A Realization From A Broken Piece Of Art

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.

 

Recommendations

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.


Pickup the Pieces and Just Bounce Back

If you can get a message across to a large group of people, what would you say?

That was a question thrown to me by a friend about a week ago. I actually had a hard time answering the question. I reflected on my life and tried to think of something worth-sharing. My mind zeroed-in at the time when I broke to my Mom that I was about to become a young father.

That year was really hard for my family. I was about two years shy from graduating in college. My father died several months before that. As the eldest, I was expected to help my Mom raise my six younger siblings. I was also expected to help pay the debts incurred by my family when the city government implemented some projects affecting my Mom’s business (where the promises failed to materialize). My Mom also got hospitalized and operated on from the stress of providing to a brood of seven alone (where we lost almost all of our properties).

I didn’t know how to break the news to her. The burden that I was about to give to her was really heavy — not to mention that what she was carrying was more than enough to put her down. It dawned on me, however, that it would not be fair to her if I kept what happened a secret. More so if I let her discover this from others. So I mustered what I could and broke the news to her.

I was expecting hurtful words from her. She, however, just smiled at me, kissed me and hugged me tightly. She looked at my eyes and said,

“Jake, you know that I love you and your siblings so much. We have to be thankful for what happened. Your father just died, and God provided us with this angel to ease our pain.

This is what I want you to do. Never forget that you are really brilliant. You have a lot of potential in you. I want you to bounce back. People will be talking about what happened. But don’t mind them. What is important is that you bounce back. Prove them wrong.”

Those words made a lot of difference. It was etched in my mind and my heart. I took my Mom’s advice seriously. I fought against all life challenges thrown at me — financially, emotionally and mentally. My Mom’s words was my inspiration and it served as a constant reminder every time I wanted to give up on something — I have to bounce back and prove them wrong.

Where am I now?

I cannot say that I lead a lavish life. But I am leading a life with reasonable comfort.

I was able to help my Mom pay for the college education of my siblings — including their allowances and miscellaneous expenses. Helping my mom now pay our debts. I have not only finished my undergraduate degree but I was able to pursue my Masters. Residing now in a resort-type condominium. Driving my own car. Holding management position in my employer company. I also thrive and hold respectable positions in various professional and volunteer organizations. Conducting training and seminars. I trotted the globe.

And, a lot more…

Now, if I can get a message across a large group of people, I will share my story and this lesson with them…

We often times will be confronted with challenges as we try to pursue our life goals. Some of these challenges can hurt us physically, emotionally and mentally. What is important is that we bounce back, and constantly hold on to your inspiration. Go back to your DEEPEST WHY every time you hit a wall. Constantly remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing.

Believe me! You will soon be able to pickup all pieces of the puzzle, and create a wonderful picture of life. These challenges are just part of God’s way of getting the best out of you.

And to our parents, LEARN FROM MY SUPERMOM. Your kids will encounter challenges that could hurt them. Yes, they sometimes need scolding. Don’t forget, however, to share to them that at the end of their life journey what is important is that they able to bounce back. Don’t add to their injuries. Show them your love and support. Lovingly remind them that life doors are not closing on them with every challenge they face. Remind and inspire them to gather the broken pieces and just bounce back. 

 

PS1: I learned when my daughter turned four-years old that my Mom actually went to my father’s grave after I broke the news to her. She shared that she broke down in front of my father’s grave and asked him why my Dad left her with so much burden. But she never showed this to me. She is always the positive, motivating and loving Mom to my brood.

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.