IF BROKEN CRAYONS STILL COLOR, HOW COME NO ONE PICKS ‘EM? Written For The Evolving Woman Blog By Raquel Pinder

Recently, I keep seeing the caption—“broken crayons still colour.”  But I see this phrase differently as it suggests that you’re still effective in your broken state. The lie detector determines THIS IS A LIE! For a long time, I, too, subscribed to this notion that we can be broken but functional.

Contrary to popular belief, while some broken things still work, they do not operate fully. By virtue that the body has been created to heal itself, that tells me ‘wholeness’ was always the design. Sadly, we have succumbed to this fake-it-til’-you-make-it culture-so much so that it’s hard to detect an issue at first glance.

Ooh, Shoot, I’m Broken!

Listen, I’m not telling you something I haven’t lived through. Let me read you my issue resume. My biological mother died, and years later, so did my biological father. Although I was adopted by wonderful parents, my adopted mother also died. And then, as an adult, I went years without talking to my father.

I’ve had four unsuccessful relationships to date. Caught fire, lost friends, alienated people, did some dumbness and then a little more dumbness, ya know-cause the first ten-times wasn’t enough. Lost jobs, been evicted, been penniless, and the list goes.  

These are just the stuff I’m willing to tell you about. Then for the coup de grâce (know as the kudegra-meaning the death blow), I woke up one day and couldn’t move. BAM! Hit with an autoimmune disease resulting in loss of motion, range, and function.  

So how does that happen? Well, the Bible says a broken spirit dries up the bones (Prov 7:22). In laymen’s terms, it’s the result of what happens when you take all the things that have hurt you, the people that rejected you, the stuff you don’t wish to deal with—pack them neatly in a time capsule and bury them. 

BAM! A storm comes, and everything that was buried floats to the surface. When this occurs, a broken crayon then becomes more literal than an analogy. For some, it’s daddy issues compounded with a broken heart, mixed with a stint of self-esteem issues, wrapped in a broken heart by another dude, sprinkled with more abuse. I mean, just snowballing into an avalanche waiting on the slightest noise. 

In the spirit of transparency, after every issue, I honestly thought I was okay. I figured if I cried a little bit, vented to my friends, then said a hail mary prayer, that was enough. After all, I’m a strong black woman, right? Wrong! No wonder author April Mason doesn’t consider this term a compliment. Sis, we were not built for all this load. Just cause you can carry it doesn’t mean you should have to.  

There I was, a broken crayon. In all my vivid and intense colouring glory, ready to shade some dude’s world with my brilliance. BAM! Broken in yet another place and again not chosen to colour anything but my own tainted world. Flawed as I was, it took me a minute to realize I am a prize. Spoiler alert: No one wants a defective prize, not even the people who themselves are faulty—we all like shiny and new.

I’ll tell you this much when those attributes of your brokenness rare their ugly head, people will be quick to remind you, you are not the brightest crayon in the box. Honestly, we do ourselves a disservice by thinking to be a ride-or-die chick means he’d be willing to do the same for you. Trust me, more people dying of a broken heart than cancer. Believe that!

We reckon sticking it out in impotent relationships, for a sparse moment of happiness, is some key to unlock the Matrix. Sorry to say, sometimes, you are not Neo; and you are not the one.

The Right Shade of Confidence

No one wants to love anyone who does not like themselves. No matter how beautiful your flyer is, if you ain’t gat’ the sauce, chances are no one wants to eat at your table. The thing is, you won’t be everyone’s flavour; somehow, we get stuck on what was. We keep going back, asking why? But how? What didn’t I do? Should I have done more? Almost as if we’re pleading, “Yassss, I beseech you, please mistreat me!” Stop that mess. Just close the door!

We think that closure means getting the other person’s answers when closure simply means letting go. My dear, learn to be okay without the answer. I assure you, knowing will not ease the pain.

For healing to commence, I had to dig really deep and recall some painful moments. First on the list was me. I’ll tell ya, I made some really dumb moves in life, like to the point of thinking, if dumbness was a person, it had to be me. Truthfully, a lot of it wasn’t always someone else’s fault.

Forgiving yourself is the foundation of the process! In other instances, I was readily willing to make an apology. Still, some again, it took me up to two years just to find the courage to say the words, “I’m sorry, I was wrong. Please forgive me!” Nonetheless, it was the most freeing thing I’ve ever done! Your sickness may not manifest as mine did, but trust me, it’s there, lurking beneath your Ruby Woo lipstick and contoured cheeks that pretend to smile.

Look, when kids are colouring, they don’t gravitate toward the broken crayon. No kid even wants the crayon whose tip is dull and worn down. They want the one that is sharp and can get closest to the line. Trust me, I’ve tested the theory. To a kid, that broken, unsharpened crayon reads ‘unappealing.’ In a Crayola box of 64, there at least 6 shades of green. While someone may want forest green to shade in the trees, they’d opt to use pea-green before picking the ‘useable’ but broken one.

Start by admitting you’re hurt and seek the qualified help you need. And for God’s sake, this does not mean posting your proclamation of moving in silence or taking a break. That’s nobody’s business. Broken can work, but ‘whole’ was always the original plan. (see Gen 1).

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