Our Flaws Are Our Uniqueness and Often Times Our Genius
Earnest Hemmingway wrote, “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”
I first heard this many years ago and it struck a very real chord with me. Over the course of my life since, I have found this truth at play in countless instances.
We see it in the gnarls of an old tree. Years of weather and the knocks it has sustained have shaped it, given it character, have made it stronger where it once was broken and it is all the more beautiful because of it. Its will to live has been relentless. It has survived.
As human beings we are considered flawed with our imperfections but flaws, like beauty are subjective and in the eye of the beholder. Our flaws are our uniqueness and often times our genius. They make us who we are.
Like the old tree, our experiences shape our life and build our character. They cover every aspect of us. What we choose to do with our life experiences, whether we allow these experiences to make us or break us, shows our true mettle. And when we do break, do we stay broken or do the cracks mend and fortify our strength, our resolve, our stubbornness to not only survive, but to thrive?
When something breaks, whether it’s a job, a career, a relationship or an ideal we once held dear, whatever the situation, we can choose to either fix it or move on. The discomfort of dissatisfaction can catapult us with a do or die, settle or fly kind of angst that propels us to take the big chances we need to take, because we have nothing else to lose. We become stronger from the experience and we take what we’ve learned with us into the next chapter.
In a world of contrast it is only natural to desire to make something of beauty from the rubble of what stood before. So we keep moving forward. Getting stuck in the past would be tantamount to staying broken. We do our best to stay positive, to see the silver lining of what we’ve learned in every less than perfect situation. We release the anger and the pain and the bitter chain we don’t want to be shackled with. We heal and we become strong.
Vines that make the finest wines are not pampered. They are forced to decide where to put their energy and the fruits of their labor produce something magnificent. It is our bold adventures, for better or for worse that shape and mold and bring out the strength, complexity and the layers that tell the story of who we are.
Let us strive to live our lives strong, like the fine wines whose age and experiences make them all the more rich and delicious, intoxicating, and mysterious.