I wanted to smell the fragrance of this bit of branch with its pine needles. I held it to my nose and sniffed...I smelled nothing.
"What is wrong with this bit of tree," I thought. I sniffed again, and still nothing.
Then, I heard a voice in the room say, "If it is crushed or broken, its fragrance will come out."
I took the sprig and bent its needles between my fingers. Sure enough, I could smell slightly the fragrance that came from within. The more that I bent its needles and crushed it in my hand, the stronger its true fragrance emanated from the inner core.
The sprig didn't look quite as perfect as it had been at first, untouched, with each needle in place. I smelled the sprig that was now partly bent and broken. The more I smelled it, the more I noticed something that I had not been there before. A pleasant sweetness lingered in the air. The sprig did not have the rough, harsh smell I had remembered from other trees.
Because of the fragrance that came from being crushed and broken, the beauty of the sprig of tree extended further that it could before and brought a comforted smile to my face.
I too have been crushed and broken. In the beginning I thought that everything in my life was ok and in order. I went along like everybody else. Then mental illness came crushing into my life. The pain and struggle broke me. I didn't think I could be anything of worth any longer. I wanted to die.
Time continued to go by, and I still lived. Going through the brokenness, a new strength arose within me. From being crushed and continuing on, I started to see beauty that healing brings. Maybe I was and am crushed and broken so that the true, sweet fragrance of the life I choose to live can emanate from the inner core of who I am. Maybe my life can become a fragrance that can be taken in by others and become something beautiful.
Being crushed and broken could be worth it after all.