A Tragic Misunderstanding …

With acknowledgement to the Internal Acceptance Movement [I.A.M.]

My ‘effing’ story got me again.  It’s so frustrating because as a counsellor/therapist and life coach I have been impeccably trained to help people bust through the nasty stories that are lurking insidiously in the shadows of their minds.  In fact, I’m actually really good at it.  I’m usually pretty good at managing my own unfavorable narratives too, but …

Every once in a blue moon the most painful ‘shadow belief’ that tagged along from my childhood literally blindsides me.  It reeks sheer havoc with my soul and then leaves me shattered, shaken and grievously grappling for solace.  And I get so frustrated, because although I KNOW that my story isn’t true … when it takes hold … it FEELS so true. And, my logical mind can’t seem to talk my emotional heart out of it’s desperate despair.

My “I don’t matter” story is strong and powerful and perilously persistent.  It emerged in my childhood … an erroneous interpretation of a wee little girl just trying to make sense of the neglect she experienced in a dysfunctional home ravaged by addictions and mental health issues. She couldn’t see, at the time, that her parents were caught up in the wounds of their own painful dramas.  So instead, she attributed their lack of attention to her needs as a reflection of  her own insignificance.  A tragic misunderstanding.  A terribly tragic misunderstanding.

Through the exceptional body of work inspired by the late Debbie Ford, I’ve been effectively ‘rewiring’ the neuro-template that was firmly etched into my psyche by that erroneous interpretation.  Thankfully, it doesn’t take me down all that often anymore, but … if/when it gets away on me, that negative cognition has the capacity to so steal so much joy from my heart … and … it can convincingly morph itself into any number of painful correlates:

“Nobody REALLY cares about me.”

“My needs are meaningless to others.”

“I’m completely expendable.”

“I’m absolutely inconsequential”

“I’m only appreciated for what I can give to/do for others.”

Blah … Blah … Blah … Blah … Blah. 

Recently, while marinating in the vulnerability of that unfavorable quagmire, I found myself beseeching  a miracle.  I was pleading for a merciful release from the wretched pain of that effing story. And … low and behold … I came upon Daniell Koepke.  Her words landed gently like a warm and loving salve on the jagged and raw edges of my tattered and torn heart.  Who was this person who knew exactly what I needed to be reminded of in the agonizing ache of those moments??

I felt compelled to look her up.  It turns out she has inspired the Internal Acceptance Movement.  She has written some inspiring reflections!  She was my angel in that moment offering a meaningful measure of pure grace and the miracle I was looking for … the ability to shift my perceptions from an energy of fear to a spirit of love and acceptance. So I’d like to say “Thank you Daniell.”  Your thoughtful perspective answered my call.

And … I am sharing this with all of you publicly because I want to pay forward the blessings in her wise words – just in case, you too, find yourself consumed by a painful belief you’ve lugged along from your past … and … just in case, you too, are in need of a wee miracle.  If so, you might let some of her words wash warmly over your soul  when you are in need of some help busting out of your own sad story …

With deepest respect for our collective wounding, Karen


24 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Marie
    Nov 18, 2014 @ 15:30:11

    Oh my goodness, Karen….what a brilliant post! Oh that “effing” storyteller…at it again! Mine likes to tell me that I’m not enough….not good enough….not capable enough…not smart enough….and the list goes on! Thank you for sharing these inspiring and encouraging words and for the link to Daniell’s website! xo

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Lisa Ancona-Roach
    Feb 03, 2015 @ 08:55:16

    Words I needed to hear. Thanks, Karen.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Jacquelynn N Johnson James
    Jun 17, 2015 @ 23:51:05

    Sometimes I find myself up in the middle of the night reading words written by others, in search of comfort for what I feel deep inside. I am so grateful to find such words that make the meaning of my personal suffering worth every ounce of effort. Thanks for the post. I will be following you on my nightly quest more often 🙂



