Here’s Why You Need To Give Yourself a Break
When our dear friend, Witchy, was living in the Transylvania Forest — before her life blew up — she was happy and carefree. But after her friends turned on her and relentlessly made fun of her, Witchy began to feel like there was something wrong with her.
To fill you in (in case you don’t know her story), after the “secret trauma” that forced her to become vegan, she had to stop using eye of newt, bat wings, dragon toes etc. in her spells. As she puts it, this made her spells “go wonky” and all the other witches laughed at her. They teased and tormented her mercilessly and her boyfriend, 712-year-old Vladimir the Vampire (not-so-affectionately known as “the Pinhead”) dumped her because he was embarrassed to be seen with her.
Poor Witchy. She was utterly humiliated and it broke her sweet heart that after centuries of friendship and bonding with her “witch family,” they would treat her this way.
It left her feeling defective, damaged, discouraged and disheartened.
“Not to mention some other ‘D’ words like distraught, devastated, dumbfounded and deeply disappointed,” says Witchy (she is reading over my shoulder — again).
What was she to do?
She and her cauldron, Enchantra, headed west to England, with Witchy’s toothbrush and her stamp collection safely packed in her little suitcase.
They had over 1,500 miles to travel and along the way, Enchantra worked her special magic.
As the two made their way through the Forest that first morning, Witchy’s shoulders drooped.
Not long after the two set off, Enchantra spoke.
“You’re awfully quiet, Witchy. You look like you’ve got the weight of the world on your shoulders.”
Enchantra, in her great wisdom, understood that her lifelong friend had never experienced anything like this. She had never been betrayed, embarrassed, or hurt on such a grand scale.
Staring at the ground in front of her as she walked, Witchy sighed heavily. “Kind of feels that way.”
“You know, Witchy, you didn’t do anything wrong.”
“Yes, I did. My magic is broken and my spells don’t work anymore.”
“That’s not your fault.”
“Are you kidding? Did you see all of those embarrassing disasters?”
“Well, I’m your cauldron. Of course I could see that things weren’t going as planned.”
“Weren’t going as planned? I nearly blew up the whole Forest that one time!”
“But did you do that on purpose?”
“Of course not! I love the Forest!”
“And with all those spells that, uh, didn’t go so well, did you do any of that on purpose?”
“No! But still, I got them wrong. I failed.”
“I understand that that’s how you feel, Witchy, but you’ve really got to give yourself a break.”
“A break? What do you mean?”
“Stop beating yourself up for things you couldn’t control.”
“But I should have been able to control my spells!”
“Not when you were forced to figure out another way to do them. You did your best, Witchy. You just…haven’t found the answers yet but they’ll come.”
“How can you be so sure?”
“Sometimes things go wrong in our lives because something needs to change.”
“Well, as far as I’m concerned, nothing needed to change! Everything would have been just fine if it hadn’t had to stop using creatures in my spells.”
“And why did you become vegan?”
Witchy’s head snapped in Enchantra’s direction. “You know I don’t want to talk about that night!”
“Okay, well, the point is that something happened to you and you made a difficult choice because of it, right?”
“Yes.” Frowning, Witchy eyed Enchantra suspiciously. “Where are you going with this?”
“You could have chosen not to become vegan after that incident, right?”
“No! I really couldn’t! It was the only thing I could do!”
“Okay, well, let me put it this way: You could have chosen not to do it but it wouldn’t have felt good.”
“Well, yes, okay. I guess that’s true.”
“All right, Witchy, so you made a choice that felt right for you. You made a big change by becoming vegan and it made you different from the other witches.”
Witchy walked on in silence, quiet tears trickling down her face.
Enchantra continued. “That part was bad enough. But then they teased you about being different.”
“Mm-hmm,” Witchy sniffled, wiping away her tears with the back of her hand.
“And it got worse when your spells stopped working and things went wrong.”
“I made a fool of myself! I’m a complete failure! I mean, after all those centuries of casting beautiful spells and being one of the Elders in my Coven and being highly respected, suddenly I was a freak. I couldn’t do anything right.”
“I understand, Witchy. I’m sure I’d have felt the same way, too, in your shoes.
“What shoes? I don’t wear shoes.”
“I mean, if I were in the same situation.”
“Oh. Why are you making me remember all of this? I just want to forget it!”
“Because, dear Witchy, there is a bigger purpose for your life.”
“A bigger purpose? What is it?”
“It’s not for me to say. I do know this, though: Life throws hurdles at you when something needs to change. Your first big hurdle was that incident you won’t discuss. It pushed you to make a huge choice that had life-altering consequences.”
