I am Amazing. And Broken. Just Like You.
Every January, a brand new year begins, full of promise. Every square on the calendar is empty, waiting for us to fill it with life well-lived. Several of my friends have had new babies in the first few days of January, over the years. To me, the new year brings with it new life, also full of promise.
When you see a newborn baby, you can’t help but be awed by how beautiful and amazing human beings are. I know two people whose babies were born with cleft palate—and it always strikes me how the birth defect cannot diminish the sweetness and beauty of each little baby. It’s not how babies look that makes them amazing—it’s who and what they are. Those precious snuggly cuddle-bugs are a bundle of gifts and talents, personality quirks, strengths, emotions, and unique traits that make each of them a work of art.
That goes for every person on the planet.
Yes, everyone. Everyone is amazing.
The problem is that we’re also broken.
If you’ve ever fallen in love, you know what it’s like to see nothing but “Amazing” in another person. When you’re in love, you don’t see the faults and flaws. You don’t see the parts that are broken. You’re so overcome by the Amazing that the Broken doesn’t register. You focus on the good, and ignore the bad.
Eventually, you have to start paying attention to what’s real, and that includes the not-so-great parts of the other person. The broken parts. Problems in relationships—both personal and business relationships—arise when the balance flips: You’re so overcome by the Broken that the Amazing no longer registers. You focus on the bad, and ignore the good. Unfortunately, that is the norm in many relationships.
Kinda sad. But you can change that.
The first way is obvious: Start looking for the Amazing. Some of us are more broken than others. For some of us, you’ll have to do a little digging to find the Amazing that’s hidden under the damage done from neglect, abuse, or even the normal “wear and tear” that comes from a lifetime of interactions with other broken human beings. Find it and celebrate it.
The other way is harder. It requires looking at ourselves. Are you communicating your Amazingness? Or are you communicating your Brokenness?
Often, we choose to communicate the Broken over the Amazing. It’s safer. We expect people to reject our brokenness, but if they reject our parts that are amazing, that really hurts. By putting the Broken out there, we keep expectations lower. We hide behind the Broken so that we don’t have to risk feeling inadequate or rejected. We use the Broken as a crutch to keep from learning and changing and growing.
“That’s just the way I am.” We’re so busy communicating the Broken that we suffocate the Amazing.
Yes, you are Broken. But you are also Amazing. Being authentic means being honest about your flaws, but it also means being honest about your inherent marvelousness. It’s risky, sharing that with the world. But when you’re honest about the Broken while openly communicating the Amazing, you present the clear, real, full, wonderfully human and wholly authentic version of yourself to the world.
Communicate with kindness. Communicate with confidence. Communicate with respect for humanity, even when you can’t quite see it in others.
Let go of the Broken. Seek out the Amazing, in yourself and others. Make 2018 a great year.