Healing is Messy: Step into the Arena

I am starting this post with, I am good and I’m in a good place. But, healing is messy and it is unattractive and it is an individual process, and as a result, can be quite shameful. Mental health still has a deeply ingrained stigma attached to it that is entirely unwarranted and socially unhealthy for us, people.

My perception of my childhood is that it was traumatic. I have resolved a lot of the deeper stuff, but every now and again, another layer becomes ready to be peeled off and I need to put the work in to do that. I’ve been doing this work on myself for thirty or so years.

I live a blessed life because I worked hard to create it. I’m a strong, wise, resilient and empowered woman because I do the work and own my truth.

I would love for it to be finished, but it isn’t.

Last weekend, I was at an intensive training weekend for tuning forks for my Diploma in Sound Healing. It unlocked another hurt that needed to be healed.

Healing is a process.

First, there was the unlocking of a deep hurt. I cried and cried and sobbed and ugly cried and then cried some more.

It took a few hours of just sitting in this teary grief before I felt an old anger pattern emerge. Anger that no one loves me, anger that no one reaches out, anger that I give so much to others and it never feels balanced or reciprocated or fair. Just plain pure unadulterated anger. Unreasonable, unfair, childlike and fully ego based and driven.

Then, well, then came the heaviness, the numbness, the desire to run away, the embarrassment, the shame, the fear that you’ve fucked your entire life up and scared everyone away because you are ungrateful for all that you do have and all the people you’ve shared time with throughout your life. And really, shouldn’t you be over this by now.

So, at this point, self care became important. For me, this means one breath at a time, and time for the soul to reconnect to source in nature. I did this yesterday. I left, breathing deeply again with a headache lol. But, balanced and calm.

This enabled me to work and to start sharing my energy again, in small doses with armour around my heart. Just the reality.

Back in this space, I can ask questions: what is the root cause of this grief, this recurring pattern, this destructive and intense emotional response?

The answers come. On the toilet this time.

Abandonment.

As a child, ideally, we feel supported and loved and safe and protected.

I didn’t feel this way.

The narrative I crafted for myself was that I wasn’t worthy of being held safely, I wasn’t valuable, I wasn’t good enough just as I was.

I give to receive. That’s the ugly truth of it. In recent times, I’ve shifted that motivation significantly and have surrendered a lot of that attachment to expectation, but obviously, not enough. I had never dig into the root cause, around it, sure, but not into its marrow.

The time has come for me to do just that.

From the abandonment fears, deeply connected to it, is a strong sense of betrayal and trust.

As I reflect to my miscarriage, I see these patterns and threads weaving together. As I reflect on the Investigation, again, these threads interweave. Now, my life is ready to do the deep soul work to correct and rebalance this imbalanced perception.

Before I could do that though, I needed to relive it one more time, out of a crisis situation, that I could understand it without the immediate intensity of emotion.

I share my journey because I think it’s important that we all share our stories to heal, not just for ourselves, but for past generations and for our world.

We don’t talk about the darkness and heaviness in ourselves and our world enough. We hide in it. And we do this because too many people don’t understand it. And we are scared of being labelled or stigmatized it judged.

A very well intentioned friend said that I was better than this. I’m human. I’m a work in progress. I have many layers and many faces. My strength in spirit comes from me standing in my truth. I still feel the shame of this though. I acknowledge it and tell it to fuck off because I think more positive comes from me doing this, than from hiding it. Time might prove me wrong. But I don’t believe so.

My truth isn’t always tidy; it’s very often a very messy conglomeration of different things. It takes courage to be real in a world where real seems to be a dirty word. I own my trauma and I own the impact. I’ve lost good people from my life as a result of my messy truth; I am an acquired taste and I can be intense. I can be mean and bitchy and ego driven. I can be selfless and wise and so loving.

I am all.

And I make no apology for that.

Being A Girl

When did being a girl become such a bad thing again?

A friend posted the ‘Like A Girl’ video this morning. It’s been years since I watched it. I had a cry. Even I use language that is derogatory to girls or the perception of girls. And women. What the.

Why do I think that’s okay? Why am I not more conscious about the impact of my language?

I’m happy to be a woman. Proud to be me.

I’m soft. I’m fierce. I can defend myself. I can shower the world in love. I’ve been battered and bruised. I’ve risen. I am everything in one body, one soul. I’ve battled demons and triumphed. I’ve cried, raged and laughed. I’m funny. I’m smart. I’m beautiful. I’m me.

