On learning and growing

There was a facebook meme a friend of mine posted today that resulted in a conversation I want to record here.

The original meme was this:
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“I have this stupid f*cking desire to fix broken people because I understand them and wish that someone would come along and fix me so that I could maybe that person for them.” 

There was some thoughts shared and one in particular between another woman and I which I liked very much.   I wanted to share it here, so a) I know where to find it again, and 2) as a reminder to myself.

Me:  I don’t see people as broken or not or in need of fixing or not. There are people who want to grow, and others who aren’t ready to. If someone is dedicated to learning from their experiences and is committed to growing as a person, they will be the kinds of people you want to keep in your circle. When you are committed to learning and growing, you will start recognizing these types of people. When you are committed to learning and growing, you will start valuing how you spend your time and your resources. Take this time and learn what it is you need to work on.
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Most people have shame-based core issues that they need to confront and heal (for example, if you feel unlovable, not good enough, not important, defective, unworthy of good things/love/money/success etc). Start with those basic things. Shame is the #1 obstacle to growth. Shame keeps us from leading our best lives. It holds us back in innumerable ways and it’s why we procrastinate or shy away from good opportunities. Shame is also the biggest reason people turn to addictions – both substance addictions and “process addictions” (addictions to gambling, eating, spending, sex, work, emotional drama, and I might add, helping other people, too). Anything we continually use to help us avoid looking at and working on our own areas of shame can be considered an addiction.

You can be kind, you can lend a supportive ear, but you can not heal someone else’s shame-based core issues any more than they can heal yours. That’s an inside job.

A: I don’t usually think in the terms stated in the original post that started this whole conversation. I’m quite a bit deeper than that so I truly do appreciate your thoroughness. Thank you for that depth. 

Me: You are very welcome. I’ve been on a path of learning and growing for many years now. Different sources say the same thing. There are different approaches to getting at these core issues, but the beauty of it is that as long as a person wants to learn and grow, they can. They will find the approach or combination of approaches that will work for them. There is no right or wrong way to do it. We can encourage each other to keep going when the going gets tough, but the hard work is done on one’s own.

And oh, yeah, the concept of “broken” vs. “whole” can be an obstacle, too. When progress doesn’t happen fast enough, some people will get discouraged and feel they are “too broken” to heal. Which is a dangerous notion and which is why it’s much better to ditch the whole concept of broken/whole. We need to integrate the experiences that cause us to feel shame, that’s all. It’s recognizing that regardless of what you’ve done or has been done to you in the past, you aren’t defined by those experiences.
You are still worthy of good things.
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And yes, I am.
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About Casey

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ ~ Jack Kerouac, On The Road Again
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