When nothing feels good enough
One of the hardest beliefs to overcome is “I am broken” or “I am incomplete”.
You are neither of those. You’ve been complete all along, but if you understood that, then you wouldn’t be suffering. You wouldn’t be so hard on yourself.
So, what are you supposed to do so you can finally understand that nothing is missing in you?
Remember, you are not trying to fix yourself. That thought pattern already implies that something is wrong with you. Don’t feel pressured to do things that are supposed to make you feel better. I have lost count of all the times I chose to do something for my wellness that ended up backfiring because what I really needed and really wanted to do was something else.
Some days you just gotta play death metal and eat mac’ n cheese for dinner. Screw yoga and the kale salad. If that doesn’t spark joy, don’t force it. Different strokes for different folks.
But, I digress...it all starts with how we are looking at our issues.
I’m a scientist by training (and you’ll probably read this in more than one post, after all it’s a big part of how I see the world) and I remember that in one of my depressive episodes I went online and searched for “evolutionary advantages of depression”.
I’m an expert in nothing except my lived experience. But, since I studied biology, I was starting to think...in nature, there is no such thing as a total “fluke”. Whatever mechanisms an organism has, it is there because it somehow helps the organism survive. If getting burned didn’t hurt, then you wouldn’t remove your hand from the fire.
Honestly, I can’t even remember what I found when I tried that Google search so many years ago. In hindsight, I am connecting the dots between that thought and what I understand now about how the subconscious and our emotions work.
Maybe those feelings of being broken and incomplete is a feedback mechanism. There is a part of you that knows something is off but cannot communicate it clearly. However, your brain can't leave that feeling as an open-ended issue because it feels threatening and confusing, so it comes up with a swift conclusion: "I am the problem".
If you cannot even remember where your feelings of brokenness and worthlessness first appeared, then I’d say there is 100% chance that these feelings first appeared during your childhood.
You had an experience or a series of experiences that you were not equipped to process (because you were a child) and thus your brain shelved those experiences in the back of your mind. To protect you, it gave you a simple directive: “Avoid these situations so you are not seen as a problem”.
“Don’t talk back, or you won’t be loved.”
“Don’t get angry, or you will be rejected.”
“Work hard and you will be accepted.”
Now you are an adult, and you are no longer trying to impress mommy with spaghetti art...but you have this nagging feeling that you are letting everyone down and that you are not worthy of the things you have.
You say you don’t know where it’s coming from, because the original event(s) that put those feelings in your mind happened decades ago. You are not making the connection between something that happened when you were 4 years old and the pit of despair you feel when you think about your career or accomplishments. You’re thinking, maybe the issue is that you are not smart, you should take a time management course, or maybe get one of those little tomato shaped timers, that’ll help you, right?
Hmm. What if this feeling had nothing to do with what you do or fail to do, and it was just your subconscious trying to communicate with you? The subconscious is like the scary, dusty, storage room of our mind, that’s where we shelf all the crap we don’t want to deal with because it is too painful.
So when you feel that you are broken or incomplete, that’s the subconscious telling you, "Hey there, you are not okay because I am not okay, and I don't know how to say it because I don't communicate with words. I’ve been carrying this pain from that thing that happened when you were a child. I was waiting for the time and place to have a chat, but it hasn’t happened. You haven’t dealt with it, and I’m tired of hiding this from you, so I'm going to activate these emotions because you gotta stop ghosting me okay?...Xoxo!"
It's a genius mechanism, the problem is that we have not been taught how to use it. We've been taught to repress it, ignore it, despise it, even...but we haven’t been taught to see this as a feedback mechanism and our source of power.
This is why a perfectionist is never in her power. The perfectionist has only perfected the art of poker face, of suppressing emotions long enough so she can get stuff done. She has never addressed the root of her inadequacy because she has focused on doing and performing as a way to cope. As long as that charade works, she has nothing to worry about. Allegedly.
Repressed emotions become demons. Demons always find their way out.