“I felt like I had known you for so long,” Tom said.
“How?” Tina asked. “It was our first meeting.”
“Well, the broken always recognize the broken,” Tom answered.
I witnessed this conversation during a healing session with my students, Tina and Tom.* This was during one of my first meetings with them. After Tom said that the broken always recognize the broken, I held up my hands to interrupt them.
“You are not a piece of furniture that breaks and then looks for a fix in someone else.” They both stared at me blankly. “If this was a romantic comedy, I might have let that go or even laughed a little bit. But I can’t let you both think that you are broken.”
They told me later on that many of their past spiritual teachers, yoga gurus, and therapists often validated the fact that they were “broken souls who needed healing.” This is a major part of the problem. These people – who are supposed to be healers – are terrifying their clients and students! This is a total “Spiritual Healing Marketing 101.” It’s the classic “You’re broken” spiritual sales pitch.
Being told that you’re broken can do a serious amount of damage, but many religious and spiritual sects run their shops and make a fortune by telling people just that. “Life isn’t fair,” you start to think. Eventually, you end up not only believing that you’re broken, but you start to live a broken life as well.
You are you. Nothing about you needs to be fixed. We are born with infinite potential, and only a human consciousness can possess that. Look at the dogs, cats, and other animals around you: They were born with a limited sense of awareness and there’s not much else they can do to evolve. (But truth be told, animals are already amazingly evolved. Their level of growth just has its limits.) Humans, on the other hand, are born with the power to transform themselves. You can be born as an ordinary human, but die as a Buddha consciousness. But in order to experience your highest potential, you have to stop believing this idea that you are broken. And rather allow yourself to simply bloom in harmony with your awareness. When you meditate and stay conscious, you will continue to grow emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
You do not move from imperfection to perfection – you move from perfection to perfection. You are fine the way you are. Meditate on accepting yourself and every single one of your weaknesses and strengths. Fully accept the fact that only you are responsible for your suffering and your happiness. Calling yourself broken will not solve anything – all it will do is attract people who will validate this label. Instead, look at yourself as a part of the universe. Accept your life through all its seasons, and use each rainstorm or sunny day to guide you down your path. Makes sense?
Now, the next time somebody tries to tell you that you’re a “broken soul,” I hope you know how to answer!
*names have been changed.