Stop Trying to Fix Your Lovely Self and Do These Things Instead

4-17 blog photo stop trying to fix yourself.jpg

In my earlier days, when I was obsessively searching for my FIX IT (IT being myself) PILL, I was HUGELY into finding the best labels that would explain what was wrong with me.

Of course, being as determined as I was,  I went to graduate school to figure it all out. I’ve said it before, I am the World’s Leading Expert. On Myself. I really believe two of my strengths are my assessment skills and my diagnostic ability. Le Diagnostician Extraordinaire.

The funny part about that is I am not ethically, legally or otherwise qualified to diagnose anyone. But, oh did I ever study and become expert on self diagnoses. Mental health and medical diagnoses actually happen as a result of ruling out all other possible options. (Interesting to note is that all of my self-diagnoses are in fact masterfully and skillfully accurate.)

I do believe that women who begin what we call “RECOVERY” (yet another label) from abusive or addictive relationships with difficult people or narcissists (all more labels), have the need to figure out or almost solve the mystery of what has happened to them. Labels help us with this tremendously. In other words, education is the first step. And sometimes where people get stuck or stalled out.

In fact as a coach I struggle with this and what to call EVERYTHING. How do I talk to people in a way that they can know that I understand the intricacies of the dynamics of these “types” of relationships because the women in these relationships as well as the men in them do share many, many characteristics across multiple layers. Blanket statements, assumptions, generalizing, all happen when we are exploring both what went wrong (usually the focus is on what is wrong with us) and also what we want for our futures.

I try to use the words of my clients to communicate how well I understand but they are still labels. I get it. I totally get it. Knowing that I have PTSD or that I’m a recovering alcoholic and addict helps me to understand my triggers and reactions on the daily. It helps other people instantly relate to me should they share similar experiences and labels. But mainly the DSM was created to code diagnostics for insurance purposes.

So when a woman believes she is a love addict or codependent that is a double edged sword. On the one hand, we now have a framework to understand one another. I also have identified with those labels so when a woman, a warrior, tells me she is in the throws of love addiction my heart instantly hugs hers, I know her pain.

The other side of the sword is not so helpful because there exists massive stigma in our culture. When I say I’m an addict, I am also negatively identifying myself as someone with a problem or stigma-wise, a weakness. Think about what an addict implies.

With love addiction specifically, I take issue with the labels. I understand all sides of it. One important side of it is that “addiction” in it’s traditional circles or understanding implies forever. There is also a feeling among some that if it’s an addiction it can’t be helped. Sometimes a healing process will end with the acceptance of an addiction.

My personal deal with the label of love addiction is that THE REASONs we come to develop these characteristics that we share are rooted in early attachment theory and childhood trauma. Addiction takes the focus off of what happened and needs to be healed from childhood and puts it all on dysfunctional adult behavior and choices.

Making the nuanced  points I am trying to make here is best with examples. I have an autoimmune disease called MCTD (Mixed Connective Tissue Disease)  and fibromyalgia and PTSD. The physiological interactions of these disorders are the perfect storm. One creates problems for the others. They all create challenges for my life.

Here’s the thing I have learned though, on a deep level from a Mind-Body Coach I love and adore, the diagnoses don’t actually mean a thing. They became what I was hiding behind, feeling stuck and hopeless. What mattered is how I felt and experienced my body in each moment. Yes?

Simple and profound.

If we could read, research, study less, and STOP focusing on the QUEST TO FIX OURSELVES and just learn to be present, in our bodies, noticing sensations each moment this would be the very thing that heals us. This is how we heal. It’s a wordless process really.

I’m trying to show you that I started way, way out in orbit and in my head, on my own trying to make sense of everything, hyperfocused on fixing and solving the puzzles. I wish I could have known all the while that nothing is fixed in our heads.  Ever. It is about feeling what we feel, allowing what we feel without stopping the process with our thinking and analyzing and labeling and striving so hard. Please comment if you are digging me or if you are not...

There is no fix it because there is nothing broken. It’s like the simplest thing in the world. All the yogis and gurus and buddhas know this.

I see you, I can relate to you because we share similar emotional experiences in relationships. I’m giving you permission to put down the books, and stop wasting your time trying to FIX yourself. You aren’t broken, my sister.

Below is what shook out from years and years and years of struggle and wasted time and agony, really, and my simple formula for finding your inner peace. Drop the negative, deficit, shameful, broken notion if you have that sense about yourself and focus on three things. If you want to feel better, if you want to have healthy relationships and be surrounded by healthy, happy people, start right now. GO GIT IT!

  1. Mindfulness. We pay attention to the sensations in our bodies and drop all labels and what we make the labels mean about ourselves. Each label has a deep canyon of story attached to it. How does that help you be mindful?
  2. Stop trying to change yourself and anyone else. Just drop it. This is to rage   against the machine of life. It can never work. It only serves to keep us in mental angst.
  3. Practice keeping the focus on yourself. Find compassion for yourself. Tenderness. Gentleness. What do you like? What do you want? What feels like joy? What do you find pleasure in? Now are you willing to give yourself that?

Does this help explain any of the noise, distraction, fear, or avoidance tactics that we engage in and endlessly spin our wheels trying to “recover” or get happy?

If you can relate, let me ask you, what do you desire deep in your heart? What do labels have to do with that?

If you have the willingness to grab your life, own it and learn how to honor, respect and love it, I would love to be your partner, your personal concierge and your biggest cheerleader in hurling you on your way. I will bring a customized tool kit and we can super launch and fast track you in a half or full V.I.W. (Very Important Warrior) Day! Click here to schedule.

Gently yours


wendy holthausComment