Mainstream institutions make money from your belief in the story of your flaws. They need you to think that something is broken so that you can pay them to fix it, whether that pertains to your health, house, or soul. But what if there’s nothing wrong with you?
Part of you might right now be saying, “But, what about this?” or “Please girl, you haven’t met me so you don’t know how wrong you are.” Let’s dig a little deeper for a moment. Think about who gains from your pain. Consider the (maybe exaggerated) background messages in advertising— even for things that seem boring and necessary:
Buy this toothpaste, makeup, body spray, or diet product (you beast, or else no one will love you).
Buy our magazine to learn sex tips (because you suck in bed) and thigh exercises (you fat cow) so that you can keep your man (who’s totally on his way out and you just might die alone).
Buy this shiny thing so that everyone who sees you (because their opinions matter) will know you have money (which equals fulfillment and power).
Buy these jeans for your body type (or look like a clueless dork).
Buy this pill to solve that problem you didn’t know you had (so you can beat back death!).
Now, I’m not talking about the people who love you, who have a right and responsibility to mention that they’re concerned for your well being. You should listen to them and take care of yourself. But pharmaceutical companies, the media, the fashion industry, and car manufacturers don’t love you. They only know you as a part of a vast demographic and they market directly to a perception of and belief in pain. They are addicted to your response and they’ll say anything for a fix. Experts specialize in the subtleties of persuasion. Your insecurity, either real or imagined, means dollar signs for them.
Don’t buy it. There is nothing wrong with you.
So, what about your actual pain? What about the trauma, heartbreak, and depression, the dysfunctional family and failed relationships? What about accidents, anxiety, debt, and the personal failings you’ve experienced?
I hear you. Those are real things and you might need support to manage them. Still. Nothing wrong with you.
One of the things I say most often to clients, especially the ones who come to me saying “you’re gonna think this is crazy” or “I can’t imagine what you’re thinking of me right now” is exactly this: there’s nothing wrong with you. I say it all the time. The people who come to me are interested in evolving out of the triggers and patterns that aren’t working anymore, even though those triggers are actually perfectly logical reactions to abnormal circumstances. And Spirit seems to want to remind us of our inherent lovability. And we all need reminding, often and loudly.
Because none of us has a perfect life or knows all the answers. Nobody gets out of here alive or unscathed. Life is full of failings and accidents and foot-in-mouth embarrassments. Not one person you meet hasn’t had their heart broken or their big dream frustrated, not one avoids illness, assault, or broken bones. Most of us have lost someone we loved and we have cried the very ugly tears. If we’re honest, we’ve all got bad habits or some sort of addiction. We all like something we feel a little guilty about or do something we want to hide, and we’ve all been mean or dishonest at some point. We have all had a trauma or two (or ten).
So, if there is something wrong with you, there is something wrong with all of us.
My shaman teachers have said “there is no problem.” And man, have I struggled with these four little words because they dismantle everything I’m told about the way the world works. They take away my stories and all the reasons I think I can’t do what I want. Those four words subtract complacency and insecurity from my carefully constructed emotional equation. If there is no problem, there’s no reason to fight against myself or complain to the universe. What elegant medicine those four words can be.
I don’t mean to suggest that you haven’t felt pain. Of course, you have. But you know that buying something shiny or giving away your inherent genius are not going to keep you from that pain, saving you from feeling, losing, screwing up, or dying. Nothing can save us, and maybe there is nothing to be saved from. Life is just life, messy and complicated and smelly sometimes. This perspective, challenging as it may be, can shift the subtle inner monologue from “I’m doomed and something had better rescue me” to “Maybe I can handle this. Let’s find another way.” It gives your power back and offers you mastery.
When nothing is a problem, then everything can be medicine, a chance for healing, learning, and evolution. If everything is medicine, if there is no problem, if you are not alone in your humanity, then once again (because we need reminding often and loudly): there is absolutely nothing wrong with you.