A Cracked Pot

…broken cisterns that can hold no water… ~Jer 2:13

My life is informed by trauma. All that I think, all that I experience, all that I feel runs through the filter of my particular history of trauma. This is true for most people caught by trauma.

A life informed by trauma is common enough, but it isn’t “normal.” It isn’t right. It isn’t the way it should be.

Trauma leaves us wounded, cracked, impaired and damaged. Sensitive where others are not and hard where others are soft. We are often reactive to our experiences, simply hoping to hold on for a bit longer.

We can find it difficult to hold on to the good things in our lives fearing they will be soon stripped away. Sometimes those fears are wild and reflect our woundings but other times they capture our particular experiences of loss.

So much of my life I have been a cracked pot, a broken vessel. Even in healing the tensions of life can cause the mended fissures to leak. Holding water has been a challenge.

When I began to learn about the contemplative life, I was quick to realize that the rhythms of that life would serve me well and add to my repair. My pot strengthened, holding a little more water.

The hours of prayer were especially helpful in the beginning. Later, the ability to simplify from eight times of prayer in a day to two was just as helpful. “A little rule” rooted in St Benedict reset how I understood my days, my work, the inevitable challenges in a day and the meaning of it all.

So I am a cracked pot. No getting around it. I’m doing my best to get along. A pilgrim on a pilgrimage. Nothing more than that and nothing less.