Posted in: Hypnosis

The box is ripped and the goods are damaged, give me my money back!

I was riding a shuttle yesterday from my Chicago hotel to the airport, and overheard this bit of conversation.  A man was discussing his 13 year old daughter and used this phrase about her:  more than once:  “She’s damaged goods.”

Without even knowing the back story, I find that thought as expressed very limiting in a number of ways.

Number one, when you speak of a person as an object, as a static thing, like “goods,” that limits action, possibility.  A thing is a thing.   A cardboard box is a cardboard box.  A person is alive, breathing, shifting, infinitely creative.  We, with the creativity of our imaginations, can take things, even in damaged or broken condition, and make something new and  beautiful.  Take a “broken glass.”  Perhaps it’s got a chip missing from the lip.  No longer a useful item for drinking.  Throw it in the trash, right?  But wait, we can take that glass and make it into a vase for flowers, and it’s still useful and beautiful.  Or we can break it up into chunks of glass and put it together differently,  give it new, beautiful life as an artwork, a mosaic.  We can smooth out the rough edge and/or fill in the chip with another even stronger material and it will be useful for drinking again.  Choices for change.

Number two, and even more important:  people are not “damaged.”  They aren’t broken.  A person always does the best they can, which is always VERY resourceful, given the current state of their life.  And they have within themselves infinite choices.  To be something different when they want to be, and how they want to be.

In hypnotherapy, we don’t “fix people.”  We guide them to new choices.  I’m always impressed with the virtuosity of creativity that comes into my office, how people have developed behaviors and ideas, which once upon a time were useful, but no longer are.  They can be just as powerfully creative in changing.  And to me, “change” is a wonderful word, a positive word, worthy of cheerleaders jumping in the air or throwing confetti .  Yay!!

I don’t believe that when a thing (or person) is “damaged,” it’s “game over.”  This father’s tone and attitude were stuffed full of an obvious negative conviction of “and that’s the way it is.”  Au contraire!  I believe in change, an ever shifting and moving energy.  Infinite possibility!  Whatever this 13 year old girl has been through, she can be through it differently–in ways that are useful to her, her growth, and her life.

Warm Regards,