You were never broken.
Yes, life may have felt like it broke you, but the very fact that you are still breathing, reading this, choosing life, means it never broke you.
Life can be really hard at times. I know this only too well. We can get into a place inside our minds where we just think ‘What’s the point? Why bother?’ It can feel like life is crushing us with the weight of responsibilities, if not from other people, but from the voices we learned growing up that became our own voice. We stopped questioning that voice and we started believing it was true.
If we are honest, we can take a good hard courageous look at ourselves and discover we’ve been telling a story for a very long time. Maybe since childhood, maybe since we reached adult years, but at some point, if we feel we are broken, we stopped telling new stories and kept on re-playing the same story over and over again.
It hurts like hell and sometimes we need the help of a therapist, a good psychiatrist or a counsellor to help us weed through the thoughts and beliefs we’ve been carrying to get through that dark time. At other times we may find a willing friend, a loving family member who listens or someone who simply bears witness to the journey we are taking and gives us space to process what has happened so we can begin afresh, begin anew.
Telling a new story isn’t easy. Not if you have been telling an old story for a long time.
My story was a failure story, my story was an ugly story, my story was a ‘never good enough’ story. I felt there was something wrong with me for a very long time. I was told this growing up and so like many stories told repeatedly, it got stuck inside my mind and I took it on as my own.
There’s nothing wrong with telling your story. You may even think that you will never be able to tell a new story, that your story is just too powerful, too old. You can resign yourself to life the way it has always been and accept it, or you can slowly put those illusory broken pieces back together and find a new way.
How Do We Tell A New Story?
We start small. We don’t expect to be positive, uplifted, joyful humans immediately, we accept that we will have easier days than others and some days we will get lost in the old story.
We are dangling over a chasm between a new world and an old world and letting go of the old world comes with a price. And sometimes that price can feel too painful to the ego or the inner child, until we question what the price is and whether it is worthwhile to let it go, grieve the loss of the old and move forward, move on, only then can we make larger strides forward.
We need to discover (alone or with the help of a therapist) what is it about change or the new that scares us so much? What secondary benefits are we getting from holding on to the old story?
Examples of stories can be
- I’m such a failure
- I’m too ugly to be loved
- I’m anxious all the time and this will never change
- My body is too sick for change
- Relationships don’t work out for me
All these stories can have benefits that feel far too risky to lose for the fragile sense of self we have been holding onto for so long.
For me, success was too scary. Success meant I was more visible, I was seen, I was heard. And with success comes the risk of criticism and praise and I feared both. And success meant those who loved me for being so small, may not love me anymore.
Thinking you are too ugly to be loved or in a relationship could mean that you never put yourself out there to risk rejection, but at the same time you don’t risk acceptance or love.
If we carry an anxiety story, it may be keeping us safe, stopping us stepping into our power, trying out new things, awakening inner skills and talents. And doing this may mean changes in our relationships.
Only we will know what benefits we gain from carrying the old broken ‘story’.
We Were Never Broken Or Faulty
We had faulty thinking, but we are not faulty. We may have been believing false and illusory thinking passed onto us because of life experiences of indoctrination from society or family, but who we really are is so much more than this. We are essentially whole at our core. That wholeness has been awaiting us to remember this. If we begin to question our story, that story can then begin to unravel and change.