There’s Nothing Wrong with You; You Don’t Need Fixing.

Via Kara-Leah Grant
on Apr 9, 2013
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Kara-Leah Grant

This article is an example of how subtle our layers of reality are.

It starts with a story I’m telling about my life and about myself.

Out of that story, I extrapolate an unconscious belief, identifying this belief as something that needs fixing, changing, letting go, or releasing so my conscious reality will change.

This has been a useful process that’s helped me heal much over the last few years—yet this process doesn’t end there.

There’s another subtle layer—that which seeks to fix, change or alter something in order to make everything feel okay.

That’s the next layer that reveals itself.

Deepening into that layer reveals that there is nothing wrong with me, or my life. At some point, all the fixing, changing, letting go and releasing also has to stop. Instead, there comes a deep acceptance of myself as I am.

Paradoxically, out of that deep acceptance of myself as I am grows a natural evolution of Self.

Here’s the process, laid bare for you to witness.

The Story (written four weeks earlier):

It’s been almost nine years since I went crazy. Nine long years. And you know what?

There’s still something at my core that believes there’s something wrong with me and I must have done something bad for that to happen to me.

My fiance at the time broke up with me—sure, he was unable to cope with crazy wife-to-be but he was well on his way to dumping my arse anyway. That was part of what was driving me crazy.

I couldn’t figure out how this man who’d fallen so madly deeply crazily (!) in love me was now…not. I was still the same person, right? Only he’d gotten to know more of this person—and down at the core, at the very depths of me, he’d found something not lovable.

I was unlovable. Worthless. Broken. And now, crazy.

Oh, these are subtle layers of consciousness, buried deep. But they rule our lives. It’s ruled my life. For the past nine years, I’ve been working working working at healing and recovering and figuring out my psyche and proving that I am good enough. That I’m worthy and not broken and definitely not crazy.

You’d think I’d have done it by now.

Hell, it’s almost laughable every time a long buried truth floats up to the surface. The last time it happened was August 2012, just after I launched the PledgeMe Campaign to raise $20,000 for a Best of Yoga Lunchbox book.

Launched on Saturday.

Fell to pieces on Tuesday night.

Broke through on Wednesday.

Lesson learned, insight gained. (And campaign pulled).

Can I graduate now?

Apparently not. Let me see. Launched my book Forty Days of Yoga electronically last Friday. It’s selling well. Things are in motion. All is good. And yet…and yet…and yet…I feel bloody awful. ?

What is wrong with me? Why don’t I feel light and joyous and delighted?

How come I just feel shattered and exhausted and tired? Oh wait—I’m a single parent responsible for my child 24/7 singlehandedly, putting out a website, a book, newsletters, articles and managing an ever burgeoning website all by myself.

That’s what’s crazy.

Why the hell am I pushing myself so hard? Sure, I want to be financially independent. (Thank you NZ government and tax payers for the support you offer single parents like me.) But feeling deeper, there’s something else.

Tonight, after my three year old pinched me yet again, I broke down in tears. Always a bad sign.

I sat. I cried. I observed. I breathed.

Yada yada yada. I’m so over this, WTF? What is wrong with me?

Child in bed, on my mat, Child’s Pose for ten minutes. Bliss. Wide-legged child. Tears. More tears. Deeper now.

This isn’t the exhaustion of a pinch-bruised mother; this is older and deeper. Sit with it.

Man, why does there always have to be more? How come other people don’t get all this shit all the time? Maybe there is something wrong with me? Maybe this is what bi-polar is about—feeling deep feelings and running away from them. Only I’m not running anymore.

Maybe a half-hearted dash, but I always relent.

Moment out to read Facebook—noting the need to connect, must find flatmate, can’t live alone, more madness—chance upon an article from one of my favourite bloggers, Slade Roberson. In Manifesting 100 Percent he says:

“You are 100% responsible for everything you manifest in life.”

I’ve put that in quotation marks because I do not believe it; I just don’t believe it’s that simple.

I don’t believe you have that much control over reality.

I break down again near the end of the article, sobbing. Watching myself sob. Ok, so this is interesting, what about this is touching something within me. (See how this works—I’m still learning how to work out feelings. Sure, I can feel ’em now, but I don’t always know what they mean or what they refer to…)

I’m not 100% responsible for everything I manifest in life.

