Break & reset & break & reset & break & reset.
Hemingway said, “the world breaks everyone, and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” A strange paradox: where we break, strength endures. It is essential to understand when we break, certainly, but maybe more important for us to be aware as we begin to break, as we are breaking.
Emezi asks, “What do we do?” but quickly answers: break, reset. It matters not whether bone or spirit or self or reality is broken, we have no choice but to reset what's been broken and adjust how we operate in this world.
Songwriter Jason Isbell asks, “what's the difference between a breakdown and a breakthrough?” When we feel ourselves breaking, when we find ourselves amidst devastation and ruin, we retain our perspective. What we decide to do with the break matters.
As we feel the break take hold, though often unaware of when or how we break, we can control the momentum with which we break, and the inertia we carry through the break to the otherside.
We don't need to see the light, we just need to know it's there.
We see obstacle after obstacle, but in recognizing the obstacles we are aware of the existence of the otherside, of the place beyond the break, and beyond the coming ruin.
Frost said, “the only way out is through.” We must endure the process of breaking, the break, and the aftermath. But he did not say how long it would take or promise a straight and obvious path. There may be many ways through, but the only way out is through.
We must break. We must endure. And we must reset to break through. We cannot predict what the way out will look like or how long it will take, but we can control our pace, we can keep grinding or we can stop and rest and heal. But we have to know we will break, and we will reset, and we will endure. And when we reach the otherside, we will be stronger.
And more importantly, we will know we can break and reset, and break and reset, and break and reset, and get stronger every time.