The framing of language matters.
When I typed the title of this blog post, I wasn’t fully sure what I wanted to talk about. But I used the word “Rebuilding”. It represented a present feeling and one I constantly have. It’s the mental taking of pieces of my past, organizing them into their right place with life tools/experience I now have, and determining to rebuild what was broken.
I won’t lie that I struggle deeply with regrets. I often think back to the junctures of decisions I made, or situations when I was deeply hurt – and I reflect about going back to re-live those moments to re-write my story. It’s so easy to think of repairing myself to the person I was before those situations befell me. There’s a lot of thought invested in the “re-” of these life circumstances (rebuild, regret, relive, rewrite, repair).
A lot of us feel that we’ve been broken by experiences in our past. Sometimes it goes all the way back to our earliest memories of childhood. Through the journey of life and the sum of those difficult moments, it can feel like we were in a state a constant state of falling apart and piecing it back together. That’s how I was feeling the last two days; feeling a profound sense of loss, damage, brokenness. Those aren’t words that scare me – they’re sometimes true. We experienced these things.
But what is it that we mean if we say we are “rebuilding”.
Does that mean we are trying to get ourselves back to a place of former self? Are we trying to restore a best phase in our life when circumstance, or confidence, or relationships were at a pinnacle?
It occurred to me that often we spend a lot of time using words that seem ‘right’ – such as ‘rebuilding’ – as it serves to misrepresent what we really want. Do I want to rebuild myself? Or… do I want to just “build”? Is there sense in going back to a former state of who I was, trying to reclaim that person – or is there better sense in recognizing that the brokenness I experienced isn’t meant to be repaired. It’s actually a part of who I am. Instead, I’m going to use that brokenness to build something better. Something new. Something that I can usefully incorporate into the person I am right now, and leverage all the pain as knowledge, experience, motivation and strength?
There’s nothing to rebuild when I get broken. There’s only a process of continually building myself up with the resources I have.