“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.” ― Brené Brown
You are not broken and don’t need fixing.
What you need is self-love and self-acceptance to heal your fractured parts, so they are made whole again.
What you’re experiencing is an opportunity to grow which may appear as being broken. In fact, you’re shedding your old self to make room for the real you to emerge.
You don’t need more articles like this to convince you of your worthiness. Whilst they offer reassurance, they are only a guide because your true essence will emerge when you discard your former self.
Author and speaker Mike Dooley writes: “You do not need fixing or self-help so much as you need self-love and acceptance. When you show yourself unconditional love and compassion, old unhelpful patterns of thought and behaviour naturally begin to fade away.”
The heartache, pain and disappointment you experienced served a purpose; to awaken you to your greatest self. Regrettably, many people perceive this as being broken, when it is life leaving the door ajar so as to light the way for your transformation.
“Everything in your life — especially your challenges — is tailor-made to help you see your stories of struggle. Whatever is in the way is the way!” writes Mary O’Malley in: What’s in the Way Is the Way: A Practical Guide for Waking Up to Life.
You might think: why do I need to be transformed if I am not broken?
This is so you can experience the completeness of your being, which includes: awakening to your greater potential, giving and receiving love and discovering the essence of your true self.
You were never broken to begin with, but undergoing a process of renewal. Sometimes, it may look as though the pieces have fallen apart because you are yet to see the entire picture. It is akin to looking at the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, oblivious to how it will come together.
You have unrealised potential waiting to emerge. You need only take the next step and trust you are being guided to merge with your greater self.
“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.” ― C.G. Jung
Don’t be discouraged if life appears chaotic at times. This happens when you shift your attention to the fragmented parts instead of seeing how they will come together to form the whole.
You are comprised of light and dark, for each compliments the other in a sea of duality.
If you focus on the unintegrated parts, you are likely to perceive yourself as broken. Yet, when light and dark merge, they become one like the Yin Yang symbol, representing contrary forces that are complementary and interconnected.
Matt Kahn explains in Whatever Arises, Love That: A Love Revolution That Begins with You: “By loving what arises, you unearth the deepest understanding of the Universe in the most heart-centred way. As your heart opens, you are able to see how every circumstance and detail of life has been created only to help you grow on a spiritual level.”
Similarly, it was the French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin who said: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
You are likely to make mistakes, some of which you will regret. However, I invite you not to dwell upon your regrets but to be compassionate with yourself, so you continue to grow and evolve.
The human spirit seeks to evolve, otherwise you remain stuck and stagnant. This is what many experience around midlife when they lose their identity.
Some people spend a lifetime trying to fix themselves to become perfect to appeal to others. Yet, if they are not received in the manner they expect, they believe there’s something wrong with them.
I liken it to scrubbing rust off metal hoping it will reveal the beautiful chrome finish beneath. However, in scrubbing you realise the rust is a natural part of the metal. By embracing it, you come to appreciate it as a unique feature instead of something to be polished away.
“Some of us can accept others right where they are a lot more easily than we can accept ourselves. We feel that compassion is reserved for someone else, and it never occurs to us to feel it for ourselves,” states the Buddhist nun Pema Chodron in: When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times.
You are not broken but breaking through your shell to reveal your best self.
By accepting yourself as you are, you let go of the self-hatred and disempowering thoughts that obscure your true essence.
As a writer and speaker, I have noted the same themes come up in my writing and speaking over the past decade. That is: suffering results when you resist what is.
This idea is nothing new but something the Buddha touched on centuries ago. When we let go of resistance and accept the conditions of our life, what remains is peace and harmony.
Mary O’Malley says: “It is important to understand that you turn your pain into suffering when you resist it.”
“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” — Thich Nhat Hanh
Allow me to highlight this idea of releasing resistance through an example that occurred recently.
We experienced a terrible flu season in Australia this year, with many people falling ill, some requiring hospitalisation and sadly several people passed away. My family members and I succumbed to the flu, yet they took longer to recover because they resisted their symptoms.
I, on the other hand surrendered completely and remained in bed for three days without medication. I slept through the entire ordeal and allowed my body to sweat the fever. Within three days, I had regained my strength and was feeling considerably better.
I recall my naturopath saying at the time that illness helps the immune system practice its resistance to bacteria and virus. In doing so, it kills off weaker cells that atrophy and are purged from the body. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.
The lesson here is: resistance leads to struggle.
Struggle always precedes pain and suffering.
To allow the energy of life to flow through you, let go of your resistance and accept the conditions of life.
You are not broken, so love yourself exactly as you are, allowing the next chapter of your life to unfold.
Psychotherapist David Richo outlines in The Five Things We Cannot Change: And the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them: “Our limits on self-acceptance are equal to the limits on our power to activate ourselves. The more we believe in our competence to reconstitute our broken state, the less we feel the fear that keeps us that way. Any event held in both hands combines reality with hope for renewal. That is what handling something means.”
Every new encounter is a catalyst for growth. The past is there for a reason and should not be carried into the present moment, because it discolours your present moment experience.
Surrender and trust that life has a plan for you, akin to the natural flow of water which finds its own level. Eventually, your personal growth will guide you to a wonderful place if you follow the current upstream instead of resisting it.
The key is to have faith in the process because the universe will not desert you. Sometimes it may look that way when you’re absorbed in pain and suffering. However, this is temporary and will eventually recede.
Allow life to heal your fragmented parts without dwelling on them more than you need to.
When the healing and transformation has occurred, you will have merged into the person that was there all along; your authentic self.
Originally published at medium.com