You’re not broken.
I don’t care what “issues” you think you have, what “patterns” you seem to be living, what “childhood traumas” you believe are the cause of your problems. All of those are simply theories about why things are the way they are.
And worse, they’re not even good theories. Oh, sure, they’re compelling stories — like a good book or an engaging movie — but that’s it.
Your relationship with your father causing relationship problems now? Just a theory made up by someone trying to make a name for themselves or fill up a workshop.
Having relationship problems doesn’t mean you’re broken.
Not successful because you don’t “think like a millionaire”? Complete fiction created with the common human thinking error that everything looks obvious and reproducible… in hindsight.
Having financial difficulties does not mean you’re broken.
In fact, nobody has ever given me one piece of “proof” to support the idea that they’re broken. And, the fact that you’ve spent tons of time and money on therapists and healers without changing the “issue” is definitely not proof.
But, hey, don’t believe me just because I said it, because believing some seeming authority figure is how you came to believe those other stories in the first place!
Put this new hypothesis to the test:
“Everything I think of as proof that there is something wrong with me is actually a demonstration of how I (either as an individual, or as a part of the human race) am functioning perfectly. I am not a self-improvement project.”
You know how some computer software has what seems to be a problem, or a “bug”, but it’s actually the way the software is supposed to work, is actually a “feature”? Well, what if everything you called a problem in your life was a feature, not a bug?
Try that idea out and see what you find.
Here are a couple ways to put this theory to the test:
1) Check and see how many others have the same “problem.” Don’t like your body? Okay, find a way to ask 100 or 1,000, or 1,000,000 people: “Is there some part of your body you don’t like?” If the vast majority say yes, then, guess what, not liking your body is part of being human. A feature, not a bug. (And not liking that you don’t like your body may be, too!)
2) Look for other explanations that don’t require some theory that can only be proven after the fact. Don’t have as much money as you want? Maybe it’s not because you don’t have an “abundance mentality” and if you could somehow magically change your thinking, money would show up (the only “proof” of the theory is AFTER money shows up, not after you’re sure your thinking has changed). Maybe it’s because you’ve used some excuse (sorry, good reason) to talk yourself out of a higher paying job. Not a problem, just the result of a choice.
3) Toss in some humbling historical perspective. Remember something unpleasant that turned out to be a gift. Remember getting something you knew would make you happy, but the shine quickly wore off. We’re constantly trying to ensure our future happiness. But we’re horrible at knowing what’s best for us, and even worse at remembering how bad we are. And, we think we’re special: even if a million people got what we wanted, and none of them were happier, we’d still think, “Yeah, that’s them. But if I got it, I’d be different.”
4) Read about evolutionary biology and cognitive psychology. We haven’t gotten much smarter in the last 10,000 years. Using old ways of dealing with a brand new world can make things a bit tricky. Getting the bird’s eye view of our life, the bigger context of our experience, can make all that “personal stuff” you need to fix, well, not so personal, and not so in need of fixing.
Finally, don’t forget this biggie: If you aren’t broken, then neither are your parents, your children, your friends… and, if you have one, your partner. And if that’s true, neither are your enemies, that guy who cut you off in traffic, or the rest of the world.
And if you think that losing the ability to see yourself and the world as a problem would turn you into a lump on the couch, then ask yourself, “What about those times where I did something out of curiosity, play, excitement, creativity, or just because I knew it was the right thing to do?”
Welcome to the world of the un-broken!