Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Broken And Happy

I am a deeply flawed man, broken, damaged like poorly made crystal, filled with imperfections. I know this is true; not only do I not mind admitting this truth, I cherish it. It is these very flaws which define my humanity, which make me a person, different from others who are damaged and flawed in their own way.

There are those of you who will laugh at that first paragraph. The words "no kidding" will spring to mind immediately. There are plenty out there who have had that moment after I say something particularly out of place where you ask yourself, sometimes out loud, "Did you just say what I thought you said? How can you say that?" There are any number of you who have shaken your heads as you read what I write, asking where these words come from. I admit it, I say stuff, sometimes stupid stuff, notwithstanding my recent exhortation for others not to do the same.

I am broken in other ways. My own Mom once described me as the most needy of her children. It's true; I am emotionally needy, very needy. I interrupt people when they talk, a habit I have spent years trying to correct yet seem to have been unable to do so. I eat poorly. I don't drink enough water. I speed when I drive. I drink to much. I make bad decisions. And God forbid you should expect me to keep something about my own life private or secret, although I do seem to be able to protect the sincere confidences of others. Nonetheless, the list and litany goes on and on and on and on. I am damaged goods.

The odd thing in all of this is my lack of shame around it. I think shame itself is one of the greatest shames of humanity. Shame burdens us, forcing to keep secrets within ourselves, forcing us to carry our baggage in loneliness, without the helping hands of those around us who care. I don't believe in secrets. When someone says to me that I shouldn't talk about this or that, it makes me wonder what they are afraid of, what shame is triggered. When someone says "that's not an appropriate topic of conversation", I wonder what internal thoughts and secrets are at play. I also wonder by what authority they get to tell me what is appropriate or not.

I've seen too much damage done by the admonitions of others as to what should be kept in the dark and what should see the light of day, to many lives broken by things kept hidden. As far as I am concerned, there is nothing so terrible that it cannot be shared, no burden so great that you cannot have help with it. There is nothing to be ashamed about, nothing to fear. There is nothing which I have done in my life that is so terrible that I dread it coming out into the light.

This makes me free, completely unafraid. Sure, I may say dumb stuff. On occasion I may hurt people unintentionally, but never with intent. Sure, I may be embarrassed by the words that come out of my mouth. But I am able to love and forgive myself, and others too. I know that the cracks are what lets the light in, that the flaws are what make me human, that beauty lies even in flawed crystal. I know I am broken; I am happy.


  1. Good God Rick what do those awful dreams mean to you? They are full of symbolism and meaning.

    Love you my dear

  2. I love the honesty and the emotions I feel when I read any and all of your posts. Many I cant " comment" on. But I'd like to "like" them. This is your journey Richard, most of us follow for very "selfish" reasons"...... Just a peek inside the walls of the unknown. Please continue, your a very gifted writer. I'm sorry that ALS has brought us together for one reason or another...... God Speed a cure for this dreaded disease. But nonetheless I look forward to your posts. I married into Huntingtons disease and will forever be changed. Bless your Mom and yourself and your children.... As a parent, a Mom myself I cannot fathom what lies on her heart every day. Cheers to tomorrow.

  3. I forgot to add a Cheers to your travels!!

  4. My dearest your body may be broken but your spirit shines through like the light of day.
    I feel blessed to know you since you were born. Love Mom