Navigating the Broken Glass of Life

This piece originally appeared in my blog. Since we are all feeling like we are on broken glass right now, we can all relate to this one.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash


A few years ago, I had an intriguing dream that I still remember. I was in my house looking around my bedroom. I decided to leave the house for some reason. I walked down my steps and saw my dresser mirror shattered. As I walked around the living room and into the dining room, I saw broken glass everywhere. I stepped around it. The dream ended before I made it out the door.

Mirror, mirror

As an English major and all-around literature glutton, I love symbolism. Mirrors are fraught with symbolic meaning. Those closest to us hold up metaphorical mirrors when we need to see what’s important. Of course, the reflection that stares back isn’t exactly what other people are viewing. Sometimes, we see what’s actually there. Sometimes, we don’t. One of my favorite scenes in one of my favorite Bollywood movies, Umrao Jaan, showed the main character, a courtesan, looking into a mirror. Her face is dispassionate as she wipes it down. She sees what’s in the mirror, and she knows she can’t wipe it away. During the film, she tries to change her circumstances and her life. However, in the end, she finds she can’t. Her simple act of wiping the mirror down with no emotion on her face at once shows her acceptance of her reality and makes her heroic as opposed to tragic.

Knowing where to step

In my dream, I walked around the broken glass. I knew exactly where to step to avoid getting cuts on my feet. I don’t know if I made it out the door without a cut or a scratch. Given the navigation skills I have accrued in my life, I know I walked out unscathed.

Former teacher who retired early to pursue a passion for writing. Personal development content writer and fiction author. Dog mom.

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