As a child I vividly recall coloring pictures of things such as flowers, people, and places I’d imagined in my budding mind, to subsequently showcase them to my parents. In return, my parents would encourage me with compliments like “It’s beautiful” and “Good job!”. When creating my masterpieces I became so captivated in my process, that whenever a crayon broke it never upset me. To be specific, I did not even react. I picked up what was now multiple pieces, and proceeded creating my artwork. Never did it dawn on me that creating art with broken crayon pieces could potentially diminish the beauty of my masterpiece. It never dawned on me because it was not true…
You are the crayon that creates your own masterpiece in this beautiful adventure called life. And if no one has ever told you that, I am honored to be the first. When people say “Life is what you make of it” they aren’t lying. Three weeks following my raped my dad looked at me (after watching me walk around depressed) and said: “ Listen, in life you have to take the cards you’ve been dealt. It may not be fair, but life is not fair”. Although not the words nor approach I was anticipating from my dad, he was telling the truth. Also keep in mind I’m an islander, so we take pride in pushing forward in life. I could not let my struggle triumph over me. I was still the crayon and even if broken, I still colored. Even when emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually distorted I would still continue creating my masterpiece in life.
Not to get biblical on you, but I am. The bible states the Lord says “ I will never leave you nor forsake you”. (Hebrews 13:5). Jeremiah 29:11 states “ For I know the plans I have with you. Says the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” One of my other favorites is Micah 7:8 which states: “ For though I fall I will rise again. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.” Through my darkest times I refer to biblical verses. Now I understand not everyone can and will relate to these verses, and that is completely fine. For my readers who can relate, I hope you reference these verses in times doubt.
Every encounter we experience in life will either have a positive or negative ripple effect. Whether it’s going through a horrible breakup, grieving over a lossed loved one, or being fired from a job with no social support; it all affects you one way or another. Whether you fail that exam that you studied weeks for, or you’ve been dragged through a traumatic event; you’re masterpiece has now been forever bartered. Some of us will either ruminate and allow our sadness to deplete us, and others will ingest the atrocious and thrive. Either way you will do two things:
LIVE AND GROW
Firstly, you are alive and that simply means that what has hurt you has not killed you. Yes maybe a part of you may have metaphorically died, but you as a physically being is still very much alive. Secondly, whatever it was that has broken you was not enough to eradicate you. Stay with me on this… I think we has humans love to label and categorize ourselves into subgroups based upon what we’ve been through. “ I have PTSD”. “I’m an alcoholic”. “ I’ve failed this class twice, I’m never going to graduate college.” – But are you still alive? Yes. We are not what has happened to us negatively. Nor are we no longer going to believe and accept that. Sure you can feel sorry for yourself, but on a timeframe. Allow your darkest moments to fuel your brightest accomplishments. After my assault I cried for weeks and months at a time until I could process what the hell had taken place. Every Time I saw him at my job, I would have to go into another room and have a silent emotional breakdown. This was ongoing for months at a time. I remember constantly having to step out of the hospital to cry to my parents on facetime. “ How is he not in jail!? How is he walking around as if he didn’t rape me!?”. Knowing the man that violated me was able to live his life unbroken was…. Gut Wrenching. But I was still alive. And it was time to grow. So I did. At my lowest moments I was broken. But I still colored. I colored my masterpiece with colors that represented pain, grief, and anger. Eventually I began adding colors that represented peace, self-love, and even forgiveness on his behalf. That one took a while though… I never knew how powerful I was until I the night I asked God to forgive the man that raped me. That was a one time prayer I’d never pray again…
My wish is for you to never have to pray that “one-time” prayer. However if you do remember that if you’re praying for it, it’s because you did not die from it.Broken crayons still color. I am still coloring. You are still coloring. May your masterpiece be forever beautiful, for it was derived from you. And may your broken pieces of your past create an everlasting reflection of your future.