You are not broken.

You are not broken - by Kelly Rae Roberts

You are not broken - by Kelly Rae Roberts(Image source: Kelly Rae Roberts)

2007 is not a year I look back on with fondness.

I was suffering from chronic migraines (the worst one lasted for 8 excruciating weeks), had cold sores every two weeks, had TMJ so bad that I was contemplating surgery, and was moodier than I had ever been. I was also diagnosed with several food sensitivities (the culprits of those pesky symptoms), and was in a car accident that had left me with an incredibly painful sciatic nerve in my back.

The culmination of all of those things left me feeling miserable and broken.

After a few months of intense physical therapy and some significant dietary changes, my body began to heal. I felt better than I had in years.

But somewhere in the back recesses of my mind, the belief that I was broken still lived on.

It would rear its ugly head when I was feeling particularly down…

…after yet another visit with the Naturopath where my progress was stalled.
…when the food sensitivities came back after a brief hiatus.
…month after month of being unsuccessful with getting pregnant.
…hearing about yet another friend who was successful and pregnant.
…after my miscarriage.
…when I wouldn’t make the progress I wanted in my business.

That is, until a few months ago.

My back was acting up again, making it difficult for me to sit or stand for extended periods of time without being in a good amount of pain. Instead of popping pills or ignoring it, I turned to meditation.

I had been reading about how suffering and pain were physical manifestations of our emotions and beliefs. To test the theory, I decided to give meditation a try.

I began to focus on the pain. As I focused on the location of the pain, it intensified. It then began to spread throughout my entire back. And just when I thought the pain was more than I could handle, something crazy happened: I had a flash of being laid up in bed after my car accident, hysterically crying and being told that I needed to go to the emergency room by my husband and parents because of the amount of pain I was in.

It was that very moment when I told myself I was broken for the first time.

As soon as the connection was made, my back pain dissipated. It also made me realize how damaging that thought had been to me over the years, both physically and emotionally.

It was time to let it go.

The simple act of acknowledging the belief was incredibly powerful for me. Just knowing where it came from and how it had been affecting me was critical to being able to let it go. It also helped to visualize the belief being released from my body. I imagined it bubbling up to the surface and disappear into the world, sort of like carbonation coming to the surface and “popping”.

When I was finished with the meditation, I felt lighter and more at peace.

When I would try to conjure up situations that had made me feel broken in the past (most notably around trying to get pregnant), it would just feel wrong.

And that debilitating back pain? Gone. And didn’t come back.

This experience taught me quite a bit:

  • The stories we tell ourselves are powerful, so make sure it’s a positive one.
  • Thoughts and beliefs have physical consequences, both good and bad.
  • Pain has an emotional component.
  • Spring cleaning isn’t just for physical clutter, it should be done for the emotional stuff too.

What stories are you telling yourself that are no longer serving you?

Send me an email or share them in the comments below.

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More about Emily Levenson

Emily Levenson is a meditation encourager, mama, and Pittsburgh enthusiast. She recently launched a podcast called Nourish + Flourish and is a co-pilot at Propelle.


  1. Reply Hi Emily, We met in Oakland, I was with Jessica Strong and we had our kids. I wanted to comment on your post because I am right with you, sister. I've been on this path for a little less than a year and you nailed it. My spiritual mentor is at woman changed my life... Have you heard of the Tapping Solution? Please check it out if you haven't already... Nick Ortner at I have his book and tapping is powerful...and it starts with the affirmation: I deeply and completely accept myself...and I follow it up with the permission to release our pain... it's ok to feel's ok to be ok, because we are, we just forgot that somewhere along the way... (insert big, deep sob during mediation here... ) Thank you for sharing your story and your truth, I live for this information and I wish it to be blessed on everyone... Thank you again...
    1. Reply Thank you for your kind words, Nikki. It was great to meet you, even if it was a quick chat. I enjoy Gabby Bernstein a lot, though find that she doesn't always resonate with me. So, I'm glad that her wisdom speaks to you! I am also a huge fan of tapping and have done quite a bit of it myself. Do you have any favorites from Nick Ortner?
  2. Reply The ending you gave "what stories are you telling yourself" completely correlates with a book I'm reading called " The Four Agreements" if anyone hasn't read it or head of it it can be life changing in the sense that it made me so much more aware of how everything we hear and say impacts us much deeper than we realize. Awesome post, and thank you for being so open, honest, and truly just real. I love when I read your emails and think oh I'm not crazy we all go through this :)
    1. Reply Amanda -- That's a great book. I should probably pick it up again, haven't read it in a while. :) And I am so glad that my posts // newsletters resonate with you. Makes it all worthwhile. xo

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