I remember the first time a boy broke my heart.
I was devastated. I was totally and completely broken. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I just wanted to sleep so that I could forget. And I remember how much it sucked to wake up and have reality come flooding back in. It was the most painful thing I’d ever felt.
Here is what I wish someone had told me back then. I wish someone had said, “This is not about who you are, love. This is a life experience. Nothing more and nothing less. It hurts to lose something but it doesn’t change how worthy you are of love.”
I wish someone had told me that because I believed the opposite. When that boy cut me loose, I felt discarded and unworthy. It validated every fear I had deep within me. That rejection felt like it was more evidence of me not being good enough.
But we all do this, right? It’s just a part of the human existence to believe this lie.
What happens to us is because of who we are. Bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people.
And would I have even believed something different? Probably not. I was just a young teenage girl. Unlearning that lie is something we all have to do on our own. Turns out it was going to be many years before it was my turn to unlearn it.
Let’s imagine being able to look at experiences as just a part of life and not about who we are.
For example, there is a huge difference between experiencing a loss and experiencing a loss you somehow deserved because of who you are or what you did.
Loss is just loss. It’s incredibly painful. It can even feel like you’ll never survive it. Losing something you love hurts (even if what you are losing is just a possibility you were holding onto). But you never “deserved” it.
Here is what I believe now.
I’m going to suggest that it is the truth for you, too. None of the “bad” things that have happened to you had anything to do with who you are. None. Not when your heart was broken, your spirit was crushed, or your body was abused. Not when your mind failed you. None of it was about who you are.
YOU decided that it was. Just like I decided it was. We decided to allow our experiences to determine our self-worth. But I am here to tell you that who you are is so much more than that.
When you realize that you can just unlearn that lie, you are liberated. The problem is that you are also human. So, like me, you get to do it over and over and over again. It’s like human Groundhog Day. We keep waking up forgetting that who we are has nothing to do with what we experience, so we have to unlearn it again.
That’s okay. It’s all a part of life. All a part of being human. I just want to leave you with this.
You are not bad. There is nothing wrong with you. People have hurt you but that is not about you. It’s about them. People might even try to convince you that it’s about you. That’s about them, too.
You are perfect and nothing can change that. No matter what.
The magic is in believing that truth.