On Break(throughs)

I just need a breakthrough.

I keep telling myself this.

I need a breakthrough at work, where a barrier crumbles and I’m let in. I’m allowed to swim through the tormented, beautiful minds. Where I’m listened to and asked to listen.

I need a breakthrough in my creativity, where it suddenly ignites as if I were a human sparkler.

I need a breakthrough in friendships, where the awkwardness goes away. Where I don’t feel less than because of the newly missing half.

I need a breakthrough in church or spirituality, where prayer isn’t a homework assignment, but happens with people organically and in the moment. Where there is time for honest questions and room for silence.

I need a breakthrough in therapy, where I learn how to gauge whether I’m doing something caring for someone else or if I’m actually doing it for me (which, for the record, is way harder than you might think). Where I figure out how parts of my personality and character make me wonderfully amazing and wonderfully unhealthy at the same time. Where I figure out how to let go, unclench my fists and foster some sort of pioneering spirit that pushes me forward into God knows what.


separate or cause to separate into pieces as a result of a blow, shock or strain

to lacerate; to wound

to put an end to; overcome; stop

to interrupt the regularity, uniformity, or arrangement of

I’m in the process of breaking. In some moments I feel completely broken. We’ve all been there, right? There’s that overly-pinned Leonard Cohen lyric about how cracks are what lets the light in. It’s true, though. Breakthroughs must be like that- never one single break, but rather gradual shifts…tiny cracks that reveal or expose what was once unseen and intangible. And it’s an active process. To continue breaking is an option I will always have. It’s the “through” part that I have trouble committing to. That part is scary. That means I have to find the flaw and see through it. It means that I some point, in order to get anywhere, I have to shift my actions to a forward and through direction.

It means I have to take a break from the internal mind chatter that doesn’t actually benefit me. It means I have to finds ways to make use of the time I spent devoted to all these old habits and ways of thinking. And it means I must stay mindful of all thee above.

While breaking is unpleasant and disorienting, I realize that when we break…newness and freshness floods in. It’s different, but it doesn’t have to be scary. I can lean into that. I can embrace the pain of the cracking if it means I’m breaking for a good sob and surrender. For the most raw and pure form of faith. For new adventures and relationships. For the breathlessness of anticipation. For discovering that I’m capable of this. For sunflowers and sweaty yoga mats. For new eyes and a wiser heart. I can break for those things. 

Away with the notion that breaking is about isolation, gross imperfection, and all things depressing.

Usher in the truth that breaking is about movement, growth, and light. God is in the beauty, sacredness, and humble gratification of the breaking.