Finding meaning in our broken places

Photo by Parij Borgohain on Unsplash

“The world breaks everyone and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.”
– Ernest Hemingway

When I chanced upon this quote a few weeks ago, I paused to let its meaning sink deep in my mind. Like every other human being, I have been broken in several places and have emerged stronger than I have ever been before. Looking back at my life and the lives of the people dearest to me, I think of the moments that left me wondering why bad things happen to good people. I also think of why certain people who we thought were in our lives for a lifetime left – some without an explanation, and some leaving behind a trail of searing pain that will mark our lives forever.

Interestingly, while it is not the first thing anyone wants to hear in times of distress and need, it is critical to remember and be reminded that some people come into our lives for a season to fulfill a reason – they come to prepare us to withstand the challenging times that our future lives may encounter.

Think of a failed relationship either with a significant other or with a close friend or family member, for example. Immediately it ends, hurt and pain engulf you as you ponder over the “what ifs” for several hours, perhaps, even weeks. Your brain is filled with questions as you try to figure out what you two could have done to save the relationship. How could Person A, whom you once loved and thought the world of, hurt you as deeply as this? You can no longer recognize the person he or she has become and constantly ask yourself why things had to change.

Certainly, allowing yourself to grieve and go through the waves of emotions is part of the healing process. However, eventually you must be able to concentrate less on the painful emotions you are feeling and instead work to come out of it realizing the good things that the relationship has taught you. If you are able to accept that people are seasonal and appear in our lives to satisfy a purpose and leave to make room for others, it makes it easier to appreciate it when such things happen.

Indeed, some relationships aren’t meant to last forever, and this is why you need to move on and focus on finding your truth, your joy, and your happiness.

Take a moment to look back on your bad experiences and realize how much you have learned from it and how you have since evolved for the better. Darling, we must strive to remember that negative things happen to us to prepare us for greater things that are in store for us. Even at our lowest, we learn lessons that prepare us to withstand similar things that can happen to us in the future while remaining open-minded yet cautious in everything we do.

So, while you may wonder why you have so many scars left from places where the world has left you broken, remember that these scars are simply reminders of why you need to keep moving forward and find meaning in your broken places.

If today, you are reading this while going through a challenging phase, I have three things to say to you – stay strong, put yourself first, and remember that this too shall pass. You will only get stronger through this experience, so don’t give up on yourself.


P.S. As I was citing the example of a failed romantic or platonic relationship, I remembered how breakups are sometimes made easier by listening to songs that speak to you. So, if you needed something that pretty much summarizes what I have said in relation to a failed relationship, then, perhaps, Ariana Grande’s ‘Thank you, next’ might just make your day 💚


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