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Epiphany: There is absolutely nothing wrong with me

Maybe that sounds a little underwhelming, but for most of my life, I felt like I had some set of horrible flaws that kept me from getting the things I wanted—jobs, romantic partners, friends, health, everything. But after a few years of therapy that helped me sort out my emotional issues, a few years of physical therapy to connect to my body, and treating a long-term auto-immune disease, I realized that not only is there nothing wrong with me now, there never was anything wrong with me. I had some heavy stuff to work out for sure, but the only thing that was actually wrong was my belief that I was damaged.

So many good things are happening right now that I never thought would happen. I'm nervous, but I finally believe in myself. I believe I have the skills I need to live a fulfilled, productive life. If something goes wrong, it's not a tragedy. It's just life. If I make a mistake, it's not proof of how much I suck. I'm human, and humans make mistakes. If I feel sad, or lonely, or anxious, it's ok. They're just feelings. I can use those feelings to go deeper to find out what's really going on and change the situation or my perspective.

I don't know that there's a point to this. If anything, I hope if you're struggling, you can embrace that there's nothing wrong with you either. I know this is cheesy, but this quote from Pema Chodron sums it up for me.

Compassion practice is daring. It involves learning to relax and allowing ourselves to move gently toward what scares us. The trick to doing this is to stay with emotional distress without tightening into aversion; to let fear soften us rather than harden into resistance. We cultivate bravery through making aspirations. We make the wish that all beings, including ourselves and those we dislike, be free of suffering and the root of suffering.

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So be daring. Cultivate bravery. And move gently toward those parts of yourself you fear the most. You'll find love and your most beautiful, true self in those ragged little pieces.

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