Most of us don’t want to be viewed as fragile, but here we are.
Show me the human spirit that hasn’t been broken in some way. How do parts of us break if not fragile?
Be fragile. It’s fine. We were all born fragile. You know, that floppy head attached to a weak little neck, a wide open space in our skulls, vulnerable to poking toddler sibling fingers.
There are people who don’t break down easily. The ones we commend for appearing to be made of steel; so strong, so positive, just carrying on. Part of me used to strive for that because I guess it seemed like it went along with wisdom and strength, valor and heroism or something.
No more. I’m fragile and I know it. Without this fragility, I’m not as empathetic as I’d like to be and no matter how much it hurts to hurt so often, I’d rather hurt than not. The Lumineers are right, the opposite of love is apathy. And maybe those people who seem so strong aren’t as unaffected as I assume anyway. We’re all walking around with layers of memories and emotions like an onion and sometimes people have just learned to be more quiet about a layer being pulled off. I’m loud about my layers. It just is what it is.
Let’s be extra fragile. Let’s cry and need more rest. Let’s need help and ask for it. Let’s not be embarrassed for wanting that help. Let’s not be ashamed for not having enough of ourselves to go around. Let’s not live in guilt while we compare ourselves to that other woman, the one who appears to have it all together.
I’m fragile. I’m tired. I go and go and I run from here to there and back again. I work hard and I love my family like they’re my breath and water in the desert and the best book I’ve ever read all at once. I go and I go and I get hurt and sad and so do you, even if you’ve gone numb.
I used to think my fragility was a bad thing because what I heard people saying when they said I was sensitive is that it’s bad. That’s what I heard them saying anyway, despite what may have been their meaning, because I’m sensitive. But the whole time, I was just fragile and that’s because I’m not here to learn how to not feel.
I’m not talking about fragility like how you might think of a soft pretty pink flower petal or a sparkling china tea cup. This kind of fragile is a woman in skin and bone, tired eyes and tight shoulders, still going and going, bad things happening all around while good things happen too. This woman is attempting to meet the needs and deadlines, tie the shoes, answer the email, tuck the covers, commute, remember the things, feel the things, go and do and be…lather, rinse and repeat. She is fragile because even though our necks grow stronger and our soft spots are replaced with bone, our hearts come one way and they try really hard to stay the same.
We hold the hand that grasps ours to cross the street and we are still in as much danger as that fragile child we’re guiding. We are vulnerable to buses and heartache, chains and remorse and fear. Predators and car crashes, break-ups and lost jewelry or friends or jobs. These and more, are all the things that make up our armor if we decide to keep them in, alone.
Take it off. Give it away. That’s how it goes–feel it and grow and change and ask for help and then feel for them and grow and change and give them help.
Let’s be extra fragile. Let’s cry and need more rest. Let’s need help and ask for it. Let’s not be embarrassed for wanting that help and that rest. Let’s not be ashamed for not having enough of ourselves to go around. Let’s not live in guilt while we compare ourselves to that other woman, the one who appears to have it all together.