    • Karen Lanser
      Jun 18, 2015 @ 06:11:25

      I am deeply touched to hear that my sharing resonated with you during those uncomfortable nocturnal moments. Thank you for taking time to share some of your own heartfelt experience me. I often tell myself that no one is interested in my ramblings … so I am grateful to you for reminding me that we can and do support one another by sharing our hearts transparently with one another. Warmest hugs to you Jacquelynn … and … may you find more and more light as you find your way through the darker parts of your path … 💙



  4. kc73
    Jul 15, 2015 @ 08:47:10

    These words are exactly what I needed to hear. They fit perfectly with what I’ve been struggling with and how I’ve been feeling lately. So much so that it felt like someone was saying this to me directly and understanding exactly what I’m going through. I’m going to print this and keep these words close by as a reminder. You have no idea how much it has truly resonated with me. It has brought some solace and I am so grateful and thankful to you for sharing!!!

    Liked by 1 person


    • Karen Lanser
      Jul 15, 2015 @ 09:16:42

      Hi! I am so deeply touched to hear that my experience resonated in a meaningful way with you. May I say thank YOU so much for your sharing! I often chide myself into believing that my posts are insignificant to others. (It’s just another version of my “effing” story!) So, thank YOU so very deeply … your words were exactly what I needed to hear! I sincerely hope you will stop by again … sounds like we are kindred spirits in terms of the stories we tell ourselves! ❤



  5. Aphan
    Jul 16, 2015 @ 12:03:52

    I found this quote on Pinterest the other day doing exactly what Jacquelynn mentioned above…”Sometimes I find myself up in the middle of the night reading words written by others, in search of comfort for what I feel deep inside”. After I “pinned” the quote, I emailed myself the link so I could print it out and hang it where I will see if every day. Which brought me to your site today. It all is so familiar. I love the term “shadow belief”…and your story is similar to my own. I’m just now beginning to understand why I am who I am. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person


    • Karen Lanser
      Jul 16, 2015 @ 13:28:08

      I’m so glad you landed here … in a place that feels familiar to your heart. And, I thank you for sharing a bit of your story. I hope you will continue to find moments of shared understanding here. It is easier to face bust out of those shadow beliefs when we hold hands and do it together. Thank you again for bringing your voice and energy into this space. Warm hugs to you, Karen



  6. misifusa
    Oct 11, 2015 @ 14:36:28

    Oh my Karen, what an amazing powerful post. Truly, your post touched my heart and the treble of tears were let loose, especially by the quote. Thank you for the relief. So sorry you are enduring this ‘effing’ story as well, but I love that we are healing the wounds xo

    Liked by 1 person


  7. Angie
    Apr 27, 2016 @ 00:07:42

    Simply, thanks!



  8. amommasview
    May 15, 2016 @ 06:01:36

    Your post deeply touched me!

    Liked by 1 person


  9. Renee kwon
    Feb 21, 2017 @ 05:56:11

    Thank you so much for being so honest, thoughtful and loving. I felt your every words.. You and Daniell’s words really felt like a warm and loving salve on my heart too.
    Thank you again.

    Liked by 1 person


  10. Lisa Valerio
    Mar 11, 2017 @ 21:50:53

    Well said. Many of us care for others most of the time but there are days when we ask ourselves, is there anybody who really cares about us? Who can we lean on?

    Think about it though. We are blessed that we are able to bring people out of the doldrums. It is a blessing that we are able to help others. We should not get tired of helping others because that is where our inner strength becomes stronger. It is our source of energy and power. If we believe in God, then we focus on Him and that is all we need. The Supreme Being!



    • Karen Lanser
      Mar 12, 2017 @ 07:50:40

      Thank you for your thoughtful response Lisa. I,too, believe that we are internally strengthened and fueled by the compassionate service and energy we bring to others. And … as some wise soul said (Pema Chadron maybe?) … that our compassion is not complete until it also includes ourselves. I deeply appreciate the reminder to not abandon myself in my attempts to serve others. 💜



  11. jJo Ann Mc Cabe
    Apr 17, 2017 @ 04:21:52

    Your grasp of the human heart and all of its falititys is amazing.



  12. Lynna
    Jul 21, 2017 @ 18:53:37

    Very affirming



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