Learning to Be at Peace with A Damaged Self

One of the hardest parts of this whole season/  endless trial is seeing my visual damage on my body, in my eyes, my aura. I can feel my damage and whenever I interact with people outside my family( very infrequently) I can feel my damage even more. It freaks me out, to say the least, that at 26, this is who I am. I do feel different, because in my age group, no one around me is as damaged and shut down as I am. Everyone has trauma and pain, but my parents and brothers and the few friends I keep in touch with on the phone are functioning and have not danced with deaths several rounds and pending like I have.

Therefore I often feel strange, different and like I don’t fit in anywhere, except for spaces where other people are deeply damaged too. God willing that I make it through this trail, I think that is where I want to be- with others who are hurting deeply. I feel that my spirit will be at peace there. I feel my purpose, if I get the chance to manifest it, is there.

I am working on embracing every inch of my damage. Maybe they are testaments not to weakness but deep strength. And even if they are also testaments to my weakness, that, I am learning, must be okay too.

One day at a time.

Subsiding by Kimberly Conrad Acrylic ~ 20" x 20"

A painting by one of my favorite contemporary artist, Kimberly Conrad



  1. I feel a lot like you, Rachel…that because of the things I’ve been through, I don’t “fit in” in a lot of places. But I’m learning, like you, that maybe that’s ok. If I fit in anywhere, it’s with other broken, suffering people. And what better place to be used by God? That’s how God can use you too–to minister to others, out of the places of your own pain and brokenness. So, as you said, see your pain not as your weakness, but your strength.

    I came across a wonderful poem on another blog recently that expresses beautifully what suffering and hardship can do for us–here are the last two stanzas:

    Good timber does not grow with ease:
    The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
    The further sky, the greater length;
    The more the storm, the more the strength.
    By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
    In trees and men good timbers grow.

    Where thickest lies the forest growth,
    We find the patriarchs of both.
    And they hold counsel with the stars
    Whose broken branches show the scars
    Of many winds and much of strife.
    This is the common law of life.

  2. April,
    The poem’s words are beautiful. The line that really gets to me is, ” The further sky, the greater the length.” The sky often does seem far away.
    Thank you for sharing with me that you feel that isolated feeling that comes with experiencing a lot of pain. I am sorry you know that feeling too 😦 but it is helpful for me to know I’m not alone. You are not alone either.
    Our pain is our strength and maybe one day it will be used in ways we never expected. My hope is that every torment, tear, ache, sweat, blood is used-nothing wasted. That all our pain is used.
    Thank you for this post April, made my day as usual with your message. 🙂

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