shouting loudly, a scene on TV, or the smell of smoke. For Erlese, it was the sounds of sirens. She discusses how you can push beyond those moments of falling apart and allow yourself to see the silver lining.
What do you do when things get broken or fall apart? I was awakened this morning by the sound of sirens wailing from a fire truck, as it rushed by echoing my fears, and that of my neighbors. I watched as they stood huddled under their umbrella’s awaiting rescue from the very element they sought cover from. The fire truck stopped a few houses down the street, far enough away so I didn’t worry. But still, I gazed silently out the window, waiting for some kind of movement, or sound, just something to let me know that it was going to be okay.
Although my movements were paralyzed, I couldn’t control racing thoughts of what the fire truck represented, and the remnants of the passing storm. These isolated incidents were reminders that memories made once upon a time, and dreams of forever after, can be broken, burned, washed away or just fall apart instantly before our eyes. I listened to the cars rushing through, each sound interrupted by the stunted noise of the falling rain, speed bump after speed bump. Over the years, I’ve learned to distinguish the difference between the subtle sounds of daily life, and the abruptness of unexpected challenges. Whether it was rushing to the side of a loved one, or speeding away from an unhappy situation, we’ve all experienced when things fall apart.
There was a storm passing through Atlanta and as it slowed down, I could hear the raindrops rolling down the side of my window. The sound brought a sense of calm, hope and the knowledge that even in the worst of circumstances, we can dry off, pick up the pieces and start again. My neighbor pointed out some broken glass, glistening with rain drops, a beautiful picture, immersed in chaos. In that moment, I recalled a story from my wise young mom. She would say, “like glass, we all break. Some of us crumble into small pieces that get swept away, while others use the sharp edges of the broken glass to fight their way out of a tough situation and carve a new path for themselves”.
What do you do when things get broken or fall apart? Are you going to crumble into small pieces, or will you use the opportunity to create and reinvent a once broken self?