Nothing’s Fine, I’m Torn

Originally posted June 15, 2012


We have a theme in the house lately.

Big feelings are coming out in tears.  As in tearing things … not crying.  Rips.  Sometimes when one child expresses their pain in a unique way, another will pick up on it and join them.  So, just today I have seen torn fabric twice.  Two different kids.  Two different situations.  Both representative of what they’re feeling.

Over the last several weeks we watched a gaping hole expand across a chair.  A pillow case met its demise.  That sort of thing.

We let these things go as much as humanly possible.  We simply try to find some quiet solitude with whoever is doing it, so we can connect in a way that actually gets to the heart of what’s going on.

It’s never about the tear.

I’m sitting here today with Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn” running through my head.  I have learned so much from my kids, and the most poignant lessons tend to come when I don’t react to the behavior, but actually stare it down.  Study it.  Learn from it.

Rips and tears.

I’m all out of faith.  This is how I feel.
I’m cold and I am shamed, lying naked on the floor.

Jagged edges of the cushion scratching at our legs every time we sit down.

You’re a little late.  I’m already torn.

It’s a beautiful picture for me.  Not that I find the pain in my children beautiful, but I can see it right in front of my eyes.  It helps that I can also think about how to repair the tears.  How to sew the fabric.  Or duct tape over the holes.  Or call them beautiful and leave them be, watching their edges slowly grow as life continues around them.  Because not everything has to be fixed right away.

It’s the process of healing.  It’s how they feel.  How I feel sometimes.  How we all feel.

I have extra duct tape, if anyone needs it.