We looked into a mirror. Though the glass was whole, we could only see shattered pieces. Was the mirror just cracked or was there something broken about our reflection? We hit bottom and the pieces fall apart. We start to wonder. Was that mirror ever really whole or was it always cracked? Was it cracked or were all the pieces barely hanging on, waiting to fall off? It’s hard to tell.
Often, when we come into recovery we come feeling shattered, broken, and defeated. The person we see in the mirror is nobody that we know; at least, no one we’re proud to know. Full of shame, fear, disappointment and pain, we drag our bucket full of broken pieces around.
Recovery is about learning how to put the pieces back together. One by one, we carefully examine each glistening shard. Saddened by its sharp, jagged edges we might be quick to label it, judge it, and regard it with even more shame. Eventually, we learn to see each piece not as evidence of a broken whole but a piece of something wholly beautiful. With grace, compassion, and mercy for the self, we find joy in discovering new pieces to pick up. We also find relief when we find pieces that no longer serve who we are. Sometimes, there are pieces we have held onto that were just never meant to fit. Afraid of letting it go, for fear of having an empty place, we might try to force it into fitting. Increasingly, we notice how those sharp, jagged edges cut us and cause us pain when we try to force them. Lovingly, we let them go.
Along the way we notice something we’ve been missing– the glue for holding all these pieces together. Suddenly, we realize we haven’t thought to use any. Somehow, through this spiritual excavation process, we were able to put the pieces back together. Effortlessly, they’ve stayed put and haven’t shown any signs of falling. How could this be, we think to ourselves. Time after time in our past, we tried to do it ourselves only to fall apart again. Most of us find an immediate and overwhelming answer: God.
God is the glue that holds our broken pieces together because God sees us beyond our shattered appearance. Through every break, around every cut and scratch, God has loved us. God never saw us as broken because we never really have been. As soon as we realize that we’re not made of broken pieces anymore, that we have always been whole, we never have to break again.
That is recovery. Are you ready?