A friend of mine once told me that I have taken more self-help courses and programmes than anyone else he has known. While I can’t validate the truth of that statement, lately I have been pondering the concept of ‘being fixed’.
Over the course of my adult life, I have taken courses in NLP (I was a Master Practitioner of that), Time Line therapy, hypnotherapy. I’ve taken courses in journaling and dealing with emotions, and anger management. I’ve spent more than four years in therapy with an Adlerian psychiatrist. I’ve talked and listened and watched and written.
No matter the programme, I’ve always come away with handouts and manuals. I’ve learned and practised strategies to use to, I hoped, provide me with solutions to my problems. And for a while and in discrete areas of my life, the strategies would work. I could find the answer in the manual. But then something would trip me up in a different area of my life and I’d find that the strategies weren’t transferrable. I couldn’t make them work everywhere in my life. And I’d feel disappointed again, let down again, betrayed by false advertising and my own expectations. In every programme I’ve ever done, I wanted to and expected to ‘get it’ and understand the ‘good news’. And I’d wonder what I did wrong. – Maybe I wasn’t following the steps of the strategy properly. Maybe I was forgetting a step.
And so I’d go in search of the next book to read, course to take, expert to consult. And each time, when the change I expected didn’t happen or didn’t last, or didn’t work in every area of my life, I’d get mad at myself. Because, of course, the problem had to lie with me never with the programme, book, or expert.
All the things I tried – courses, programmes, writing, reading, therapy – were all formatted on strategies to change my behaviour. They were all based on a set of beliefs where I was positioned as an expression of the labels and limitations ascribed to me by others to match existing cultural beliefs. All the things I tried were ‘helping me’ to try and make sense of my life based on a paradigm that was locked in a ‘move away from/avoid’ modality. “Don’t do this. Don’t do that.” Nothing changed for me. Understanding and excavating my history never changed my life. I simply got to be right about my lousy life while still getting to live that lousy life.
What I now know is that the underlying belief to my searching was that I was lacking or missing some essential something. And the more deeply embedded essential belief was that there was something wrong with me and about me. Something that needed fixing. So if I found the right course, took the right workshop, read the newest self-help book, did the strategies correctly, then I would be ‘fixed’. My life would be perfect ever after.
There are, I now understand, two fallacies here. The first is that I was using strategies and taking courses that, in essence, confirmed my belief that I was broken and that someone else had the answer – ‘the fix’. There was no way that I could ever know what to do on my own. There second and more pernicious fallacy is that I needed to be ‘fixed’. I did not trust myself. I could not call all the self-help industry courses and books and gurus what they truly are – Dreck and not for me!
I know now, in every cell of my being, that I am not broken. I do not need to be ‘fixed’. I am an amazing woman of skills and talents and intelligence and heart. I am all the sensory cues which I feel and waves of movement which move through me and emanate from me. I am not merely the physical body which experiences these. I know the resonance of my truth in every cell of my being.
I know, too, that I am awake to the totality of me. When I’ve fallen back on the belief that once I got ‘it’ [whatever ‘it’ was] right in one area of my life, I would miraculously find that every area of my life was fixed, is when I’ve been comatose. I’ve been numb to living and have been merely existing. Louise warned that, once we become awake, we can never go back.
And, in realizing all of this, I have taken back my power. I have the resources to experience the fullness of my life. I trust myself to care for me and about me. And the absolutely simple wonder of all of this is that what is true for me is true for everyone. Each of us only need trust our knowing and claim our own power. We need only to wake up to our own truth.