This past three weeks has been full on for my brain and heart. I have chosen to surrender my life to service, whatever that may look like. Whatever fulfills my life’s purpose, I am open to doing. I have no real idea what this will look like, but I’m open and I’ve surrendered.

I am saying yes to opportunities that sit right. And that’s about it. That’s all I can do in surrender. I am trusting that I will he guided to what serves me and the greater good, and I’m dismantling old ways of being and outdated patterns.

And, I’m a girl.

In so many ways, a blessing only.

I can cry and emote and gush, without judgement. I can get angry and scream, without judgement. I can be intelligent and carve my own path, surround myself only with support, and be impervious to judgement. I can be and do and choose whatever I want to be, do and choose.

I am strong – I’ve weathered many storms. I am not angry or bitter or twisted. I love, and I love fiercely, with all that I have. I choose peace over war, when war would sometimes be easier. I choose learning over staying ignorant, when ignorance can be blissful because it requires nothing from us to be. I choose me over others, because I am strong and worthy of all that is good in this life, in this realm, on this Earth.

I am strong. And, I am girl. Woman. Lady. Witch. Sister. Daughter. Aunt. I am me.

Out of the Darkness

Intense past month or so for me. And many others, I know, I feel you.

I have been (and am) in a massive place of transition at the moment. I can feel it – it’s like I’m lost, utterly lost, but know I need to feel that way to be able to shed and leave behind everything that no longer serves me.

As many of you know, I once thought (and for a very long time) that I wasn’t worth very much and I was pretty much an ugly duckling. I’ve had a recent lesson that has supported me in owning and accepting my worth and my beauty (in and out).

I finally believe that I am worthy and deserving to be my best self and have people around me who are striving to create a beautiful inner and outer world for themselves and others.

I feel like I have developed, through the darkness, a stronger sense of why I am here. It’s a little scary – not in achieving it, but in the machinations of how to achieve it.

I have a vision for this world.

A unity and community borne of, and from, love, as well as a deep connection arising from our collective similarities rather than our differences. I believe it is achievable. And I believe the way to get there is through collective healing.

I’ve had to step back from my normal lifestyle to regenerate and repair my energy. At the end of last term, I was completely exhausted – physically, emotionally and at a deep soul level. I tend to give a lot of energy out. All. Of. The. Time.

I have slowed down. I am realising that too much work brings money in, and takes happiness and fulfillment out. For me, in this moment. Money is great. I’m not knocking it. I’m just not wholly fulfilled earning it the way that I am. So, I’ve started pulling back from that. If I don’t believe I am serving people well, I need to step out. It’s hard, but necessary.

I have also realised that I am worthy of a deep and profound love. I do second guess it a bit, but in my core, I am worthy.

I have chatted to a couple of people over the last couple of days, overwhelmed that people can see me as amazing when I’m just being me.

I’ve been me my whole life, and have never been regarded with as much enthusiasm and validation as I have since India in November of 2016. Just recently, it has amped up even more.

My healing intentions for the world are being supported and people are ‘impressed’ by me. Freaks me out. Little girl lost is finding herself. I wish that for everyone.

I’m ready to evolve. Ascending higher. I know that won’t be solitary work. And it will be fraught with challenges for me to learn and grow from. But, I’m learning that there is a larger plan, that I need to be patient, that everyone who enters my life enters to teach me something, and that not everyone is here to stay. And, that’s okay.

A little lost still. Reread a book today and finished another book. Peaceful, but a little lonely. An interesting feeling for me because it’s a foreign feeling. I also feel raw, open and exceptionally vulnerable. Yet, I blog. I’m such a weirdo.

I am grateful for this darker period. I am grateful for the light occasionally flickering to remind me it is temporary. I am grateful for the deep connections I am able to build with people. I am grateful that I have courage. I am grateful that I am me. I am grateful for growth. I am grateful for pain. I am grateful for loveliness. All serve to remind me of where I have come from and where I am.

Death is a Profound Teacher

I have been to too many funerals. Definitely too many funerals for people who died before old age. Death is an amazing teacher. Like all classrooms though, we don’t all choose to learn the lessons.

Today, a group of broken people gathered to remember and celebrate the life of a beautiful human being. Belinda and I sat and stood together, as we always have, and we supported ‘our babies’ and each other in our collective grief.

Trae’s death has impacted me beyond – I am not sure why. Love is love. Bel suggested it’s because this group of kids is the last group that we had such a strong connection to. We both taught 8E and we shared stories and jokes and learning. So many of that class are no longer at school. One, no longer alive.

