Listening to a podcast this weekend, I heard the teacher (Geneen Roth) say, “There is nothing to fix. You are not broken.”
Immediately, I felt my throat clamp and my chest fold in on itself. I stopped the recording and stayed with the feeling.
It hurt like a son-of-a-gun.
I said out loud, “I am not broken.” I didn’t believe it.
I said out loud, “I am broken.” I believed it and it still hurt.
I had the thought, “What would I say to anyone else I heard voice that?”
I would respond, “You are the antithesis of broken. You are a complex, adaptive, luminous being. You created this belief as a way to maintain your sanity and safety.”
I knew I would completely believe that for the other person, but not for me.
Then, I remembered the Avatar® Rat List® exercise, in which the student deliberately creates charged beliefs. I’ve learned a lot when I’ve been willing to experience the belief fully. As I debated whether to do “I am broken,” or to flip it around to “I am not broken,” I flashed on a lecture Harry gave at Wizards®. I’ll paraphrase:
An old monk greeted a novice on her first day at the monastery. He took her into a large room filled with other monks. They called her names like Stupid! Dumbass! Ugly! They screamed she would never be able to do a good job! She was worthless! She didn’t fool anyone – she was a bad, bad person!
As they left the room, the novice shook and started to cry. The old monk leaned down and whispered into her ear, “Do not concern yourself with what they say. It is just their job to criticize.”
He took the novice down the hall and into another room filled with more monks. They smiled and called out to her, Oh, how smart and beautiful you are! You are a wonderous talent! You will do everything so well; you are such a good person!
The novice beamed as she felt much, much better now. The old monk leaned down and whispered into her ear, “Do not concern yourself with what they say. It is just their job to praise.”
I got it then. (I love the really fast ah-ha!!)
It’s not real. Neither belief is real. I don’t need to explore my “broken-ness” or my “whole-ness.” I don’t need to affirm that “I am amazing.” Neither one is real, no matter what they feel like or how much pain/glory I feel. It doesn’t solve anything to focus on creating the so-called positive one any more than dwelling on the so-called negative one. Besides, which is which?
They’re just thoughts. It’s their job.