The illusion of being uniquely broken

“Something is wrong with me”, you think.
“What happened to me that I became so broken?”
And not just broken in the ordinary anxious malaise, we think, but quite uniquely broken.
Whatever it is that we are suffering with is because we did something wrong, or something wrong was done on to us. It is completely unfair and unavoidable on the daily.
Or is it?

You see, if what we are suffering with is distinctive, there can be no cure.
We are excused from recovery, because we don’t know what is wrong with us.

You might not realise that you think yourself special in your suffering. I certainly didn’t.
Many of my Buddhist meditation teachers come close to mocking mental health issues, stating that they are a modern made-up problem. As I have diagnosed anxiety, depression, CPTSD and ADHD, this never sat well with me.

But I understand where they were coming from now. It doesn’t matter what we call the negative feelings, they are not new (although their labels might be). They are a discontent with life as we know it, and they are different from person to person as our lives are different from person to person.
The symptoms differ, the cause is the same.

“Tish is sensitive, and that is her superpower.
The opposite of sensitive is not brave. It’s not brave to refuse to pay attention, to refuse to notice, to refuse to feel and know and imagine.
The opposite of sensitive is insensitive, and that’s no badge of honor.”
– Glennon Doyle (Untamed)

Our flaws are superpowers not yet explored.
I used to beat myself up for overthinking, taking on other people’s moods and cancelling on people. An army of ambition, way too many friends I was trying to please, a to-do list that was only growing daily. I felt unwanted, unneeded and unloved.
Here’s what happened in my case: I realised I was being so negative because I was waiting for someone else to save me.

I spend years numbing myself with addiction and distraction , until I suddenly got it:
Who I was waiting for was where I was waiting from.

I started telling myself everything I had been wanting to hear for years.
I wasn’t broken, I was holy.
I wasn’t crazy, I knew exactly what I wanted and I was finally awake enough to go after it.
All this pain and suffering is not going to be for nothing.
We had been stewing with our feelings, taking just as long as we needed to.
And once we are done, we are ready to help others, to expand, to see the world with new eyes.

All you need to heal from brokenness is a moment of grace – an inner push in the right direction, a calm blessing, administered when you least expect it.
Keep doing the next right thing.
Clean up your mental and physical space, nurture your body, be kind and patient.
Forget about salvation and it will be given to you.

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