You don't need to heal or be fixed because you are not broken. You can damage or hurt parts of your physical body, or even leave this world and move on to the next…but your spirit cannot be broken. It's not mechanically or scientifically possible.
Why do we sometimes feel like we are broken? Because we live in a world of story - and that's the story we tell ourselves. Sometimes it's the story other people have told us. But either way, we've agreed to believe it.
Story is a very powerful form…it allows us to magically transform our challenges and conflicts and resolutions and growth and revelations into something meaningful that we can make sense of in our lives. Almost everything you remember or think about is in story form - there's a person/place/thing, something happens, there's a cause and effect…maybe some resolution, maybe you're left hanging.
Do you remember those tests you had to take in school where you had to memorize a bunch of events/facts/dates? Of course not. Story sticks with us because it's like our native operating system, our natural way to organize our experiences.
Our stories define and shape our lives. That's a powerful thing, if you really think about it - especially if you are not actively taking part in writing your own story. Maybe it's time to take out some of the chapters that don't feel true anymore and write some new ones. How do you know if part of your story isn't true for you? When you think about it, does it feel good, joyful, light, exciting? Or is it heavy, stressful, scary, worrisome? That's a pretty good indicator that you're believing something that's not really true about yourself. It just doesn't feel right.
How do you let go of stories that no longer belong to you? The idea of letting go is something that I'd like to have many more conversations about, but for now here's one idea: take the story you are sick of believing and write it down in the first person. Here's my example, from my life:
I can't become a writer because I have no time between running my photography business and being a mom. I have no experience and no connections - I will never be able to make a living writing and helping other people follow their dreams…in fact, I shouldn't even be sharing my ideas to help other people follow their dreams if I'm not completely living mine…
This is a story I've told myself before. I know it doesn't serve me or belong to me because it doesn't make me feel good.
So take that story you've been telling yourself, the one that feels heavy, write it down and burn it. Or compost it, if you're into that. Or bury it, ship it off to sea, feed it to a goat - I hear they'll eat anything and I've always wanted to test out how true it is.
Now write down a new story. Make sure you write it in the present tense, “I am” and not in the future tense. This is about redefining who you are now. Not who you could be someday. Start with how you want to feel, and put “I am” before each of those feelings. If you don’t know where to start, think about what is the opposite of the story your just tore up, or think about what seems most exciting to you, if you could be and do anything in the whole world.
Here is my new story: I have all the resources I need to follow my excitement and make my dreams happen. I will always know what I need to know, when I need to know it. I will be supported in my adventures by my family and friends, and the universe. There is no rush…everything will happen in perfect timing. If I have something to share, that means there is at least one person out there looking to receive what I have to give.
I don’t often speak in absolutes, but just as it is impossible for you to be broken, it is also impossible for you to stay the same. Change is the only constant. It's happening all the time and you can't stop it. This is where the idea of healing comes in...the real purpose of healing is not to fix you, but to allow you to actively participate in deciding who you want to change into as your life unfolds. I fully support the modalities of healing, I just wish there was a more accurate name to describe what they are actually offering you…they are not fixing you, they are showing you how to make changes to yourself in a way that is more in alignment with who you truly are, who you want to be.
It may seem like I’m quabbling over a word, but the way we define things has a great impact on how we experience our lives and I’m all about redefining things to create more joy. It makes you feel differently to think about needing to fix yourself versus choosing how to change – it’s more empowering, it’s full of choice. And life is really all about choosing...so what will you choose? What will your story be?
ps I would love love love if you would share the new story you write for yourself – even if it’s just one sentence. If you enjoyed or gained some fresh perspective from reading this, I’d be eternally grateful if you felt like sharing it with the people you love.
pps Upon spellchecking, I realized quabbling is not a word...quibbling and squabbling are words, but I kind of like mixing them together. I make up my own rules.