Meditation: Calm, Relationship with Self Series: Unbroken Length: 10 minutes Where: Office/Guest Room, Los Angeles How It Felt: Powerful Who Joined Me: Steve
This meditation was quite beautiful. I actually teared up once and had a little emotional release. I love that.
The discussion here was the idea that we are whole as we are. We are not broken objects that need to be “fixed,” but rather complex human beings who deserve grace. Healing is important, but it isn’t to fix what’s broken, so much as to get back to who we really are underneath our trauma, fear, and scars. Isn’t that powerful?
I’m a person who gets sick of my own shit. What I mean is that when I start to notice negative patterns in my life, I can’t just let sleeping dogs lie. I want to adjust. I want to dig until I find the reason why I allow the same painful or harmful situations to occur over and over. I want to figure out whatever I’m doing to sabotage myself and pull it out by the roots. I am not the kind of person who stays in a crappy situation and complains about it forever. I’m the type (and I enjoy being around the type) who wants to constantly grow and learn.
I don’t look for someone to blame. I don’t search for someone else to pin it on. I don’t think of myself as terrible and unforgivable and bad. I don’t see any use in a shame spiral (when I can help it- much easier when you have your mental health in check). I simply try to get to the bottom of the problem so I can adjust, then file the lesson away for future use.
Still, as mentioned in this meditation, it is possible to get “addicted” to healing. It can be a form of perfectionism, or of wishful thinking. As in, “if only I lost ten pounds, everything would start going well.” Or, “if I could just stop being lazy, my life would be on track.” It can masquerade as a way to take control of life, but often, hiding underneath the good intentions, we find shame, self-abuse, fear, and procrastination.
I don’t think this describes me, at least not since I went through eating disorder recovery and threw my perfectionist side out for good (we hope), but it’s something to be aware of as a person who is constantly scanning myself and trying to be better. I used the down time I had during COVID, for instance, to do some deep work and let go of some painful situations. However, my regular day to day life is full of work and friends and art and experiences and learning and living- there isn’t always time to work out every single issue I have and wring every single lesson from every situation. I could definitely see myself finding comfort in putting certain parts of my life “off” until I work out this and that.
It’s important to keep this in mind and watch out for it.
Healing should involve feeling your emotions in a healthy way, a little bit removed so you can examine them and see where they lead you, rather than getting angry at yourself or even hateful. You can feel sad or move through grief or get frustrated with yourself, but if you’re just shaming yourself, you’re on the wrong path. There should be love and kindness, understanding and grace.
We should help ourselves the way we would help someone very precious to us. Kindly.
I think it’s also so important to have an outside voice you can trust when you’re working through things. A therapist, a great partner, a healing group of people who understand what you’ve gone through, such as Al-Anon or Evryman, etc. People who hold you accountable but give you space to work things out on your own, too. People who are patient but not indulgent.
Basically, if the people you trust to help you heal just tell you over and over that you have no responsibility for anything, including your own actions, that’s not helpful. You also should not just be shamed and blamed.
We are entering a time I think is really amazing, in that more and more people are talking about mental health and childhood trauma. We are being more vulnerable than ever before, which is helping so many people get healthy mentally and emotionally. We are holding ourselves and each other accountable for everything from racism to transphobia, from recognizing our privilege to taking responsibility for how we’ve treated people close to us. It’s pretty incredible and makes me very hopeful.
At the end of the day, be kind to yourself. You are perfect as you are, I swear. That doesn’t mean you can’t be happier, healthier, kinder, more balanced, or more you. It doesn’t mean you can’t keep growing. The fact that you find fault in yourself means you are brave already, so focus on that. Yes, do better, but celebrate the fact that you have the awareness to realize you can do better. Do you know how many people are so afraid to be imperfect that all they do is blame others, refuse to take responsibility for their lives, or give up trying altogether?
Not you. You are one of the strong ones. You are working on yourself for the greater good. You’re doing it with love, because everything should be done with love, and this is no exception.
You are not broken. You are a goddamn hero. Keep going, warrior.