Broken toys, books with loose pages, dying pot plants, chipped crockery, clothes missing a button or two. Just some of the things people have been giving me.
For a long time, I believed that it was because that's all I was good for. I was the holder of things that were close to death or dead indeed. It took me till a ripe old age of 45 to understand that things don't come to me to die.
They come to me to heal. They come to me to learn that not being whole is OK. They come to me to connect their brokenness with their power.
It wasn't just "things" that were "faulty" that came across my path.
Looking back now, I see how I have collected broken people around me too. They were attracted to something in me I hadn't realised I had. A light that was shining in their darkness, unwittingly, unassumingly, naturally.
I wasn't to know, as a kid, why that was. I didn't have the wisdom of life experience to understand that the broken people who wanted so much to be around me were drawn in by an invisible pull.
I remember, as a kid, feeling immense compassion for certain people. I couldn't explain it. All I knew was that I had to say a few kind words to them, a smile, a simple touch and I could give them comfort.
Thinking back now, as hard as it is, through the hourglass of a few decades, that was the true, unfiltered, free me. Free of shame, free of guilt, free of judgement, free of a lot of things.
I was unbroken.
Little did I know that the next 30 or so odd years will teach me some very harsh lessons about what it means to be unbroken in a broken world.
That unbrokenness didn't last for too much longer. Somewhere along that road I lost that clear, free part of me. Here and there.
The broken things and people never stopped coming to me though. So maybe it wasn't that I lost those parts of me. Maybe it was that those parts went into hiding, somewhere deep inside me where it was safe.
And there they stayed for a very long time. That is until they'd awakened again one night while contemplating yet another broken thing that was given to me.
There were no angels singing. No deep fatherly voice from the heavens speaking to me. It was the voice of my heart, finally breaking through the garbage I was collecting for decades.
This voice, my heart, my soul, my clarity.
I don't get clarity of insight like this very often. It was deafeningly silent and booming all at once. So much so that I thought I was having an anxiety attack.
Followed by a sense of absolute, solid peace, I have only felt a few times before in my life.
A string of events that happened over the years started making sense.
I wasn't getting broken things because that's all I deserved. I was getting broken things because I was to see them not as broken but precious things that had a rough time. Things that during fulfilling their purpose have burnt up all their energy.
It was the very same thing with people. They didn't come to me because I was vulnerable and to take advantage of me. Not because broken people are attracted to "fixers". I'm not a fixer.
I'm someone who can offer compassion, without judgement on how they came to be broken. Someone who can hold space where they feel OK to be in that broken state. They don't have to deny it. They are able to embrace it.
That is what creating sacred space is. Where people can face their darkest parts knowing they will not be judged, ostracised or told to hide that part of themselves.
It's a sacred duty to hold space for others. I'm not the only one who stepped into this role. Priestesses all across the world find and fulfil their purpose like this.
We are slowly coming out of the shadows as the feminine power rises. More and more of us become sacred vessels for broken things, having been broken ourselves.
We are healing and reweaving the sacred power of women in communities, in our homes, in our friend circles, in our places of work.
Our work has just begun. Are you one of us?