Photo by Tommy Stone

Tommy titled this photo “Broken Rainbow”, and it gave me a new perspective on rainbows. His photographs give me a new perspective on a lot of things. He gives me a new perspective on a lot of things.

Rainbows are supposed to bring a promise of wholeness, of repair. They are a product of the combination of water (or a prism) and light at the correct angle, but the separation of the visible spectrum is magical.

The concept of a broken rainbow is challenging, then. What happens when a rainbow breaks?

What happens when a promise breaks? When there is brokenness and damage instead of the magic?

What happened for me is deep, profound beauty and an appreciation for a new perspective.

I am a trauma survivor. For me, the healing was far more painful than the trauma. The pain of surviving trauma and the deeper pain of healing from it profoundly changed me. It changed my perspective. It made me more vulnerable, more willing to take risks, more willing to stand up for myself and more open to the intensely beautiful experience of healing from pain.

I could have let trauma destroy me. I chose beauty over hate and darkness. I chose to open my life to accept pain and challenge and heartbreak, because they make me a better human. They make me rich beyond measure and aware in ways I never understood before my world was blown to pieces.

I struggle with the brain I have now. I am not as intellectually resilient as I was before. I cannot work like a machine. I cannot work under stress for unlimited periods of time. I have to pause now. I have to actively engage in self care. I have to acknowledge new limitations. I have memory loss. I need to rest. And I can now enjoy the beauty of life in a deeply meaningful way. I can connect in a deeply meaningful way. I like this version of me so much more than what I was before.

I traded what I perceived as strength for a new perspective on strength. And that experience is so beautifully captured in Broken Rainbow.