Broken merchandise on display

When I worked in retail, it was customary to have the sales associates comb over the products to make sure every inch of each item looked appealing to the eye. If a thread was out of place on a shirt, or a button was popped off a pair of pants, it was taken to the back to either be repaired or discarded. The idea is that the shopper doesn’t want to see, let alone purchase, any item that isn’t in tip top shape. People are hired at certain jobs to perform what is called quality control, and their sole task is to make sure the product on sale looks, tastes, smells, appears perfect.

I realize that I have carried a lot of these retail practices unconsciously into my own life. I don’t often allow people to see my damaged sides, my worn out threads, my popped buttons. I very rarely show the unappealing side of “product”, knowing that people aren’t often attracted to broken messes. I reveal to the world the finished product, after the changes, after the cleaning up. But lately, I haven’t been honest with the world, or with myself, and in doing so, I’ve hidden from the painful truth.

I am broken merchandise.

I’ve suspected this to be true for a few months now, but honestly thought some areas were healed and dealt with. I didn’t realize that I was simply burying my pain in the hopes that it would disappear, and I would still appear desirable, and whole. Tonight, I admit, I am not whole. My heart aches over some losses I have faced in the past year. I have beaten myself up over events and issues I have no control over. I have avoided tough questions, and ran from difficult answers, because I honestly thought I was “okay.” Tonight, I realize, I was simply lying to myself.

So, instead of hiding the broken apparel in the back room, instead of taking my feelings and truth off the shelf, I am going to leave it there for everyone to see. I am hurting. I am wrestling with some pain that won’t seem to go away, no matter how hard I shove it down. I am broken. And until I can allow the Creator to fix the broken places, mend the torn up pieces, everyone is just going to have to see me, shattered parts and all.

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I am a 32 year old teacher in Georgia, originally from Ohio (Go Buckeyes!). I am also a singer and I recently taught myself how to play guitar. For fun, I enjoy reading and lots of Netflix binges, which is my American right! I have also been known to cycle, run half marathons, and do just about whatever I set my mind to. A charming shepherd-mix dog named Kingsley lives with me and keeps me laughing at his antics at every turn. I am learning how to love the life I live with each passing day. Sometimes it's easy...other times, I write about it.

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