You Aren’t Damaged Goods

Brunette woman doing a yoga pose inside long grass in Curitiba at sunrise
Andressa Voltolini / Unsplash

Whatever you need, I completely support you. Your feelings that you’re damaged goods are real and it’s valid for you to have them. I’ll give you a soft place to land when you feel like the world is hard, I’ll hold the space for you to be real and raw, I’ll be there for you through it all but I fucking refuse to buy into your story that you are damaged goods.

I’ve heard all your stories but that’s all they are — stories. We often become so wrapped up in our stories, we bring the ghosts of the past into the present and forget that we can let them rest in peace.

You aren’t the stories you tell yourself about yourself.

You aren’t damaged.

You aren’t broken.

You don’t need to be repaired.

You aren’t the things that happened to you.

You aren’t the things that people did to you.

You don’t deserve to live in shame for things that were out of your control.

You don’t deserve to have bad things happen to you because you’ve done bad things.

You don’t deserve to be your worst critic.

You don’t deserve to be held prisoner by old beliefs.

You don’t have to prove to anyone that you’re worthy.

You don’t have to be ashamed of who you’ve been.

You don’t have to beat yourself up for your past.

You don’t have to beat yourself up for your present.

You aren’t the names people call you.

You aren’t the things people think about you.

You don’t have to believe what other people tell you about you.

You aren’t disqualified from having a good life because you’ve fucked up.

You don’t wear a scarlet letter to shame you.

You don’t have to prove you’re worthy.

You aren’t the things you’ve done.

You aren’t the choices you’ve made, good or bad.

You aren’t unlovable.

You aren’t unclean.

You aren’t irredeemable.

You aren’t unforgivable.

You are not the person you used to be.

They may be a part of you but that person is not you, so what good does it do to keep beating yourself up over something you can’t change? You came out on the other side of your past and don’t deserve to keep living there. This is how our stories can keep us stuck, when we drag our past into our present.

We are not a collection of moments and choices neatly stacked as a measure of our worth on either side of a line between good and bad. The power of our story is not in the tally of wins versus losses. The power of our story is in how we choose to write it in this moment. You are not the story, you are the storyteller.

We are human, we are fallible, we make mistakes, we make choices we’d rather not have made, and that does not mean we deserve any less.

You deserve love — most of all from yourself.

You deserve a good life.

You deserve for good things to happen to you.

You deserve to be free.

You deserve to be seen in the fullness of everything you are.

And, if I have the same shame-storm tomorrow, if I can’t see myself with kind eyes or talk to myself using kind words, I’ll look myself in the mirror and remind myself of these things again. TC mark

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