MARCH 31, 2021: “Broken” …


Let this be a reminder to let yourself feel all the cuts, bruises, and jagged edges from being “broken”. LET THEM BE A GIFT! More so than that, don’t let anyone, including yourself, make you feel bad for “feeling bad” or feel bad because someone may be feeling worse!

Trauma comparing” is not only gross and unacceptable, but it perpetuates trauma itself. Guess what, people? IT’S NOT A CONTEST! “Broken” is subjective, and assuming that another person’s suffering is somehow worse than yours is not only assumptive, but one of the cruelest self-tortures of all. It belittles and invalidates you by saying “YOU” are not worthy of compassion!

How many times have you heard words like these, or worse yet, said them to yourself:

Others have it much worse than you.
Haven’t you heard what‘s happening in the world? Maybe you should change your perspective?
Just look at all the things you have – some people have much less.
Just be glad you’re okay – it could have been much worse.
Why do you feel so sorry for yourself – there are children starving in Africa.
Stop being so negative!

… and last but not least, maybe you, too, have heard THIS one before, which is one of my own dear mother’s favorite lines of all:

You’re SO lucky Catherine. Just look at all you have … beautiful children … a beautiful husband … a beautiful home with SO many beautiful things in it! And oh, yah, YOU are just so beautiful! Why don’t you stop feeling so sorry for yourself and start focusing on all that you DO have? God will punish you for not being grateful!

Not only did a lifetime of being chastised about my feelings or pain because “others had it worse than me” NOT take away my pain and suffering, it only perpetuated my inability speak up about my traumas to not just my own mother, but anyone at all, for fear that I’d be judged, guilted, shamed, labeled as UNGRATEFUL, or worse yet, “punished by God”.

If our primary caregivers are shame-based, they will act shameless and pass their toxic shame onto us,” said Bradshaw. “There is no way to teach self-value if one does not value oneself. Toxic shame is multigenerational.” Toxic shame is different to guilt. Guilt is when someone thinks: “I’ve done something shameful.” Toxic shame is when someone thinks: “I am shameful.” It is why some people might look to be successful to everyone… but they will never feel good about themselves. They will frequently develop mental health problems. Bradshaw’s major point was that virtually all mental illness is due to toxic shame.
(“Toxic Shame” by Tikvah Lake)

The bottom line is this: Believing that someone else’s trauma is somehow bigger or worse than yours is unfair to both you and that person, because while you are wondering how they survived their trauma, they might be wondering how you survived yours. It can also lead you down a self-sabotaging rabbit hole of “trauma shame”, guilt, and self-loathing. Worst yet, believing that what you’ve gone through isn’t as bad as what someone else has can hinder you from seeking the external help and support you need, thus keeping you locked inside a prison with what’s literally eating you alive.

Look, have there not been many people who were bitten tiny spiders and died? Likewise, have there not been many people who were bitten by 15 foot sharks and died? Yes! Yes, there have! Guess what, though? THEY’RE ALL STILL FUCKING DEAD! Comparing the size of the metaphorical bite someone has suffered with someone else’s is disrespectful, belittling, invalidating, and emotionally emasculating. We ALL suffer trauma in one way or the other throughout the course of our lifetimes, albeit some more than others. The end result, however, is always the same … PAIN, SUFFERING, and sometimes even DEATH! We ALL deserve to be supported, if not at minimum, ACKNOWLEDGED in our trauma recovery. It’s NOT a competition, so, STOP comparing bite marks, and STOP allowing others to compare them for you! Allow yourself the healthy space and time you need to heal your wounds, but don’t wallow in them for too long.

How long is too long? We all move about our cabins differently, because our realities are based upon our unique points of view, life experiences, core values instilled from childhood, and how we may be feeling at any given time. Everyone feels things differently! Nevertheless, the more someone tries convince themselves that it’s not okay to complain because “others have it worse”, the more all those feelings are going to weigh them down and eventually break their back.

But know this …

Once you’re done grieving the death of who you were before your trauma happened, you have to let it go. You’re allowed to move on, overcome, thrive, and rise above! Believe me when I say that all that pain inside your mind is ready to be set free – not stored, ignored, weighing you down, and breaking you.

I saw a quote posted by a friend of mine on social media that speaks to this so well:

Maybe you’re not healing because you’re trying to be who you were before the trauma. That person doesn’t exist anymore … there’s a new you trying to be born. Breathe life into that person.

No. Truer. TRUTH!

One day you’ll awaken to find yourself in front of a mirror with a Light pouring through all those cracks and shining like a halo around YOU! When that day comes, it is my truest wish that you’ll fall to your knees and thank GOD for ever having been broken in the first place (no matter how much or how little)!

“Chin Up! Knuckles Out!”, friends! I may not personally know you, but you’re my people! Honestly? It’s only the “broken people” who I truly understand. Together, our shards are manifesting the most magnificent mosaic of all!

What if?

What if I told you it’s okay to be broken, scared, and confused, and those scars and bruises are your medals of honor? Not only do I speak to you from a place of “broken”, but from a place of truly loved. I happen to know The Guy who wrote the language of “broken” in the red letters that fill the cracks of my soul with the divinely punctuated Light that’s inside me every day. These days, when I hear this song, I pretend it’s HIM singing it to ME!


Why are we overcome with fear? What if I told you that fear isn’t real? Why are we overcome with death? What if I told you my friends your doubt you could live without? There is a question I want to understand – Why can’t everyone tell the truth and learn to love again? Do you know what it feels like to be broken and used? Scared and confused? Do you know what it feels like to be broken and used? Scared and confused? Yes, I know. One more question … I know time is dear. Is what the world speaks of love really? The answers not of this world but very clear. Look above to find love and you found eternal life. Street corner preachers you’ve heard before friendly advice just gets thrown out the door. There is a question that I want to understand – Why can’t everyone tell the truth and learn to love again? Do you know what it feels like to be broken and used? Scared and confused? Yes, I know what it feels like to be broken and used, scared and confused. Yes, I know. Yes, I know. I’m broken! {Scott Stapp}