Flashback to craziness. Maybe that wasn’t my fault.

Well doh, of course it wasn’t your fault, it was just one of those things.

One of what things?

Those things that happen—life. Life happens. Then you deal with it.

It comes back to control, which may be why I’m despairing over my son pinching and hitting me: I can’t control him.

The dots are beginning to connect now. An email from my ex-partner. A conversation with a close girlfriend.


Before I went crazy, I’d let go of trying to control life. I was just relaxing and enjoying life and having a blast and not worrying about too much. Then wham! Psychosis. Twice.

Now, I’ve been trying to live life right and do the right thing and make sure that nothing like that ever happens to me ever again. Problem is, living like that has put me in a strait jacket.

Oh, the irony.

I need to let go. Trust. Surrender. None of which is new.

I know all this—I get this lesson over and over and over and over again. But how the hell do I do it? Especially when I’m completely responsible for a three year old and on incredibly tight finances.

How do I let go and trust and surrender?

I don’t need to know the answer right now; I just need to ask the question. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about this process, it does have it’s own rhyme and reason.

Written out, The Process looks something like this:

  1. I feel like crap.
  2. I know there’s tears on the way.
  3. I get on the mat. Have a bath. Take some time.
  4. Cry and cry and cry and cry.
  5. I note insights arising. Note events and people and memories arising from the past. Note what needs to be seen.
  6. I write it all out. Ask what’s needed.
  7. I sit in the unknown.
  8. I take more time out. Yoga. Bath. Writing.
  9. I sleep.
  10. I wake up feeling… clear.
  11. Insights arise. Something’s released.
  12. Ahhhhh…

How come they don’t teach this in school?


Now, reflecting on this first piece of writing written four weeks ago, this is what I see:

Life has again shifted and changed, as it always does. Yes, as a result of the process above I was able to see some old issues around trust and letting go, but out of this particularly difficult day something deeper than that also became clear.

There is nothing wrong with me.

There is nothing wrong with feeling sad, or low, or depressed.

There’s nothing wrong with these feelings.

They’re just feedback mechanisms in the mind/body. They come, they go. What creates the suffering that you see above is my idea that there’s something wrong with me for being how I am.

There isn’t; there’s nothing wrong with you and there’s nothing wrong with me.

We are always worthy, simply because we’ve been born.

We are always loveable—and the inability of other people to love us doesn’t change this.

We are always whole, even if sometimes it doesn’t feel like it.

Yet nothing we do in the outside world can bring home these truths to us—and that’s why I was feeling so awful this particular day. I thought publishing my first book would fix me and make me feel ok. When it didn’t…it totally spun me out.

At least, it could have spun me out if I didn’t have my yoga practice to ground me as I observed the thoughts and feelings I was having.

As a result of those observations and inquiry into what was happening, I was able to let go of the idea that something was wrong with me (nothing’s wrong with me!) and let go of the idea that I need to prove myself worthy (I’m worthy just because!).

So many of us are practicing yoga and meditation because we’re trying to fix ourselves—we’re trying to fix our bodies, our minds, our emotions and our spirits.

This is all good and well, and can serve a valuable purpose. But at some point as we allow ourselves to drop below the fixing we discover that we are actually perfect just as we are.

That’s the radical shift that changes everything.

Suddenly, we’re arrived.

Suddenly, there’s nothing else to do.

Suddenly, there’s nowhere else to go.



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Ed: Bryonie Wise
Photo: Author


About Kara-Leah Grant

Kara-Leah Grant is an internationally renowned retreat leader, yoga teacher and writer. Along with fellow Elephant Journal writer, Ben Ralston, she runs Heart of Tribe, pouring her love into growing a world-wide tribe of courageous, committed, and empowered individuals through leading retreats in New Zealand, Mexico and Sri Lanka. Kara-Leah is also the founder of New Zealand’s own awesome yoga website, The Yoga Lunchbox, and author of Forty Days of Yoga—Breaking down the barriers to a home yoga practice and The No-More-Excuses Guide to Yoga. A born & bred Kiwi who spent her twenties wandering the world and living large, Kara-Leah has spent time in Canada, the USA, France, England, Mexico, and a handful of other luscious locations. She now lives and travels internationally with her son, a ninja-in-training. You can find Kara-Leah on her website, or on Facebook.


