I was broken to be made a better me

Do you see that title? I wish I wrote it. The fact of the matter is that, like almost every other blog post I've written, it's a line from a song. This one is from a metalcore band called Wage War. (Yes, they're heavy. Yes, they're loud. Yes, they scream. I promise this is worth the read, even if you don't listen to the video.)

Often, when I tell people that some of the best lyrics I've ever heard or read come from heavy bands, I get a look of surprise. Sometimes people think I'm joking; others try to sell me on the "lyrical genius" of modern country or pop music. Every genre has great and terrible artists, and if you know me you probably know how I feel about country music as a whole. But I can always appreciate good lyrics.

The reason I picked "Witness" by Wage War is that there are so many different ways to relate to the lyrics. While listening to the song and reading along, I found so many awesome one-liners about mental health. It honestly surprised me. Here are a few of my favorites:

"Self-worth is not found in someone else"

"The hardest lessons that we learn / Are the ones where knowledge must be earned"

"Chase what you want / never give up"

And the whole chorus is good too:

"Now I see
I was broken to be made a better me
Had to learn to let it go and let it be
Sometimes we’re too blind to see"

Check out the video below and see what you think.


To be honest, I've struggled with what I want to say with this song. Do I want to talk about self-worth? Depression? Motivation? Growth? All of it? None of it?

Every time I've thought about this post or this song, my mind keeps drawing me to the chorus. Sure, it helps that the chorus is the easiest part of the song to understand, but it's also my favorite part.

Without exception, we will all face incredibly stressful times. We feel like we've been given too much; our threshold for what we can handle has been exceeded and now we're drowning. Maybe it's the death of a friend or family member. Maybe it's the end of a relationship. Maybe it's the loss of a job. Maybe it's a combination of a billion things at once.

When we're in the middle of these painful, stressful experiences, it's hard to see a way out. It's hard to see a reason for all of the struggling. It can seem pointless. And when it gets really bad, we feel unmotivated, like everything is hopeless and we might as well give up.

I think the reason that I keep coming back to this song is that we often feel like we're being asked to shoulder too much. Once the experience has passed and the pain has subsided, we realize we've survived and we even learned a thing or two about ourselves.

Sometimes we have these realizations as we're going through whatever is breaking us down. Sometimes we figure out what the purpose was soon after it's all over. Sometimes we don't ever figure it out.

But rather than focusing on the negative, what happens when we look at the positive?

Maybe that devastating death brings people together that haven't spoken in years or motivates someone to make positive changes. Maybe that relationship ends, and even though it's painful and frustrating, those involved go on to meet people who will treat them better. Maybe the loss of a job opens up possibilities that were never even considered before. Maybe the hurt we feel helps us learn to be patient with ourselves and others. Maybe we have to learn how to love each other and ourselves. Maybe we can't handle it on our own, so we have to learn how to ask for help.

When I listen to the words "I was broken to be made a better me", I think of the times in my life where I've felt like my pain was too much. I think of how much some of those things hurt, and then I think about all of the people who helped me through those times. I think about how much I learned because of those experiences.

Long story short, if you're in the middle of being broken right now, I feel for you. I've been there. We all have. No one likes to feel like they're choking under the weight of circumstances out of their control. No one likes menacing clouds that threaten thunder and rain when they're hoping for sunshine.

But I can promise you this:

The sun is gonna shine tomorrow. And the day after that. The clouds will break; the rain will stop; the sun will warm your skin again.

- Kit