Wednesday, February 3, 2010

When It Hurts

I am currently reading "Broken Open" by Elizabeth Lesser. It's a travel guide of sorts through the sorrows of our life. Not the little disappointments ("Oh, it rained on my birthday...). It is more a handbook for the times when life cracks us like an egg over a hot skillet. It tenderly leads us through the really painful events of our lives, the things that transform us. In her book, Lesser quotes Lewis Thomas as having said, "We are built to make mistakes, coded for error."

For me, this is my permission slip for being human. I have lived a very full life. I have hurt people I love at my core and I have felt hurt because of something they said or did. To know that I am, as a human being, coded for mistakes, is a pass for being human. It does not retract nor does it excuse the times when hurt shows up on the wings of words, but it does put things into perspective. I care deeply for what I write here, to me it is a sacred space for us to learn to breath, to learn to have a voice. I never intended to, nor will it ever be my intention, to imply that having a voice means you will never make a mistake or experience the ups and downs of life. To me, having a voice means having a good wide set of oars as we row our boats through the choppy waters of life.

Perhaps the most important thing we can give to our life and the life of others is the grace to be human. To have some room to make mistakes, to hone our imperfections on the healing stone of our loved ones, be they friends, family, or partners. As you gain the power of your voice, be reminded that you, like everyone, is coded for error, built to make mistakes. Imperfection is the beauty of life. It makes for the most remarkable art, inspired poetry, and memorable stories. You are perfectly imperfect and beautiful in your unique expression. Wear it well!


Christina said...

Loved your blog, Candace! I need to read this book. I too have experienced failure in my life and felt the all too familiar pangs of hurt that accompany failure. I agree with you in that it was at those most aweful moments that had a way of shaping and molding (or should I say hammering?) me into a wiser and fuller person. It also has a way of bringing you to your knees and increasing your faith. What is it that C.S. Lewis said... that God has a way of shouting to us when we are in pain?

WWAV said...

Being the newbee to the blog world, I have just discovered that I could respond to comments! Thank you Christina, for your insight. I have often found myself under the Hammer of Awful Moments...and after pulling myself off the ground like a squished bug, I pick myself up and find my way to a better version of me. Well, I hope I find the better version! I loved the quote by CS Lewis...great insight!