The Inherent Wholeness of Every Being

Close up photo of hands repairing a fishing net.

We who are Unitarian Universalist not only affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person; we also affirm the inherent wholeness of every being -- despite apparent brokenness.

No one reading these words is a stranger to pain, or the knowledge that things break, or break down: promises, friendship, sobriety, hope, communication…. this breaking happens because our human hearts and our very institutions are frail and imperfect. We make mistakes. Life is messy. Brokenness happens.

We’re intimately acquainted with brokenness, then, even as we believe that no matter how fractured we are or once were, we can make whole people of ourselves. We are whole at our core, because of the great, unnameable, sometimes inconceivable Love in which we live.

As UUs, we believe that paying attention to something is an act of love; witnessing and naming brokenness is how we begin to heal it. Some sorrows demand to be named out loud:

My sister died.
My body is fragile.
I’m scared that I won’t be able to pay my rent this month.
The streets in my city are filled with violence.

Healing begins when we examine what’s in pain, wonder how it occurred, and allow it to teach us.

In fact, sometimes the brokenness is immense and the only grasp, the only power we have over that large and complicated pain looming over us is to bear witness, to tell its story, and to seek out companions and helpers who are willing to agree that yes, there is something breaking or messy in front of us, and we will not leave or even look away until repair has begun.

If love begins with attention, repair takes the form of compassion, bearing witness, speaking out.

Repair looks like connection, justice, or even revolution. It looks like after-school tutoring programs, community meals, and holding signs in front of City Hall.

And it begins by placing full trust and faith that there is inherent wholeness in every broken situation.