For years, I was told that I had a broken picker—that I picked the “wrong people” to date, picked the wrong friends, the wrong jobs and confidants because my picker was broken.
And I believed it. I was in a challenging place in my life, a vulnerable-feeling place, and I believed what I was told – that something was inherently wrong with me, a part of me that should be operating better clearly was just a factory-installed defective part, and I would spend the rest of my life trying to counteract this defect in my very being.
And honestly… this way of thinking kinda effed me up.
I was walking around with this chronic distrust of myself, thinking that I had to be on guard against my own mind lest I make the kind of terrible decision that apparently was just… the fact of being me.
That my picker was broken, which means my mind was broken, which clearly extrapolates out to my being broken.
I had been pathologized in the name of self-growth, healing and recovery, and it felt like crap.
I didn’t trust myself to make friends—what if I was picking wrong?!
To date—what if I was picking wrong?!
To have an opinion or my own thoughts because this lack of trust in myself and my intuition had been so ingrained in me and validated by a room full of people I had grown to trust who all concurred: our collective pickers were broken, and we were fully effed.
I don’t believe that anymore. Not at all. The work I do now is the exact opposite of pathologizing ourselves, of labelling ourselves as codependent, perfectionist, people-pleasing, the opposite of saying that anything is inherently wrong with us.
The opposite of inherently broken is to recognize that your brilliant mind and body, and mine, developed the thought habits, the survival skills, the mindset and somatic posturing you currently have because you are phenomenal, amazing and incredible.
Truly deeply shenius (which is a genius who uses she pronouns – shenius), and whatever you’re doing now that doesn’t serve you once did or you wouldn’t be doing it, right?
I have more love and belief in you than to ever think that any part of you is broken, defective… but rather, that you do what you do because it was the smartest way to get through whatever situation you found yourself in. Pure shenius. And that is such a more feminist, empowering way for me to think about myself and the people I love—that we are all just managing our lives, our minds, our anxiety as best we can. Nothing wrong with us at all, just using the skills we currently have to the best of our ability.
For me overall, I picked partners who provided a place for me to act out my wounding, to try to get the external validation I didn’t yet know how to give myself.
Sometimes I picked people who I thought I could “fix” which was my favorite job ever, sometimes I picked people who wanted no part in being fixed, which validated my story that I was less-than, my suggestions didn’t matter, I was right to be in self-doubt.
None of those unintentional, subconscious motivations mean anything wrong or bad about me. Nope. Not at all. Sure, I had some apologies to dole out. I’ve absolutely caused harm in relationships, so I take responsibility for my impact, regardless of my intention, which was never to be anything but kind, though I went about it in some less than awesome ways.
I don’t believe there is anything at all to gain ever from beating myself up, pathologizing myself or labelling myself as deficient. I was just, and am still, working it all out, the way we all are. Metabolizing what I have learned in this lifetime and sorting out what does and doesn’t serve me now. Getting into ever better alignment with my own integrity each and every day.
Know better, do better, not because I was broken, but because I learned to think, feel and act in ways I don’t want to anymore.
And those patterns or habits of relating did in fact serve me at the time, they absolutely did, and now that I can see them, now that I know how to be my own Watcher and to manage my adult mind, now that I know how to show up as my own most loving parent for myself, my inner children, I don’t need to act from those habitual thoughts anymore. Like how I learned to drive stick but now that I drive an automatic, I don’t need to manually change gears anymore. That skill served me once, got me where I needed to go to learn whatever I needed to learn, and it’s not what I’m doing anymore. It’s not wrong to have learned how to drive stick, I’m just doing something different now. Now I get to ask myself why. Why I kept picking the people I did, what I wanted to gain, what was going on inside me, and I get to bring that consciousness into all of my life, by getting clear on my own reasons why for the choices I make, which feels so empowering.
By dropping that story that there was something inherently wrong with me, that my “picker was broken,” I have been able to be more honest with myself about my motivations versus just writing them off, which is what that kind of thinking can do. You’re not really responsible for your actions if they’re a defect in you, right? And also, I gotta say it… how yuck to believe you’re defective, the whole concept gives me the yuckies.
I am perfect and have habits I want to change.
So are you, and you’re doing it my love. You’re doing it right now by listening to this show, by learning how to honor your tender heart more each and every day, by dropping the story that you are defective, broken, anything less than perfection. Whole, wonderful, and here to learn new ways of relating to the world and yourself, day by day, kitten-sized step by kitten-sized step. Don’t let anyone tell you any different, ya heard?
Thank you for taking the time to read Feminist Wellness. I’m excited to be here and to help you take back your health!
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