On Romanticizing Brokenness, And Our Fear Of Feeling Good

girl looking out at field, blonde, calm expression, brokenness, romanticizing brokenness, fear of feeling good
Jordan Heath

Why is it that sometimes it feels easier to be broken than to heal?

Have you ever felt that way? Been shattered and wanted to just sit in that misery? Wanted to wallow in self-hatred, self-pity, maybe even self-inflicted pain, just because it felt easier than reaching out for help? Than starting over? Than trying to drag your heavy body off the ground and back onto your feet again?

Sometimes it seems easier to just be sad than to try to fake happiness, to try to pretend you’re feeling joy when all you want to do is cry. Sometimes it’s easier to just be the sad girl, the bitter guy, than to face the demons in our own heads. Right?

It’s like we’re scared of the possibility. Or maybe it’s just the fear that we won’t get better. That we’ll do all the right things, that we’ll fight back, that we’ll pray and trust and seek help….and then still be in the same hole we fell into in the first place, scratching at the walls, dirt under our fingernails, screaming at the top of our lungs but no one hears.

Or maybe, honestly, it’s the fear of feeling good. Maybe we’ve become so comfortable with the shell we’ve built around ourselves. We’ve become hard and harsh; we don’t want to let anyone in. And so it’s just easier to push people away, to be on our own, to believe the lies—that this brokenness is our self-definition—instead of rejecting that and trying to rebuild a completely different sense of self.

Re-defining who you are is hard. Especially when you created yourself in a relationship, and that person left you. Or when you built your entire life around a goal or belief, and it shatters in front of you. I mean, at that point, why would you even want to try again? Especially when everything you thought you were, thought you knew, has been destroyed? Right?

So we fall into the belief that this brokenness is all there is. That we’re somehow deserving of the things that have happened outside of our control. That we are not meant to be happy, to find real love, to be cared for by God. Right? Have you told this to yourself before?

Sometimes we fall into the habit of accepting less, simply because we’ve let the circumstances of this life define our worth. We start thinking ourselves into corners, start fueling our minds with negativity rather than hope.

We start identifying ourselves by our brokenness. We start romanticizing our pain instead of fighting back, instead of saying, ‘No, I am more than this.’ Instead of believing the truth: that we are loved, we are valued, we are born for a far better purpose than to walk around this earth with our head down.

Sometimes we make our brokenness out to be so beautiful. But it’s not our brokenness that’s beautiful. It’s who we are and can be—despite brokenness—that’s beautiful.

We lie to ourselves under the premise of ‘We’re all broken.’ And so we accept this pain, these shattered hearts, this stagnancy and weight as what we’re supposed to feel.

But there’s so much more.

We’re not just broken people. Yes, we all have brokenness. But that is not what we are defined by; that is not who we are.

Sometimes we get into this place where we celebrate brokenness instead of resilience, where we think it’s beautiful to be hurting rather than beautiful to fight back.

We get scared of the possibility—that we might actually redefine ourselves as something even stronger than we were before. That we might actually be okay without that person who walked out on us, who cheated, who left, because we are a new woman or man without them. That we might give our lives to God and find healing and peace.

We’re scared of feeling good. We’re scared we might not ever get to that ‘goodness’ in the first place, but even more than that, we’re scared that when we finally reach happiness, joy, peace, we won’t know who we are anymore.

We’re terrified that our entire lives will change when we’re not walking around with that weight on our shoulders, with that brokenness labeled to our chests. But guess what? Our lives will change. Our hearts will be lighter. Our bodies and souls will lift because we won’t have to be that broken person anymore. We will be free.

So honestly, what the hell are we waiting for? Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

Keep up with Marisa on Instagram, Twitter, Amazon and marisadonnelly.com

More From Thought Catalog