Dysfunction to Function

Dysfunction is ok. Dysfunction is good to an extent (yes it is-promise!). To what extent is subjective and isn’t really the focus here. What’s important is that we remember that dysfunction exists. We all experience it. We’re all in it together.

It’s easy to love the things you love. It’s easy to love the parts of yourself that are good and perfect as you see them, as society sees them, as whomever you care about seeing them, sees them. It’s easy to love the people who love you back, to love the people who support you, to love the people who are totally on your side. What gets tricky is trying to navigate the other parts of life. Those parts that are sticky, uncomfortable, mean, heart-wrenching, unfortunate, and just flat out unfair.  Feelings of hatred, loathing, regret, confusion, being misunderstood, neglect, pain, suffering..add your touchy subject here. The list could go on for days. This poses a bit of a challenge to the self-love front, since the messy parts of life are the things that can make us love ourselves least.

For a dash of cinematic perspective, Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) in Silver Linings Playbook asks her counterpart Pat (Bradley Cooper) if he loved all of himself. The parts that he liked and the parts that he, well, pretty much hated. She explained that she came to terms with and even (gasp!) liked the parts of herself that were dirty, miserable, and unkempt.

One of my most dysfunctional qualities is that I worry OFTEN all the time. I try and try and try to help it. I breathe, I meditate, I dance, I laugh, I talk to a friend…and yet Worry still greets me on too many an occasion. I don’t love that I worry. I wish that I didn’t worry. But here slides the conundrum into home base- Worry keeps me attentive and in thought. This dysfunctional jerk of a thing lets me know that I’m alive and that I still care about something (even if that something isn’t the bright sunshiney thing about which I want to or should be caring). I will admit that while I struggle with my worry-wort tendencies every day, each time I successfully breathe in my worry and accept it, I’m wracked with pride as my dysfunction transforms. Here’s one instance where dysfunction isn’t necessarily the bad guy. My dysfunction makes me realize my thoughts and forces me to choose between worrying or flipping the script and focusing my attention on something better. Dysfunction brings about function. It’s just that the function might look tattered, torn, and traumatized much like its dysfunctional counterpart.

Wherever you are in your dysfunctional journey, know that I’m here too, trekking through the world. Here’s to love-LOTS of it- and those moment of transformation when we become open enough to our dysfunction that it allows us to truly function.


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