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You're Not Broken

“Can you fix me?”

It’s happened many times. A new client comes in for their first appointment. They’ve read my website, we’ve talked briefly on the phone, and after going over the questions that help me learn more about you in the first session—they take a deep sigh, look into my eyes and say “Well, do you think you can fix me?”

The thing is—you aren’t broken

A part of my heart hurts as I hear these words. I see the hope in their eyes, the fear in their voice that I won’t have the answers, and the pain they carry as it’s acknowledged that they see themselves as broken—needing to be fixed.

You aren’t broken, though. How do I convey this? You are the only one who has all the answers you need—you’re just in pain. The emotional pain, internal conflict or negative self-beliefs that keep us stuck often blind us from our strengths and abilities.

I don’t want to fix you—I can’t fix you, because you’re already whole.

What I will do.

Here’s what I’ll do first: I’ll listen. I won’t criticize. I won’t blame. I’ll listen to what hurts and explore where the pain comes from.

I need to listen to help us make sense of things. I won’t stop listening until you feel understood.

You know what I’ll do next? I’ll show you compassion. Because you make sense.   You’re human and you’re doing the best you can. You want to do better though, I hear you—that makes you human, too.

Finally? I’ll support you, but you’ll find the answers. I know you will.

What you will do.

You might think you’re broken. Or maybe you’ll think someone else is broken. Or maybe you’ll think the whole world is broken.

[We’ve all had those thoughts.]

You’ll tell me about this.

You’ll help me get it. I’ll get it.

We’ll name the pain. The stuck parts. The fears.

I’ll ask you to feel your feelings—and you will.

The scary things won’t be so scary anymore.

You’ll get still. And listen—to your heart, your mind, your true self.

And you’ll know.

And maybe you won’t be able to make changes right away. Or maybe you’ll stand up only to fall back down. But you’ll stand up stronger. And maybe next time you fall, you let out a laugh and it doesn’t hurt as much.

‘This is just life,’ you’ll think.

“I’m not broken.”

And we’ll know our time is nearing the end when you start to know that you aren’t broken.

Someone important does something that used to anger or hurt you, but now you know it’s because they are hurting and not because you did something wrong.

You start to feel that familiar anxious feeling, but instead of hiding under the covers, you move towards the joy in your life.

You begin to know you can trust yourself.

It’s not about avoiding pain, it’s about being strong enough to face it.

And you are.