One of the downsides of self improvement is the idea that in order to live a meaningful and fulfilling life, we must heal from everything that has caused us pain. It’s as if we feel the need to be perfectly healed to be fully alive. This is an incredibly unrealistic perspective. To be human is to be imperfect, make mistakes, and endure suffering. No matter how much we work on ourselves, there will always be something else. What makes us so incredibly inspiring, courageous and resilient is not our ability to address everything but rather our ability to live full and meaningful lives no matter what has happened to us. Yes, of course our pain, suffering, and trauma have a very significant impact on us. This is valid and we need to address what continues to hurt us. But we also need to create space for our humanity. We are not defined just by what has happened to us or how much we’ve healed. We are more than the sum total of our human experience; we have a fierce spirit that can and will survive almost anything. Those painful experiences will be carried as scars for the rest of our lives AND we can still be happy, find meaning, and have deeply connected relationships.

Being human is messy but that’s exactly what it’s supposed to be! ⁣A big part of growth is about accepting the messiness and cutting ourselves some slack. We don’t always have the answers, get it right or know what to do and that’s ok. You don’t have to deal with everything all the time, it’s ok to contain your pain and live your life as much as possible. One of the most powerful experiences we can have is learning to feel whole in our brokenness. ⁣Your humanity is not a liability, it’s what God uses to draw you closer to Him. It’s non-transferable and unique. It has something to offer the world if you can learn to live from your scars not your wounds.

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* The information provided is for self-enrichment and not intended to replace any necessary mental health treatment.


Jonathan Dixon, LMFT

Jonathan Dixon is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Virginia who has offered mental health services at Alpha Omega Clinic’s Fairfax office since 2013. He is an active member of the Association of Marriage & Family Therapy.