I am not broken: challenges, change, and finding your authentic self

finding your authentic self

What do you do when life hits you with a change that shatters your perception? Laurel shares her journey toward finding her authentic self.

I am not broken.

Sadly, I always know what it feels like. I can recognize the little bit of swelling, the tenderness to touch and the change in my stride. After suffering from more fractures than I can count, I just know. So, three weeks ago when I realized I was suffering from another stress fracture in my foot, I responded drastically different than I would have over a decade ago or even three years ago. Now I am true to my authentic self.

For me, it was never just about the bone I broke, it was about feeling broken everywhere.

The part of me that seemed to give up, all of a sudden became all of me and I could no longer see beyond that injury. I only saw that I was broken.

Let me explain further, we often associate ourselves with something we do and/or somewhere we are life. When I was younger, I labeled myself as a runner and that was who I was. I remember suffering from my first adult fracture and crying because I could no longer run and questioned how I would survive because “I was a runner.” I would wake up in the middle of the night hysterically crying. I would sulk around. I felt lost and disconnected from who I thought I was, a runner.

In between that traumatic and life-changing incident and between this one, I recieved a diagnosis of a severe case of osteoporosis. Who knows how long my bones were depleting, but by age 30 I shattered my knee cap. And, you guessed it, I lost it, but I made it through after wearing a brace that kept my leg straight for three months. That was no fun!

So, as I was saying…

We associate our selves with jobs, titles, hobbies, but the truth is we are who we are without all that. I have not run in the last three weeks, and I am still the same person. The truth about back then was that I was so much more, a wife, a sister, a daughter, an executive, a dog mom… But, this was still not exactly who I was or who I am. These were, and some still are, my roles in life. Who I was and who I am never really changed. I am a sparkling, caring, energetic and loving being, and no injury can take that away.

I stopped labeling myself as a runner a long time ago and honestly cannot say I have picked any back up to replace it, not even yoga teacher.

I am who I am without the association. I am not broken without the title or label. I am still me. Breaking bones, recovering, healing and then sometimes breaking again is always a great reminder that nothing is permanent and we are ever-changing.

What did I do differently this time? I won’t deny that a tinge of sadness set in at first. But, I moved on pretty quickly. I not only moved on; I tried different things. I tried different workouts, and I reanalyzed my diet and vitamins. I took a look around and within and made some minor and some big changes, but I still remained the same person you all know me to be.

I share this with you because I know that change can be challenging especially change that we believe changes who we are.

Our jobs change. Our role as family members change. Our living situation may change, but I promise you that you are not broken and you are still you. As life continues to throw you curve balls, continue to be your authentic self. I know I will.


Laurel Attanasio finding your authentic self

Laurel is a teacher featured on The Local Collective at GatherYoga, and you can practice yoga at home with Laurel as your guide! Check out her collections of videos HERE .

In addition, you can practice with Laurel in person in Bethlehem, PN, or on any of her amazing yoga retreats!  www.laurelattanasio.com

Feature image by Jenny Hudson, used with Creative Commons licence

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