“So how is blowing up the Forest supposed to be useful?”
“Well, that part isn’t so useful. But when that original traumatic incident happened, it changed you. And it led to your choice to become vegan. And those changes in your inner world led to changes in your outer world. And…well, here we are. Setting off on a big adventure!”
“You make it sound so easy. I think you forgot the part where all of my friends were being so horrible. And Vladimir, too. That stupid Pinhead,” she added, kicking at the soft dirt with her toes.
“No, Witchy, I’m not forgetting any of that. I’m just saying that when your world is turned upside down and it sets you off on a new path, it’s because it’s time to leave the old one behind.”
“But what if I don’t want to leave the old one? What if I didn’t want things to change? I was quite happy with the way things were!”
“I know you were, Witchy, but some things are just out of our control. When you make a change in your life, everyone and everything around you will be forced to change, too, Witchy. Whether a little or a lot, that’s just how it goes.”
“I don’t see how that has anything to do with everyone being so mean to me!” Witchy sulked.
“You see, when you made a big change, it scared them. They didn’t understand you anymore. They might have been fearing that there would be big, unexpected changes in themselves.”
“Why would they think that, just because it happened to me?”
“Because if it happened to you, it could happen to anyone. They preferred being part of a group. They were comfortable where they were. Change is a scary thing for many.”
“Well, I’m not having much fun with it myself.”
“I know, Witchy. And when your spells started to go — well, ‘wonky,’ to use your term, it made you even more different. They were terrified of that happening to them, too.”
“Okay, I guess I can understand that. But I still feel like a complete failure. I can’t even do simple spells anymore. And you remember that time I flew my broom into a tree…”
“Ouch, yes, I know that was so hard for you. But Witchy, it’s important for you to know that just because things aren’t going the way you want them to right now, it’s not because you’re a failure.”
“No, not at all. It’s because you’re in the process of changing. Like when a caterpillar is turning into a butterfly.”
“Wow, caterpillars have magic like witches? Can they turn caterpillar-eating birds into toads? I bet they’d like that! The caterpillars. Not the birds.”
“No, it’s not like that. But when they’re in their cocoons, their bodies literally break down into a sort of gooey mess before the goo restructures itself into a butterfly! Isn’t that amazing?”
“It really is! But it sounds dreadful! Oh, another D word for me. Dreadful. I feel dreadful.”
“I know you do, Witchy, but it’s because — well, you were a caterpillar and now you’re becoming a butterfly.”
“So you’re saying that right now I’m caterpillar goo?”
“Well, yes, I suppose I am. Sometimes everything has to break down before you can rebuild.”
“I still don’t understand why my friends had to be so mean.”
“It hurts when the people we love don’t support us. But they get to make their own choices, Witchy, just as you chose to become vegan. And you chose to leave the Forest. Maybe someday, they’ll be kinder to those who are different. And maybe not.”
“I hope they are.”
“They just aren’t ready for change, Witchy. But you are. The universe has something else in store for you and you have answered that call. Your life is expanding now because you are expanding.”
“Yes, can’t you feel it?”
“I don’t know. I just feel like — caterpillar goo. Or how I think caterpillar goo might feel. Ew. I am confused and restless and sad. And — I guess I’m also excited. I hadn’t thought about it because I’ve been so busy looking at all the things that went wrong and that felt awful, I didn’t think about all the possibilities for whatever is coming!”
“It’s all very simple, really, Witchy. You have outgrown the Forest and everyone in it. The universe had to get your attention. You needed to see that you were ready for change. You needed to be nudged into action.”
“Nudged? I was practically shoved off a cliff!”
“Yes, well, I suppose that’s true. But at least now you’re leaving behind all of that pain. You’re right, you’re like caterpillar goo as you’re transforming yourself and your life into something magnificent.
“How do you know it will be magnificent?”
“Because you will choose to make it be magnificent. That’s why you’re not a failure, Witchy. You haven’t given up. You didn’t let any of that awfulness stop you from insisting on creating the happy life you want.”
“Oh, I really do want a happy life again! In fact, I want to be even happier than I was in the Forest. If that’s even possible.”
“See, Witchy? This is why you have to give yourself a break and stop saying and thinking mean things about yourself. If you didn’t like your friends saying mean things about you, then you can’t say them either. All of this has been for your benefit. All of it is leading you somewhere better. And here we are, on our way to the next chapter together.”
“I wonder what will happen!”
“So do I, Witchy. One thing’s for sure…the more you relax and enjoy the journey, the more you will open yourself to good things coming your way.”
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