Meh. I am writing this out so often because I don’t know how to talk about it. I can’t find the spoken words. I’ve turned to my faith to try to make sense if it, and I can.

Death teaches us.

When my friend, Natalie, died, I vowed to live my best life because her life ended way too soon. I wanted to honour the gift that my life is, that each of our lives is. I still think of Nat every day. Every day without fail. And I love that. She drives me.

I also think of all of the people I love every day. I carry them with me, even when I can’t see them for loooong periods of time. I feel blessed to be able to love so many people. To have known so many people. To have shared life with so many people.

Death has taught me that even a long life, is really a short life. Our time in this body, in this incarnation, with these people as we see and know them, is short. Some, a lot shorter than others.

We all have choices to make; I choose life.

It’s often the seemingly insignificant and routine things that are the hardest to let go of. Trae’s brother, whom he lived with, spoke beautifully today, remembering the dumb shit that brothers do that in the day to day, means nothing really, but ultimately, means everything.

Everyone that spoke, touched on these things. The memories that make the loss of Trae significant. We are all that for someone. We touch people’s lives, often in ways we never fully appreciate.

One of our beautiful kids humbled us by being her authentic self today. I’m so proud of her. She’s had a tough life. She knows where she’s at, even though she’s not always sure, and she knows she has a long path ahead of her to heal her childhood trauma, but she’s walking it, every day.

The trust kids hold for adults they connect with never fails to humble me. Being a teacher to so many kids has truly been a great blessing in my life. I truly do hope they know and believe how very very much I love them and how significantly they have imprinted on my soul.

There is more that connects us, than divides us. Sometimes we struggle to see that. And when someone so well loved dies, it is easy to look for someone to blame, someone who can be responsible, someone we can take our extreme feelings of loss out on, to unleash the anger and the pain and sometimes, the misplaced guilt.

The thing though, is that Trae wouldn’t want division. He wouldn’t want his death to be responsible for more unnecessary pain. When people die, we need to honour their life and their impact by living our best lives and being our best selves. This is what death teaches us.

There are broken young adults en masse today. I hope they find peace. I love them. I always have and I always will. I hope they feel that and truly know that. I miss those connections; would be lying if I said otherwise. Like all parents, I want them to live long and happy lives, but ultimately, that choice to do so is their choice, and their choice alone.

If only cotton wool was sold in massive bulk.

Meh.

Until we meet again, Trae. You were a gorgeous kid. Thank you for being my student and being a great kid. I wish I’d told you more.

Healing is Hard

I am in a slump, spiralling down into the hole.

The difference this time is that I am mindful and have been mindful and am doing what I need to do.

I could feel and see it coming. I was tired, like soul tired; I had nothing left to give. I became impatient. It was harder to stay in balance. I just wanted to hide away. I got sick and couldn’t shake it. I had no patience for other people who’s experiences are mirroring mine – no one likes a mirror on a bad day.

I started to self care. I cancelled appointments, but I explained why. I have said no. I have been careful to not over commit. I have had a lot of silence. I have been really honest with myself about where I am at.

I know this transition is temporary. I know my body, mind and spirit need time out to process all of the changes I have made to my life in the last twelve months. I need to process who this new identity is. And I need time to really love her, for all that she is. She’s pretty darn amazing and quite a beautiful person. I’m happy to be her.

Massive growth right there.

I think when we’ve experienced trauma (and I did this for more years than I can count and feel blessed that people have stayed with me), it is easy to feel like the world owes us something. It is easy to blame other people for not getting it and for not trying to get it.

The impact of trauma really changes the way your brain is wired. A traumatised brain doesn’t see the world the way a healthy brain does. Everything is personal – everything. It is a horrible way to live. It keeps you victimised. It doesn’t permit happiness or stability.

During my tapping class last night, I was triggered by what we were doing – playing it small in life. I had a flashback to a moment in childhood. The word uncertainty kept popping into my head.

I was uncertain I would be safe, uncertain I would be cared for, uncertain that I would be okay.

I was safe, I was taken care of and I was okay in this moment.

However, that loss of certainty because of the trauma I endured has lead my life. It has kept me small – the what if question was always framed negatively. Now, I am rewriting it positively. Or need to.

Because I am not that child anymore. I am a strong, resilient, empowered woman with a strong voice and a massive heart who doesn’t tolerate bullshit.

As children, we didn’t have choice, or control, or the knowledge that we were going to be okay.