31 Responses to “There’s Nothing Wrong with You; You Don’t Need Fixing.”

  1. scott says:

    There is nothing wrong with you. This is what being perfect feels like.

  2. Rebecca says:

    really, really good question.
    sometimes I'm so lost, it's good to read another's process. It invites me back to my own.
    thank you

  3. toddlohenry says:

    Thank you for this excellent post. I came to the same conclusion just a few weeks ago — it's wonderfully freeing, isn't it? 😀

  4. Nicole says:


  5. Tami says:

    I have to ask – is that a fur vest you're wearing?

  6. Hey Rebecca,

    I guess the reason it's not taught in school… is this idea of emotionally processing stuff that comes up and laying it to rest might be a relatively new phenomenon. But yeah, t's so great to hear other other people process 'stuff' – without avoiding it, denying it, running from it…

  7. So freeing! I've been writing about this 'healing' journey of Self for so long on The Yoga Lunchbox… and now I've realised there's nothing to fix, the nature of my writing is changing. I'm beginning to explore new themes and ideas beyond the 'healing of the self', moving more into relating and community, which feels awesome.

  8. It is a fur vest. At least, manufactured to look like fur. Could you still love me if it was real? 😉

  9. Fleur says:

    Beautifully written – and it absolutely resonates. The moment we stop trying to being something or someone else is the moment we accept and see things as they really are. We (and our lives) are beautiful, even with all the "brokenness". Being with that knowing (rather trying to make it different) is where we can and do truly let go. That is the path to freedom, not trying to "fix" anything.

  10. thetbar says:

    Well said!
    This rings very true. The process and the realization.
    Thanks for sharing your story.

  11. jwellander says:

    I've come to this conclusion as well, many times actually. Once again when I read your article, which is splendidly written! There are habits to be broken here… I constantly remind myself that I am absolutely good enough, just as I am, and that I need to stand up for myself and my needs. Otherwise, who will right? Thank you for sharing! Btw, I would love to go to New Zealand once in my life, to the other side of the world (from Sweden). It seems like a magnificent country. 🙂

  12. kris says:

    Beautiful!!! I have bipolar as well and have been struggling with a similar situation. Thank you for posting this, made me a little teary 😉

  13. Gayllina says:

    Suddenly all is possible again

  14. Sarah says:

    Thanks for this!! This is me (minus the three year old!!)…though I've still got a ways to go before I stop trying and failing to fix myself! Super helpful, thank you for sharing x

  15. It is a realization that seems to come many times over. Since writing this article, I've had to remind myself every time I fall back into that old subtle pattern of thinking I need fixing.

    And yes, New Zealand is a magnificent country – I love it!

  16. leilra says:

    "So many of us are practicing yoga and meditation because we’re trying to fix ourselves—we’re trying to fix our bodies, our minds, our emotions and our spirits."

    That line hit me hard. I never realized it, but it's so true. Thank you for helping me realize this fact. (:

  17. Jodeen says:

    Your post brought me to tears. I understand this. Forever thinking of I could "just get my shit together" then I would be o.k. My yoga practice saves my ass every single day and it is still so hard to cope. Just gone through chemo the last 6 months, tamoxifin, broke up with my boyfriend, trying to figure out how much is me, how much circumstance, how much insanely toxic drugs or (d) all of the above. Thank you for writing this. I send you love and light on your journey. If you are interested, please check out my blog site.

