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F.O.C.U.S. Time: Broken, but still of value

Diana Jaworski
Sentinel columnist
Posted 1/1/23

No matter how hard I tried, the pieces would not fit together properly.

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F.O.C.U.S. Time: Broken, but still of value


No matter how hard I tried, the pieces would not fit together properly.

My small childish hands were capable of such catastrophic damage, especially when careless activities filled with giggles would occupy my days and I played too close to delicate objects in our living room.

My mom loves her keepsakes and mementos reminding her of wonderful times of old. One small mishap and my hands flung around, knocking the crystal vase from its place of rest. It shattered upon impact.

My first reaction was to grab duct tape and do my best to tape it together, as I have seen my father do so many times with much of our furniture. But not this time. I grabbed the small liquid bottle filled with magical power, also known as super glue.

My little fingers were marvelously stuck together before I even began to place together the chards of glass. Sitting on the floor with glued fingers, broken glass around me as well as a broken spirit, I waited patiently for my parents to arrive and tell them the tale. Perhaps you know the feeling all too well.

Throughout my life, I noticed a trend of unexpected “brokenness:” nails, mirrors, picture frames, pencils, shoe heels, cars, etc. Super glue may offer some assistance in repairing such things.

Unfortunately, life does not offer super glue when it comes to broken spirits, dreams, promises, relationships or hearts.

For the longest time I felt as though the word “broken” denotes having no hope of repair. But I have learned that brokenness are lessons learned that, when viewed with a correct positive mindset, may be used as a powerful tool for personal growth.

Recently my 3-year-old granddaughter reaffirmed the connotation value of the word “broken” through the simplicity of crayons. I heard her crying in the living room. When I went over, she was surrounded by broken crayons, that she herself had broken in half.

I asked her what was wrong, and she innocently said, “Grandma, I broke my crayons and they don’t work.” Tearing off the wrapper and handing them back to her, repurposed, I colored on a sheet of paper and said, “See. They still work!”

To her delight, she continued coloring. With a simple bit of adjusting and creative “repair,” it was good to go. Broken, but still of value.

On my journey of personal growth, I have been diligent not to allow a broken situation to dictate my future. Instead, with a bit of creativity, mental adjustment and “peeling off the wrapper from the crayon,” I continued to move forward in a positive and courageous manner taking with me the lesson and the value.

When dealing with brokenness, one must:

B - Begin to take time for self-evaluation. Life has a way of giving us difficult, challenging times of which brokenness may result. Whether self-made or done towards us, it is a part of life that should be evaluated and explored on how we can grow from it.

R - Reassure oneself the value that exists within. Brokenness is what happens to us - it does not define us. Your worth and value do not change. Unlike the broken vase that could not be repaired, there is a hope within us to become a better person when realizing the worth and value that exists in us.

O - Obtain a strong positive mindset. Dwelling on the broken situation too long may lead to a host of emotional and mental ailments such as depression, discouragement and lack of motivation, to name a few. Seeking professional assistance may provide the tools for a healthier outlook on life.

K - Keep moving forward. Lack of motivation will set in when processing a broken situation. Take the time to heal, reflect and attempt to move forward daily by trying new tasks. This may take the form of working on your hobbies, journaling, talking to a trusted friend, exercising and meditation. Self-care will be your best ally when it comes to dealing with a broken situation.

E - Expect setbacks from time to time. Our mind will wonder back to the broken situation and may even be triggered by current events. Be good to yourself and know this will happen but do not stay there too long.

N - Notice the progress of healing from the brokenness. Healing may occur in areas associated with emotional, mental and spiritual health. Writing and reflecting upon the healing process will shed light on the areas that will help one stay motivated, encourage others and inspire you to keep moving forward.

As expected, my parents were not at all thrilled to see the once lovely vase in pieces. I showed my parents my glued fingers and instead they saw my broken spirit. There was a bit of chuckling between them while watching me struggle with my sticky fingers (Why did I not just use the duct tape?).

As I was sent to my room, I sifted through the toy box to find a more suitable item to keep my childish hands busy. There is my toy box was a coloring book and a Tupperware container filled with broken crayons.

I proceeded to peel back the wrappers on my crayons to create my “masterpiece.”


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