I’m a firm believer in Pema Chodren’s words, that nothing goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.
Over the course of my life I experienced some difficult relationships and friendships and, as a result, made agreements with myself about who I was and what I was worthy of.
Allowing these experiences and heartaches to identify me, I set up a pattern of behavior – a pattern of being – when I encountered new people with the same old threads.
Threads I learned growing up from people I loved the most. People who loved me and failed me because the truth is, we all do that.
But when we love someone who doesn’t love us back, sometimes we begin searching for people who are like them, in order to get something we never got. To find that which we longed for the whole time. The thing we believed would make us whole. What we thought would make us worthy.
But the truth is, it was never about them. It was never even about the story.
It was about us.
And when we get sick and tired of being sick and tired, we realize that the only one we can change is us. The only way we can be full and whole and worthy and happy is to do the work it takes to love ourselves. And to love ourselves, we need to know ourselves.
We must walk the fence line and slowly, one by one, repair the broken, damaged pieces of a life.
It’s not easy to admit that we’re the problem. It’s much easier and a lot more fun to blame someone else and unload our burdens on another’s back. But the truth is we’re always our own worst problem. The way we think and the lies we believe, turn into the life we build.
Or the one we tear down.
I’m no longer interested in blaming someone else, or listening to a sermon to fix another’s problems, or wondering what I could do better or different or more of, in order for her to like me.
Real change happens from the inside out. From the diligent pursuit of wanting to be better. Happy. Even if we’re all on our own.
The only way we ever become real is by dealing with the truth of our life. Our failures and mistakes as well as our accomplishments. The pain of our past is what has made us: a lover, a writer, a teacher, encourager, friend.
Our past determines who we are, but it doesn’t define us unless we let it.
Amazing people do not just happen.
They encourage, dream, and live and love with their whole hearts. The very greatest among us have been made through the refining process known as change. They know they are only as strong as their greatest weakness and that means they walk the fence line. They desire to heal. They choose to grow. And they learn to love their whole story, so they can love others well.
Find out more about how you can grow, change and love your whole story in my new book, Pretty: Breaking Free From The Illusions of a Superficial Life.