  18. Roos says:

    Hi Kara-Leah,

    Unbelievable how much i recognize, when i went crazy, i suddenly started writing like crazy, that happens when someone is in a very stressful situation for too long and/or is getting depressed while already writing a lot as i do since i have learned to write, so i walked around with paper and pens all the time, even when i went looking at a play where in my at that time 6 year old son had a part, people looked at me like who is that crazy woman haha but i wrote down every detail of what was happening all the time. So without asking myself why or what for, i just kept writing, writing and writing, untill a few months later when i found out about that letters that i had written to someone were severely abused, told you about it at another article of yours, then suddenly i got a writersblock and wasn't able to even write a note to take along to the supermarket pff so i decided to start reading what i wrote the few months before and while doing so i started realising that indeed i don;t have to change because of already being a decent human that is kind, honest, trustful and reasonable, so i found out that there are certain persons that want me to think that something's wrong with me, those persons always keep saying things like that i am too soft, too naieve, too sentimental, too honest, too trusting, too of this and too of that, no matter what another person has done to me, those persons keep telling me that i am too of something and some of those persons are relatives so they told me so since i was just a little child, add with it a husband that did the same for about 10 years, so that i went crazy just before divorcing him, which ofcourse got also abused, is just a normal reaction, so i cried 365 days each day just before sleeping and just after awakening so that was a real tough year and hardest thing i have ever done, was staying close to myself, forcing myself to stay open and honest because i value it so much, i know it makes vulnerable but better know fast when another person is just a fake that is deceiving me than waste another few years or so, so i choose to stay open and honest, also i had to force myself to keep trusting people, so i forced myself to keep mingling with people, just to prove to myself that most people are innocent and indeed found out that most people are really nice, honest and reasonable, what parasites have done to me is bad enough, so every new human deserves a chance to prove that he or she is a good human being and usually they are so i am really glad with all of those choices, also because it has made me more whole than i ever was and all insecurities about myself are gone, because i stood alone and fought for everything that i believe in so also in me, but all that i have written and knowing that every word of it is true, was and still is my lighttower at times when i am at a dark sea, seeing the story upon white paper, written with usually blue ink, takes away every doubt that i ever had about myself and my own behavior. I wanted to write a book too and i did, but it still isn't a real book and i am not a yoga or meditating person either, i just know that writing is all i need to keep things as clear as something can be. Again thank you so much for reading and for sharing your story that i think is amazing, really beautiful and very helpful and again i am gonna share your article so that hopefully lots of people will read it because i just know that lots of people still have to learn that nothing is wrong with them ღ

  19. Roos says:

    Hi Kara-Leah,

    I just tried to read some other articles and maybe i am wrong but i understand that i have to pay at least one dollar to be able to read other articles. Is that right and if so, why?

  20. Bubbu Nonuthin says:

    Let me say this…what you are endlessly cycling in, is termed as BPD (and it is a downward spiral type , like a tornado, the energy gets smaller and smaller with each exhausting stress cycle.). If you look up various sites related to this, you may, u end up saying…”It is as if they are describing me…the sleepless nights, rage, disorientation, paranoia, self hatred, helplessness, splitting images of people, , foggy connection with certain memories, continual rejection and learned covering of real “me”, abandonment fear, etc.”

    Your brain has encountered some early life trauma (and ice cream scoop after ice cream scoop of more trauma on the original scoop) , and is trapped, “frozen” in its lower brain state. It did this, you did this, to protect yourself from annihilation (and often fear of annihilation is a recurrent theme for those with early life trauma…what they hell can an 18 month old do when mommy is shaking it, and the baby has not mentally separated “mommy” as being outside of baby…meaning baby and mommy are the same? How would anyone react to this unconscionable act?)

