Today I met a friend for dinner at a little bar in a nearby town. Once we found our table (one out of about 10), we settled in and started chatting.
She asked how my life was going and I was sharing the story of how I was reconnecting with a man that I had met a couple of years ago and all that we had been through in the time we had known each other. I explained how we had dated on and off over a rough period of time where I had gone to treatment for PTSD and was recovering from anorexia. I think I mentioned recovering from codependency in the conversation as well.
My friend looked across the table with the most loving and soulful eyes and told me:
“You have got to stop explaining yourself by using these labels… You are well Haley. There is nothing about you that needs to be fixed, there is nothing about you that is broken. You are beautiful, and whole, and well.
Doctors and people put all these labels on you to explain your pain but what really is going on is that you are in pain… and anyone would be if they had come through what you have.
But you are not broken. It is a miracle that you, after going through the horrendous things that you’ve been, are actually EMPOWERING other women so they can have better lives.
YOU are not broken, you are well.”
I cried, right there in the restaurant, I cried.
For as long as I can remember, I have been told that I was “off” or “a little off kilter” or “fat”, “lazy”, “conceited”, “mopey”, “selfish”, “embarrassing”, “stupid”, “foolish”, you name it, I’ve been labeled it.
I’ve been the “identified patient” of my family my whole life and trying to break from that is almost harder on my family than it is on me!
So to hear her so directly tell me that I am NOT broken and that I do NOT need to be fixed may not have been new, but it must have been the perfect time and the perfect place because it hit me at the perfect spot in my heart and I actually heard her.
It confirmed what I already knew and have been trying to convince people of lately. It felt like God Himself reached down and spoke right through her to my heart so that I knew that:
I am not broken
I am not in need of fixing
I am in pain
I am human
I have overcome incredible odds
It is by the grace of God alone that I am still standing.
I am here to tell YOU the same.
YOU are not broken.
YOU do not need to be fixed.
YOU are made beautifully and wonderfully.
You feel pain, and that is okay, but that doesn’t make you bad, it makes you human.
Love you all,
The Empowered Coach