I realized a completely new reality the day those words took root. I’d heard, and said, them hundreds of times.
For the last 3 years I have been doing life coaching and trauma releasing work for myself and others. And I want to share what I have learned.
For nearly 3/4 of my 40 years I have spend countless hours pleading and wishing that I was different. Or that a part of me, usually painful, didn’t exist. I cut away at myself to no avail; it’s all still there.
I wished I wasn’t gay, so much that I tried to love two women. I broke their hearts, and my own in the process.
I wished I was better looking, more masculine, had straight teeth, had better facial hair, was more muscular, was better at sports.
I wished I wasn’t so creative, musical, artsy, emotional, empathetic, woo woo…
I wished I was taller, slimmer, more confident, more courageous, had more money, lived in a gay mecca.
I wished I wasn’t HIV+, I wished I was loveable, I wished I hadn’t fucked everything up so badly. I really wished I hadn’t gotten sick and wasted 5 years clinging to life… or death, I wished I wasn’t a drug addict, and more than anything I wished I wasn’t broken.
There wasn’t a day that would pass that one of those thoughts, or many of those thoughts, wouldn’t plague me. I was willing to do just about anything if I could just cut away those awful, shameful parts of myself.
I did everything from therapy to drug abuse and nothing worked. I still wanted to be a different version of who I was. A better version.
As a result of my often and many failed attempts to fix or get rid of some part of me I turned myself into something resembling that of a frayed rope. Still all connected, maybe even strong, but a complete wreck and unrecognizable.
In my quest to fix myself I took a weekend seminar and (in it) the word Integrity was put forth, along with it’s definition. The state of being whole and complete – not the typical way we use the word, but it planted the seed for me.
Maybe I was already whole complete and missing nothing.
It would take another year or so before I really began to fully accept that I had no part of me that needed to be vanquished, removed, or fixed.
As I combed through the rubble of my so called life while in recovery I discovered that freedom from my wishing and wanting to be someone else was simply hiding in accepting who I am. LOVING who I am.
If I accepted ALL parts of me I would fact be a different person. I would for the first time be consciously whole, complete, and missing no piece.
I spent the next year beginning to stitch back together the pieces of me that I had worked so diligently to cut away. I still work on healing the wounds and cuts from years of feeling broken. The transformation was and continues to be nothing short of a miracle.
I took the scared little boy that no one liked and held him close to my heart, we felt the for the first time it was okay to be gay. I held the hand of a terrified 23 year old being diagnosed with a death sentence and having no skills to manage that pain, and said “we’ll be okay” and we are. And finally I said “you don’t have to do this alone” to the heart broken depressed drug addict as we walked into recovery.
I felt the shame, blame, and guilt begin to thaw and melt away. I summoned true courage through intense vulnerability of accepting that every piece of me was good, deserved to be seen, held and loved.… AND that through the act of acceptance and humility I could be here today… ALIVE, HEALTHY, HAPPY, AND STRONG.
As I welcomed back all parts of myself, I found my voice, then my feet, and finally my heart.
Today I am married to the most amazing man, we live on the property of our dreams, our pottery studio is just out the door, I work from home and do daily what I only thought impossible 5 years ago.
Regardless of whether you’re getting high to numb out, or just simply telling yourself you’re fat or ugly, both have the same consequence of leaving you to feel broken and helpless on some level.
Accept who you are! All of you, Then… Love you too. The best, the good, the bad, the guilty, the shameful, the scared. It is your key to freedom and a life that truly inspires you.
Now, after hearing my story, people ask me what the biggest challenge I’ve over come is, I simply say… Me.
So really, stop trying to fix yourself. <3
P.S. I should clarify that I feel trying to “fix” one’s self is different than seeking self improvement. The first stems from a sense of feeling flawed or broken, the latter comes from wanting to expand your knowledge/experience/growth from a place of wholeness. In my opinion anyway.