    There are 2 paths…
    One…continue to spiral.cycle, and the cortisol bombardment of your hippocampus (emotional memory/learning and cortisol reduction trigger in the HPA axis feedback loop) will cause you to lose your ability to control your emotions…downward spiral cycle by cycle. You will linger more and more in the hypervigilant/hypersensitive mode (high cortisol. weak hippocampus, over reactive amygdala (sets the HPA stress response into action). you will turn to alcohol, sex, sex addicted relationships, pot/drugs, caffeine, cigarettes, yoga, diet techniques, blueberries for memory, tomatoes for magic licopene, famous quotations of experts, in oder to FEEL something, pump up disrupted neurotransmitter function. As your dopamine levels are suppressed/inhibited by the stress reaction (and it is a chronic downward cycling spiral)…you will spiral lower and lower. Seeking greater highs, creating deeper lows…the more you pump cortisol (stress hormone) the more unstable your emotions due to weaker HPA stress response-your hippocampus cannot help bring the cortisol down, your amygdala will be feeding stress where there really isnt much, FOR IT PERCEIVES IT…and you get trapped in the overdrive…draining, draining your brain, and overextending various neurotransmitters (dopamine (desire) cravings, serotonin (relaxation) vaccums, ocytocin (emotional connectedness) dormancy. It is the drugs and stimulations (and yes, mental stimulation is the most common addiction) that are the sufferers attempts to “pump” these imbalanced neurotransmitters back into balance, and they have huge long term sides effects. Nothing works better for triggering proper neurotransmitter than the evolving, learning, discovering, advancing, ascending human brain. Most continue on this path. Leading to brain dementia (hippocampus shrinkage strongly linked to it) , if they do not die from mid life complications. Most of the world feeds off of this, vampires for each other, which is why true healing is so hard to find to any substantial degree. And most physical disease, especially in midlife, when the stress responders dwindle from excessive repetition, and things become overwhelming for a burned out soul, stems from this ensuing depletion (just how long does one really think they can do this and not hit upon a condition where the body says, ENOUGH!? …and begins to wither.). 40's then become a spiral/cycle of attempting to abate this depleted disease condition, and the mental stimulation now feeds on “external discoveries” for such diseases (when, in act, they are really caused by the chronic stress spiral response…and the true healing comes from getting off that hamster wheel, NOT looking for a “new and improved silver bullet lurking just around the corner…”if only I can move fast enough to chase down this new fix!” It is also interesting to note that, the “experts” says those with early life trauma (mainly BPD) settle down in midlife (according to their “photos: stacked neatly into closets.. If you believe the logic of that, over the fact that they are no longer capable of exploding, and are now imploding, I have some magic drug remedies made out of “Jack's Bean-stock Beans” to sell ya!

  21. Bubbu Nonuthin says:

    The other path..
    .therapy…popular one now…used for PTSD (adult trauma, not child, but same stuff) is Narrative Exposure therapy. It is really a simple approach, established in the trenches of traumatized refugees (though I am sure many books will be written to make it more, more, more.) I suggest a social worker, as they are the trench workers.
    Next, reduce ALL STRESS in your life, and refrain complaining that you have a daughter and cant…only divides brain focus and energies. If you want to begin healing instead of cycling, you will have to reduce the fuel (cortisol) feeding the fire of the lower brain (fear dominated lower cortex limbic region/raging amygdala/deteriorating hippocampus- is predominating in you now…and you are continuing to feed it…even with this yoga bullet.

    The focus for a trauma victim should only be their next step, not noble lofty pursuits that are much down the road. The focus for such a one should be REMOVING BLOCKAGES THAT PERPETUATE INNER BRAIN DISRUPTION. It is an incredible journey.
    Next, choose ONLY those people who bring true quietness (in steps) to our life, and purge those who “sit around the campfire cycling stimulation for each other.” AGAIN mental stimulation over magic bullets are well hidden traps, and hard to let go of, as fear is quite strong in a trauma survivor. Fear keeps stimulating lower brain, disallows higher brain evolution, which is why Joshua-of-the-Christians said, let go of your fear. This, and reducing stress is no small task. As well, proper nutrition is a factor, as well as giving time for the body to fast…eat in a 6-8 hour period, finding what times work best to give you greatest calm and clarity…and seek out quiet others to assist in developing this (avoid clever marketeer types…simple is best. Every Self wants to be original, and none are, ever. Look to pragmatists, and compassionate ones. I am aware that the rejection for trauma survivors is crippling…but do learn that you scare most people (and yourself too)) BECAUSE they don't (nor do you) understand what the hell you are doing. Classic example, and I would sense you can relate…When a person is traumatized early in life, their brain halves are not fully connected (nor are they in people who are not self actualized-99% of people) It is the corpus callosum that mediates between the left (analytical/pleasurable memory warehouse) and the right (intuitive difficult memory warehouse) Trauma survivors have reduced/impaired ability for the corpus callosum to meditate, or send information back and forth. What does this mean? When such a person is with someone they love, they will adore them (left brain)…as they have little image coming from right brain that “sometimes this person's shit stinks”…BUT when their over-reactive stress HPA response kicks in and lingers…they move to terrible memories (right brain) and now see the person as “all black, and the shit is pile exclusively high.: This is called splitting. It is interesting to note that epileptic people who have had their brains purposefully split (terrible to do this) have similar “cut off behaviors.” There was one example where a person was hitting their partner with his left hand, and his right hand was defending her. (please, google search the things I say for yourself, and see I there is truth in all things I say her to you, not just the splitting phenomenon. Also…no need to despair…with proper and focused effort (light in the dark) the brain is highly PLASTIC-science is finding this to be more so than they previously thought. but it does take time.

