Consciously or unconsciously we have visions of what our future will look like. This vision for our life starts in childhood, with dreams of what we’ll be when we grow up – a doctor, a fireman, a teacher, a rock star, a celebrity. Many of these thoughts and dreams are not even that definite. Sometimes they are just an idea lodged in some corner of the psyche that shapes the decisions we make so that life moves in the direction of our dreams. At other times, our vision is so strong that we deliberately and intentionally make choices to move our lives in the direction of our goals. And life moves along quite happily until something happens to fracture the picture, and the life we’d made for ourselves is shattered and, then, our fractured-picture journey begins.
A fractured-picture journey shatters our reality
This fracturing of life can be caused by so many things – poor decisions and choices, difficult relationships, failing health, financial crises. Sometimes the fracturing occurs because of other people’s decisions – a company’s restructuring, a drunken driver, or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Whatever the cause, when the picture of ourselves and of our lives is shattered we grieve for what we’ve lost, for the could-have-beens that now will not be.
We look at the pieces that lie at our feet, broken and misshapen. No longer do they reflect back to us the long-held dream picture of our life. They show a distortion, a fractured picture. Not only is the picture of our life shattered but so is the picture we have of ourselves. We can see part of who we once thought we were – an eye here, an ear there, a piece of hair. There are still parts that look like us, but we wonder what we can do with all the broken pieces.
The fractured-picture journey is deeply personal
The reality is that no-one knows just how broken you’ve really been, or exactly what has been broken. Sometimes it takes us a long time to work that out for ourselves. Others look at us and see us coping, perhaps even smiling, or making a new life and assume we’re OK, that we’ve got over whatever loss we’ve faced. But we know that, inside, the pain and loss are sickening. Our life’s journey has been fractured and we’re not sure if we’ll ever pick up the pieces, or make sense of it all again.
There is a temptation to try to put the picture back together again, to make it look like what it once did, before it was broken. But this really is not very effective, because no matter how hard you try to put something back together, the cracks still show. There are also pieces that are completely missing pieces that we’ll never find again, and some parts are broken beyond repair.
The fractured-picture journey takes us to new places
I have discovered that a better option is to let another picture form, one that takes all the shattered pieces and forms them into a completely different picture – a bit like the changing shapes and patterns in a kaleidoscope. This new picture can be a wonderful mirrored mosaic reflecting all of who we are, but it is so very different to the childhood picture. It may be a more mature picture of ourselves and our lives, one that is tempered by experience, and given depth by grief and loss, joy and triumph. While it is sad to lose the long- held dream and it is not easy to allow the new picture to be formed out of all the pieces, the fractured picture journey is so worthwhile – full of discovery.
As I have done my own fractured- picture journey, after divorce, I have discovered that the new picture that is forming in me and for me is both exciting and scary. I’m discovering who I am outside of my own preconceived ideas. I find that this new picture is actually a more accurate representation of who I am, and utilises so many of my innate gifts and talents. It is scary, because it’s an unfamiliar picture and the fractured-picture journey requires that I step into new things. And there is an ongoing mourning for the loss of the old picture and it takes time to feel comfortable with the new one.
Sometimes I just have to sit with the loss, with all the shattered pieces at my feet, just sit and look at the brokenness. But then, I stand and say ‘yes’ to the new picture, to the new part of my fractured-picture journey. I allow all the bits of shattered glass at my feet to be pieced together into a new design. My own fractured-picture journey does not look like what I’m used to – and some of it is uncomfortable – but it is beautiful, and it is good.
Take a fractured-picture journey of discovery
One way to tap into resources – both your own and others – as you do your own fractured-picture journey from one place in life to the next, is to join a mastermind group that I run regularly online. In this group you will be equipped with skills to navigate the newness of your own fractured-picture journey, and tap into unrealised potential that the fracturing of life can unearth.
If you would like to know more, leave your details below and I’ll be in touch – the journey is so worth it!