Beautifully Broken

The words have not been coming easily.  Over the last couple of months I’ve found it difficult to organize my thoughts and put them on paper.  I’ve had moments where I felt inspired to share my thoughts but I couldn’t summon the energy to expand on the insights and those moments of inspiration quickly passed, glossed over by the demands of each day.

My time and focus have been taken up by a combination of dealing with the difficult, fatigue and pain, and doing my best to focus on the great things in my life, my birthday, Valentine’s Day with my boyfriend, and a wonderful quick getaway.

There is hope of progress on the horizon, though.  I have an appointment with my naturopath this week and I’m hoping that we’ll be able to make some progress with the help of some test results.  One set of test results showed that the Epstein Barr Virus that I contracted as a teen has reactivated and may be part of the cause of the fatigue I’m struggling with.  I received the results of my genetic testing back from 23 and Me and I’m hoping that it will give us a direction to take that will address any genetic abnormalities that are effecting my health.  And, the results from the Organic Acids Test should be able to give me some good information on things like blood sugar stabilization, energy production, methylation, toxins and detoxification, oxidative stress, fat burning, neurotransmitter turnover and intestinal bacterial overgrowth.

In the midst of my health struggles I was very blessed to get to go to St. Petersburg, Florida with my boyfriend for a four day weekend.  We went to Florida to relax, enjoy the beach, and find seashells. We were told that Sanibel Island had one of the best beaches in the US to find big beautiful seashells and there were pictures of piles of seashells that filled me with awe.

When we got to the beach I was underwhelmed.  Yes, the beach itself was absolutely beautiful, but on the initial observation of the beach there were no piles of beautiful, unbroken seashells to be found.  My excitement deflated like a balloon but my boyfriend and I walked the beach, determined to enjoy the time, looking to see if we could find a hidden treasure that someone else had missed.

photo 1

And we found it.  We found beauty in hundreds of small, broken seashells.  When we opened our eyes to see, beauty was to be found in the shells that were…

Broken open



Eaten away

Pounded by the surf and sand

Broken apart

These shells became my new favorite.  The shells were no longer what they were before.

They were more. 

Their beauty was no longer hidden by the perfect shell.  Instead their beauty, grace, and color were visible for all who would see because they were broken.

photo 2

Sometimes I feel broken, battered, and empty.  Like the beauty of who I was is lost to me.

On that windswept beach, recognizing the beauty of the broken shells reminded me that I may be broken but the pain and struggles have changed me in some of the most beautiful ways.  If I had known what I know now, how long the pain and struggle would continue, I would have been horrified.  But looking back, I am astonished at my strength.  I am proud that I have made it this far.  The struggles and pain have cultivated patience, empathy, strength and resilience in me.

Would I trade away the pain and struggles if I could?  I don’t know.  The noble response would be to immediately say that I wouldn’t change anything because it’s made me a better person but that answer is just too simple for such a complicated situation.

But, if I have to struggle (which I do, at least for now), then I will take whatever I can from the situation and use it for fuel for tomorrow.

How have your struggles cultivated your beauty?

Mindy Kissner, HHC, LCSW

Thrive Wholistic Health


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