Updated: Feb 21, 2021
When we talk about healing or our need for healing it is easy for people to mistakenly assume that we went through something completely devastating. If by their standards we did not, then our need for healing may suddenly seem less important and is not relatable to them. I am sure we have all had someone tell us “that’s not so bad, you will be okay” after opening up to them about our situation or experience. My response - who can judge what is devastating to another person? Trauma and healing have many forms, there is no rubric. When we understand that, we can be empathetic and compassionate to the story of others.
Healing is not a destination, there is an ebb and flow. It is the journey through personal growth that leads us to heal. There will be days when you wake up and feel that you are on the other side of the tunnel, and other days when you will feel stuck in the middle of it. One of my key philosophies is to not compare your reason(s) for seeking healing to anyone else's.
The pressure to be okay
There is so much pressure today to have “good vibes only” and “live your best life.” Those sayings may mean well, however I believe they have fundamental issues that can unfortunately do more harm than good. It is surprising how often this mentality is projected into our daily life, whether through online influencers, holistic practitioners, or painted on the walls of yoga studios and coffee shops. I understand the intention is to inspire and motivate, but you are then led to believe which emotions are desireable, creating emotional limitations. Being human means interacting with the full spectrum of emotion - both the ups and the downs. That is the basis of the human experience, which is ultimately FEELING the incredible variety of emotions we are capable of.
To heal you need to feel everything, as the world is balanced through polarity. We must experience it all, including the uncomfortable, the hurt and the grief. Healing is difficult to accomplish if you put your wounds in a box at the back of a closet, never to be opened again. We are conditioned to feel guilt for expressing pain and shame for expressing our weaknesses; I argue that its the exact opposite, I strongly believe that is where our strength is found.
The reason we need to acknowledge all our emotions (the good, the bad and the ugly) is so we remain in control of them. Whether we acknowledge them or not, they aren't going anywhere. They will wreak havoc on your body, mind, and soul regardless of whether you acknowledge their presence. However, the benefit of acknowledging these emotions is so we can begin to deal with them and make the CHOICE to work through them instead of allowing them to take hold of our life. It is at that moment that you have knowingly embarked on your healing journey.
Trauma in all of Its forms
Trauma manifests in many different ways and usually is unique to the individual. Im sure you can think of situations, memories, or even objects that will undoubtedly trigger a visceral traumatic response (anxiety, panic, fear, etc). However, there are also subtle traumas that affect us on a subconscious level and can shape/mold our personality and behaviour just the same. It is important to also recognize trauma can come in the from of something typically deemed healthy or beautiful (i.e. childbirth and postpartum), and that requires just as much a focus on healing.
Subtle trauma(s) are usually not as evident and, at times, not as easy to detect. Oftentimes, the individual may not even realize what they went through was particularly traumatic, especially childhood trauma. As we begin to work through them on an energetic level, they can often come to the surface and expose particular beliefs and behaviours that we have created to compensate for the trauma. It is once we acknowledge how we have compensated our authentic selves that we can then begin the process of releasing it from your energetic body.
For example, as a child in school if you raised your hand to answer a question and got the answer wrong, your classmates may have started laughing at you. You may look back and think that was no big deal, but it is important to remember that you are looking at the situation now through the eyes of an adult. As a child, this could be the start of a negative belief system that you are not as smart or your concerns not as valid. Knowingly or not, you may carry those beliefs about yourself into adulthood, directly affecting your self-esteem. Once we start linking emotional wounds to their origin, no matter what age we were when it transpired, we are able to identify the work that needs to be done in order to reclaim that part of ourselves that was shaped or molded by that event.
Explore the Subconscious Mind
There is a great analogy used when explaining the power of our minds, one I am sure you have heard before - our mind is like an iceberg. It follows the notion that only 10% of the iceberg is visible (our conscious), and the remaining 90% is deep beneath the surface (our subconscious). The subconscious mind is responsible for memories, automatic responses, and our behaviours. When we explore our subconscious through different healing modalities, we are able to get to the root of our behaviours and belief systems. These systems can be anything we perceive as being true about ourselves, others, society, and the world. By exploring the subconscious we are able to receive a great deal of insight and, as a result, experience direct and meaningful healing.
The main takeaway I hope to impart is to be patient with yourself and others as we enter a time where empathy is needed now more than ever. There is a quote I would like to leave you with, one that I think speaks to the core of what the emotional journey and healing is all about.
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience” - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
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