Pickup the pieces… 

Okay, so I have this one particular painting that I really adore. <See featured photo.>

It was not an original. Most likely an imitation. I, however, love looking at this work of art. So I placed this piece in the living room of my old apartment. Then, five years back, when I moved to my condo I brought it with me. I placed it at the wall facing the door, so that every time I open the door its view would be the first to greet me.

Probably, many of you are thinking that it is not even a stunner. Agree.

Just the same I like looking at this.

It was the first painting that I bought. I got it from Ecuador. And, I had it wood-framed in Quiapo, Manila — using a classy, dark brown frame. The painting, coupled with the wooden framing, was really nice to look at.

My problem with this piece started when I moved to my condo. I was advised by the contractor — and the maintenance people (because I kept on insisting) — that I cannot hammer a nail on the wall facing the main door. The power circuit breaker and the water pipes for the fire suppression mechanism are on that wall. It would be dangerous to hammer a nail.

I was just told to consider placing a mini-bar instead.

There is, however, that saying that if one is intent on having what it like, one will do what it could to make things happen. I am a believer of that adage.

So I researched, and finally got what I wanted. I had the painting placed on that wall with the help of hanging strips.

But there was a problem…

Father time and the weight of the framed painting were putting too much toll on the strips. After a number of years, the painting suddenly dropped from where it was hanging. It partly damaged the frame. I tried my “Handy Manny” skills (a moniker given by my daughter when she was much younger), patching the damage and restoring the piece back to its original look. It has been like this for quite a while.

It would drop again, and I would fix it again.

And the cycle continued…

After several fixes, however, I find the frame severely damaged. It was beyond repair. So I made a bold decision to just throw everything away.

While I was on my way to throw the whole thing, it dawned on me that what was damaged was merely the frame. The painting was intact. Bruised but intact. And those can easily be fixed with what I have in my toolbox. I thought that there was no need for me to throw all away just because the frame cannot serve its purpose anymore.

So I brought the painting back with me. I restored the minor bruises. And, lo and behold, I had it back to its original place in an hour — less the frame (of course). I think that without the frame, the hanging strips were now able to carry the burden well. Yes, it was not that pretty without the original frame. But it is serving its purpose with lighter load for the hanging strips to manage.

Now, it’s hanging for almost a year now. Greeting me every time I open the door.

Friends, there are two take-away that I hope you get from this.

First, there are things that you cannot simply fix — physical possessions, relationships or even career-related concerns — because of what happened or what you have done in the past. It would not be healthy to linger around it. Sometimes you would be better off without the “extra parts”. Yes, the “extras” could assist you (in this case it made the painting looked glamorous). However, if the weight is too much to handle, then might as well let it go (and don’t go chasing it).

(In the first place, if I have not insisted on putting together the frame and the painting given that their weight as a whole was unbearable for the hanging strips, the frame would have not ended battered and damaged. The frame was really beautiful before this, and I am sure that it could have beautified other paintings — better paintings. Also, the people around it would not stress with the probability that the piece would suddenly drop and hit anyone or anything. So the painting, the frame and the people admiring it are actually better off if these are not together.)

Secondly, there are things (or situations) in our lives that could leave us hurting. Note that, like that painting, even if part of it (or you) is damaged, it does not mean that the whole thing is already damaged. It does not mean that you lost your talents, charm, beauty or “what-have-you”. You should pick up the pieces, then try to build something out of those. Your true beauty/potential is still there, and just hiding behind the haze. You just have to pick-up the pieces, and bounce back.

You could become just like that painting. Broken and frame-less but hanging on, and lingering for the world to see.

Believe me.



PS1: I a recommending that you find time to read as well “PICKUP THE PIECES AND JUST BOUNCE BACK” and “ALWAYS BOUNCE BACK“.

PS2: I am encouraging you to read this self-help book on bouncing back. This may help you gather the broken pieces and start your life anew.

The Bounce Back Book: How to Thrive in the Face of Adversity, Setbacks, and Losses

“Salmansohn’s writing is bold, playful, insightful—with powerful metaphors that provoke and inspire. Her kinetic images amplify her message and take the book to a new level of literary experience.” – Deepak Chopra, author of Seven Laws of Spiritual Success

A bad breakup. A serious illness. The loss of a job. Life has a habit of throwing people curveballs. To which Karen Salmansohn says: “When life throws you curveballs, hit them out of the park.”

In The Bounce Back Book the dynamic author whose quirky self-help books—including How to Make Your Man Behave . . . and How to Be Happy, Dammit—mixes from-the-gut wisdom, humor, feistiness, and sophistication to create a hip, inspiring resource that will brighten the darkest mood. The book is grounded in happiness research, psychological studies, Greek philosophy. And it delivers: Here are 70 easily digestible, potentially life-changing tips on how to bounce back from adversity, each on a spread that’s as punchy in look as it is powerful in message.

“Shrink negativity into nuggetivity.” “Think of yourself as the type of person the world says yes to.” With its attitude, techniques, and advice on everything from exercise to staying connected, it is a full-on guide to moving forward with great positive energy.