We all know the story of Humpty Dumpty right? You know, the one where he sat on the wall and had a great fall, all the king’s horses and king’s men couldn’t put Humpty together again?
What on earth the purpose of such a rhyme is I am forever lost but it hit me today how it could quite possibly relate to all of us.
Many of us are Humpty’s that “fell” young due to early trauma. We tried to put ourselves back together again as best we could. We thought our job was done well and all the pieces were put back in the right place. We felt good that the world was none the wiser.
Truth be told the job of putting ourselves back together again was rushed, more often than not, using temporary glue (Yup, admit it). All in order to hide from the world the simple fact that we had been broken, before they ask questions, before the shame of being broken set in.
As we all know rush jobs and temporary glue never last. Walking through life we are so used to our broken selves that we can’t see the cracks start to appear. We aren’t aware as the glue starts to dissolve that our edges start to show, that sometimes those edges are sharp and hurt those close to us.
We see people pulling away from us but can’t understand why; their actions confuse us often to the point of distraction. Our trust in people ebbs a little more with each misunderstood snub or rejection. Each time it happens just reinforces that we are not someone that deserves kindness nor compassion, we are not lovable.
But what if someone cared enough to say “Hey Humpty, do you know that one of the pieces on your right side keeps scratching me?”. We’d look down and be in shock that our “fixed body” has some gaps and shards sticking out. Our perfect “I’m normal, I’m ok” façade is cracking and we start to spin out of control.
In that moment and the moments after we find ourselves with two choices: 1. Listen to what they said, look deep and see what will fix that piece permanently in place or 2. Crawl into a dark hole berating ourselves for not checking the glue, swear off the human race as a whole and pray that there are no more pieces coming undone so that, for once, we can be normal.
Let’s all be a little honest at this point. We all rush towards option 2 at some point, it is our natural impulse after protecting our “Normality cloak” for so long. One must protect that darn cloak! It’s embarrassing, we are strong, we want to be seen as strong too. We put ourselves back together again without guidance, we survived untold horrors, we are strong! Those words are just like the others, out to hurt and destroy you.
Truth is, option 2 only lasts a few times. As the years go by we slowly get so tired of having to reglue things temporarily that we have what I call a coming to the wall moment. The moment when you sit on the proverbial wall like in the rhyme, you look downwards and know that in order to be truly stronger, more normal or have a satisfying happy life you have to jump into the unknown and shatter once more.
As you lay there on the floor you slowly start putting the pieces back together again. Each piece you pick up you start to match with another. Examining each edge, shape, and color the pieces slowly come together more in line with each other. Its hard excruciating time-consuming work. Sometimes you bleed from the effort while at other times because you had spent so much time on a previous piece the next is easier to place.
With each piece coming together the rebuilt version of you is stronger, more together than ever before. As time goes on and with each new match we start to realize though that there is no quick fix but rather that this is a lifelong project. We realize that we will always be broken but once again we have two choices…
1. We look at our proverbial bodies with all the jagged lines and pieces in frustration and feel unadulterated shame that we are broken. We hide and blame the world for making us forever broken.
2. We look at our proverbial bodies with the new pattern that the properly matched and glued pieces made and realize that no matter how broken we are that we are beautiful creations that are unique, strong and real. Forever growing, expanding, healing. Real.
If no one ever tells us where we are going wrong, what triggers they see or if they feel we are reacting unnaturally to something, how will we ever know what pieces need to be examined and worked on?
If we never take a look inside and work on ourselves so that we can be the best version of ourselves how will we ever truly live an authentic real life? One in which we laugh with abandon or one with happiness that reaches our eyes?
Being a Humpty Dumpty is nothing to be ashamed of.
Truth told we are all a little bit Humpty Dumpty, just for different reasons. No two people have the exact same life story but every human being has or will experience some form of trauma in their lifetimes.
Those who claim otherwise aren’t aware of their cracks and are never truly living, just surviving. Are you living or are you surviving?