Regarding broken bones and comfort zones

There is actually nothing I like better than getting out of my comfort zone. Change is what grows us, stretches us, and pushes us to succeed. Without a vision, people perish. We need goals in life to live by and to move forward. These are all words I have spoken out loud to others with confidence, to my friends and whoever will listen.

And in secret also, they are words I have spoken and prayed over my own life. People who seek to change the world do not hide in blankets of their comfort zone, are they not instead constantly push the limits of their sphere of influence in life, growing and developing?

But when that change comes, how do we react? Creatures of habit in our most natural form, we abhor change. It terrifies us and terrorizes our ability to function. We would rather pull deep within our introverted shells, bury our heads in the sands of normality, familiarity, or regret – which induces fantasies of where we could be, what we could have done, what might have been.

Or worse still, we strike out in anger at this creature called ‘change’. We seek to destroy it, and as we do so, we cling with the kicking and screaming of a two-year-old’s tantrum to the things we know, to our safe place, to our comfort zone. “Things were better the way they were”, “Why change something that is working just fine?”

Stretch and grow my friend, develop and learn, embrace the discomfort.

But these are all small matters, regular happenings in the circle of life. What about the big change? The big storms of life that rip you clean out of your comfort zone, throw you to the ground, and trample on your confidence, smashing every little bone that was you?

When you pick yourself up and find that your life is just a mess of broken bones that will never mend? Failures, mistakes, embarrassment, let down, disappointment, betrayal, fear and weakness. What do you do then?

Do you drag your mangled body, like an angel fallen from heaven, into the darkest corner of your hell, and cry your eyes out, give up right there? Yes, you probably do. You’d be a stronger soul than most if you did not. But what happens next?

Do not tarry in that place long. Take time to cry, take time to feel the pain where those bones have snapped and grieve the health and growth you saw in your own life that looks like it has been destroyed. But don’t wait long, don’t stay there and file away at your broken bones and pick at the scars, there is no healing there.

Know when to walk away. Okay, you might have to limp. But you can walk away, you can. You can get up on your own two feet and choose to turn from your past. Let the events that break you shape you, but do not let them define you.

Just like that arm you broke when you were seven. It has shaped you, maybe changed you a little. You are wiser for it, and more aware. You won’t be climbing trees quite the same way again. You learned bravery and you learned to face your fears and pain, and you are a more beautiful creature for it. But you didn’t remain in that place. No one remembers you as ‘The girl who broke her arm’, and no one defines you as someone with ‘a weakness in her arm.’

So too the broken bones of life do mend. Do not let yourself be define by labels, by situations, titles or failures. You are not a book with a title that has been defined by a genre and given it’s place on the dusty shelves of a forgotten library.

No, you are a living, breathing story, the summation and accumulation of all things past, present and to come. You are beautiful, unique, and exquisite in your individuality. You shine out of the darkness, and you are not a fallen angel with broken wings, and you have not been forgotten.

Step up out of the brokenness of your comfort zones, get out there and trail-blaze, pioneer, be confident of what you have learned, be beautiful and fearless, for once you have fallen, there is nothing left to fear really, is there?

And whatever happens, make sure you change the world.

A catharsis. Artwork by J R Manawa.
A catharsis. Artwork by J R Manawa.


Written by JR Manawa

5 Comments Add yours

  1. rryrry says:

    This is a manifesto I get behind. The best advice I ever received when broken was from my Dad who simply said ‘it’ll be alright’ whilst giving me a hug. Now I am better in all the ways so I realise he was utterly right. It will always work out, maybe not how you expect but you’ll survive to fight another day. We all will. Now go out and change that world!

    1. jrmanawa says:

      It’ll be alright! It will. Thank you Rryrry, we’ll keep pushing forward!!

      1. rryrry says:

        Dang right we will! You’ve just got to see each set-back as an enforced jump into the unknown. It’s often the only way to move forward. Is all cool?

  2. I LOVE this JO! So true and on the point.

    1. jrmanawa says:

      Bam! Hits the spot 😉

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