I’m learning to be okay with my cracks

The 360° feedback certification I went through a few months ago was intense. I think it opened up a few of my cracks. I have to be okay with that.

It may not have had that effect on me, but soon after the certification I found myself, once again, facing the feeling that if I wasn’t careful, I would crack open. And not in a good way. There are times when I know I’m healthy and whole and entirely functional, and there are times when it all seems too much, or I just seem not enough. I feel like I don’t have whatever it takes.

I recently read an amazing memoir, Bettyville by George Hodgman. He’s a gay man living in New York City who heads home to Paris, Missouri to care for his aging mother. Oh, and he’s a recovering alcoholic. Oh, and he’s very, very funny (and insightful). One of my favorite quotes: “I think people who have always felt okay in the world will never understand those of us who haven’t.”

Sometimes it doesn’t feel okay. Sometimes I don’t feel okay. Perhaps telling my story, and looking (even from a work point of view) at how my experiences helped shape and form me, kicked up old feelings of not okay-ness. All I know is that while I hadn’t felt like I might crack into pieces in ages, I felt it after that. It would sneak up on me when I least expected it (and least wanted it), hijacking my thoughts, feelings, and moments. Even my body.

What I’ve learned over the years? Even when I feel like I’m falling apart, I’m probably not (at least not all the way) and I probably won’t (at least not all the way). And sometimes a little falling apart is exactly what I need. I can be someone who is way too good at keeping things together when a breather – or help, or a hug – would be a better option.

I’ve learned that I hid fears and angers (and trauma) deep in my body – and my soul – for years. And that sometimes I need to crack open a little bit to let it out. And that I need to let it out.

I heard, years ago in Al-Anon, “god doesn’t give you more than you can handle,” and “when you’re ready, you’ll face it.” I hold onto these truths when it feels like more than I can handle. I remind myself that I must be ready to crack a bit more open, to let a bit more out, and that I’m not really cracking. And that I am really okay.

And that if my cracks – my fault lines – stay with me, I am even okay with that.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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6 thoughts on “I’m learning to be okay with my cracks

  1. How do you know when you are ready to face it ? What if the crack is there but you are afraid to talk about it or embarrassed?

    1. Hi Kelly,

      I’ll come clean. In my case, I had no choice but to face it; I could no longer keep it in. My body was releasing old body memories, without my permission or intention. I would, at times, convulse with no apparent reason. Again, old body memories finding their way out. As for being afraid or embarrassed – I’ve learned that we’ve got nothing to be embarrassed about as we live with, and work through, our cracks. We may need to find a safe place to talk, but we need to not let shame stop us from finding hope and release.

      I’ve found that when you’re ready to face it, you just start facing it. Good luck!

  2. I am so eager for your book to be out in the world, helping everyone else, encouraging them that they will be okay, and that we can take a lot more than we think we can. Thank you for sharing this.

  3. Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack in everything
    That’s how the light gets in

    –from “Anthem”, by Leonard Cohen

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