There I was lying on a table in the tattoo parlor watching a 20 something dude brand my arm with a message for my soul… “She was brave and strong and broken all at once.”

I hadn’t yet decided if I had truly accepted that statement or if the branding was my way of pushing myself to embrace my brokenness. I’ve since figured out it was the latter. 

You see, I am broken. My heart carries the scars of a thousand little cuts and a few huge gashes. It holds the hurts from the first time a friend betrayed me and the first time a boy hurt me. It bears the pain from the years of negative pregnancy tests. It still feels the gaping holes from the four babies I loved so deeply but lost. 

So yes, I am brave and I am strong, but I am also so very broken. And the saddest part about that is how long it’s taken me to make peace with that. 

It’s not that I couldn’t handle the pain. It was that my pain was too big for everyone else to handle. 

We women are so unbelievably strong and often bear unimaginable pain. But the world tells us to shut it down. Don’t talk about it. Don’t show it. Just smile and act happy. Nobody wants to hear about your pain.

I call bullshit!

Every time I’m brave enough to share my story, my brokenness, with another woman she tears up and takes it as permission to share her own story. Every. Single. Time. 

So I want you to know I see you! I see your scars. I see your pain. I see your brokenness. And it makes you beautiful! 

Use your strength and your bravery to share your own story so we can be broken together instead of feeling so damn alone in this pain. 

With hope & courage,