But What If I’m Bad?
By Z Zoccolante
Deep down we all have a sense of inadequacy. We all wonder if we’re enough. We all have days where we get low.
For some of us, our childhoods have role modeled a life that isn’t what we want for our future. For some of us, we have grown to believe that we are bad.
This belief that we are bad might not lie on the surface, like the ripples on a lake. Instead, it might be like the Loch Ness monster stretching quiet in the depths.
Take a moment to yourself and check in with this belief? Do you believe that you are bad? There was a time when in the silence of my day when I was all alone, I would have answered a small whispered and ashamed yes.
I know some of you might feel the same in the silence. Here’s the truth.
As long as we believe we are bad then we get to have some illusion of control. Because if we are bad then we can change and if we change things then things around us will change.
Sometimes this deep belief will cause us to hurt ourselves. Sometimes it will attract people who hurt us.
I often have clients who were in abusive relationships. This deep belief that if they could only change something, do something, be something different then he would treat her better, be better, do better, love her more than whatever drug, or behavior, was stealing his time.
This belief that we are bad may kill us, if not physically, then emotionally or spiritually. It will exhaust us to our core.
Here’s the flip turn.
If we are not the bad ones then this means that we do not deserve the behavior. We do not deserve how others are treating us. My client doesn’t deserve being called names, sworn at, or hit. Maybe deep down in the unconscious familiar, in abusive relationships, the person feel comfortable only if they’re in danger.
But the only person’s behavior that we can control is our own. We cannot control how anyone else acts. So we feel out of control.
If we cannot control someone else’s behavior then the only choice we have is to leave. But what if we are leaving our family (who may not be healthy or stable for us)? Sometimes the people we might want to leave are our family, loved ones, good friends, people we’ve invested years with.
These choices can be difficult and painful. If we are not strong enough to be able to separate then we feel a lack of safety. If we stay we might not feel safe either, but it’s familiar.
The goal is to slowly increase our safety so that we can make healthier choices that put us first.
For some of us that might include ditching our family of origin and creating a family of intention with friends who love and support us. For others, it might look like getting talk therapy or EMDR for specific traumas. For some of us, it may mean going to a drug or alcohol rehab. For others, it might mean getting divorced or leaving an unhealthy relationship and seeking out support.
For all of us, the goal is to examine the beliefs that shape our lives starting with a simple but huge one. Under it all, are you bad? Do you hurt yourself because of it or let others hurt or disrespect you? If you’re not bad then what are you instead?
Are you growing, learning, transforming? Are you a badass warrior? Are you good or wonderful? What are you? And how does that belief shape your daily life?