    They also practice projection. As the horrid images of their true self are triggered, they project it outwardly onto others. They can do this simply to place ownership for their emotions onto another…for instance, if I hold a great lie about me (like in the film “Brothers”…one brother killed a fellow soldier while in a captive state of trauma, and hid what he did. He then later(over stimulated stress response) thought his brother liked his wife, and then accused him of lying and covering it up. They can also, and this is linked to the above reason…project onto the other, to justify their related actions. As example, in the film, the soldier brother could now use the projected accusation to “inflict” his raging emotions onto the other, avoiding facing his very real and intense inner issue. He could rage on his cheating, lying cowardly brother, and hate him while doing so. This cycle only makes the HPA stress response worse…feeding the cycle…fight-rage or flight-run???…etc etc…continue until the body wears for the disrupted cycles. Can you SEE this in you?

    Then, after repeated splitting.rage/projection cycles… the rejection comes, the abandonment arises, Then reactive manipulations arise. The sufferer learns to “BE” what the other wants to avoid the cycles. This is probably one of the most crucial things to avoid, and the hardest to get a sufferer to realize and let go of. It was Buddha who said “understanding is e, thereby preventing them from leaving. This only causes the person to leave, or to develop their own brand of PTSD over time.

  22. Sara says:

    As a single mother in Cleveland, OH…I can identify. I went through the same journey on my way to the understanding I now have of myself, my feelings, my thoughts, the way others affect me, the way others perceive me, the way I have perceived myself…and all to come to the grand conclusion that I am perfect and my perfect is ever changing and evolving.
    Namaste Dear One

  23. Siri says:

    Thank you wonderful wonderful person for sharing this real talk with me. I just cried. And it was joy. I will carry this with me, and re-read when I need to. You hit my heart with this truth tonight. Thank you again!

  24. Sam says:

    Thank you for being so honest with us 🙂

  25. Sarah Najjar says:

    Thank you for sharing Kara. Your writing is simple and honest. What a relief to realise there is nothing wrong for you! 🙂 I’m glad that you have Yoga. Have a lovely day. Sarah x

  26. shanne says:

    Thankyou for this article,it particularly hit home for me.I meditate,i yoga,i journal,I eat well,i practice gratitude and have an open heart,most days,so shouldn't i be walking around on a bed of fairy floss with unicorns flying around me every day.The days that i wake up and don't feel that great,i feel guilty,like theres something wrong with me.You have made me realise that theres nothing wrong with me,our emotions ebb and flow,and its ok.

  27. Nick says:

    Wonderful article Kara-Leah,

    Acknowledging feelings is tough! I am right there with you. I’ve been through the emotional struggle (not your unique struggle) but those same kind of moments. Sitting in stillness, I do meditations and what I refer to emotional alchemy to pull me through seeing who I am is perfect.

    Change can only happen on its own through our acknowledgement of our perfect imperfections.

    Blessings to you,


  28. liberatedself says:

    Wonderful article Kara-Leah,

    Acknowledging feelings is tough! I am right there with you. I've been through the emotional struggle (not your unique struggle) but those same kind of moments. Sitting in stillness, I do meditations and what I refer to emotional alchemy to pull me through seeing who I am is perfect.

    Change can only happen on its own through our acknowledgement of our perfect imperfections.

    Blessings to you,

  29. may farhat says:

    Great article Kara Leah!
    Thank you for sharing.
    Warmly, from Beirut

  30. RM says:

    “We are always loveable—and the inability of other people to love us doesn’t change this.” This line made me lose my sh*t! What a realisation! Thank you for sharing your story, what an amazing woman you are! From one single mum to the next <3

  31. Gina says:

    Made me cry. You are worthy and perfect. By the way also a bad ass. Being a single mom and writing a book! That is quite a feat! You should be proud of what you have done, who you are, and the strength you have to keep pushing forward, to have the self awareness to keep seeking answers instead of giving up, and for being an inspiration by sharing your story. Thank you for being you.