As adults, we do. As adults, we create our lives through our choices.

I think it is easier to stay where you are safe, as a victim living in the trauma, but it keeps you small and none of us were destined to be small.

As adults, we can change what we aren’t happy with. We can move through and alter patterns. We can own our own shit. And we need to. If you aren’t happy, be honest with yourself, step out of the victim mentality, and own your healing.

Empower yourself.

You are worth that effort.

Unsettled

This doesn’t happen often anymore very much at all. I’m going to own it though now that it has happened.

I’ve woken up with a head heavy with swirling thoughts. I think one of my friends sensed the downward spiral starting yesterday because they randomly asked if I were okay.

I was – mostly – I have been sick and have pushed through except for Tuesday when I cancelled all of the clients I remembered (a sign in itself) and slept through the afternoon.

I’m exhausted. It’s been a big start to the year and feels like December already. The term is almost done, and I decided to write the bloody trauma book lol. It triggered my process last week. This week the process has triggered something.

I dreamed of sexual abuse last night. I can’t remember the dreams. I was not the abused. I feel that. Meh.

I knew the book would be difficult to write. And I know I’ll be okay. I’ll work through whatever this is.

I have already stood on the grass to ground myself. I’m going to do some body groove and I’m going to do a grounding mantra I learned at yoga yesterday.

Once my brain is ready to release whatever emotion it is processing, I’ll work through that too.

Childhood trauma is the gift that keeps giving. Like IVF lol.

Memories, feelings, stuff can come up at any time and knock you. And that’s okay when you have a self-care strategy. I do – years in the making to deal with these times. I won’t slide deep. I know what to do. And I’ll take the time I need to do it by saying no more often.

I’ve got this. You’ve got this. We’ve all got this.

It’s All About Choices

Our lives are a series of choices. We choose what we do, when we do it, how we do it, how we respond, what we think, say and feel.

If you are feeling uncertain or overwhelmed or tired, that paragraph may niggle at you and you might respond angrily or sadly or out of frustration.

That’s okay.

It took me years to work out how true that first paragraph actually is and how much it liberates you when you apply it’s wisdom. I’m still a work in progress, but because I keep working on it, I’m getting there. Wherever there is.

Mindful March is revolutionising how I spend my time. I am making better choices consistently. I am consciously choosing how I spend my time.

Exhausted after a big Friday and big Saturday, once I would have chosen to not get up early and go to the beach. Yesterday, I chose to do it anyway. Best decision.

I have not swum in the ocean for toooooo long. I love it. The feeling of cold when you first get in, going through the stages of synchronising your body temperature with the temperature of the water. Gaining the confidence to dive under, feeling the water rush past your body, pushing your hair back. Breaking through the surface, taking a breath, opening your eyes and then floating until the next wave comes through.

Heaven on Earth.

Complete mindfulness, complete presence.

There is no other feeling like it.

What will you choose to do for yourself today?

It doesn’t have to be big.

 

 

 

 

A War Within Yourself

I think one of the hardest parts in resolving trauma, in particular childhood trauma, is that it is a long process. A looooong process.

The journey for me, has spanned decades. I had to go through every uncomfortable thing I did to get to health, and I’m still getting there.

Through my twenties and thirties and early forties, I struggled to manage depression. I engaged suicidal thoughts too much and was a roller coaster of irrational emotions.

I endured an inner blood curdling scream for over twenty years. I never felt in control and I never felt worthy of good things. I sabotaged friendships and potential good relationships all of the time. I was almost happy being unhappy, but not.

My mid forties has been a reckoning for me. I’ve learned so much about myself, about the healing process, and about managing our pain.

Two things have to be present for healing to take place:

1. The desire to heal.

2. The right time.

You might scoff at both. You might say, No one wants to be unhappy.

You are wrong. It’s not that people want to be unhappy, but they have become safe in that place and pain has become their identity. Breaking through that requires a great deal of work.

I encounter people all of the time who say they want things to change, they want to heal, but they are stuck where they are and unwilling to take any steps away from the safety of where they are.

I get that. It sounds harsh of me, but it’s true. Sometimes, in our head, where we are and what we know feels safer than the unknown. Feels safer than risking it and failing.

The worst thing we can do though, is stagnate, not move, die where we are. You don’t want that.

And yes, the second we have little control over.

I have had opportunities my whole life to heal. Most I’ve taken, some I have not.

What I know for sure is that if we don’t listen to the whispers of intuition we get that we need to change something, our lives will eventually crash around us and force us to take action.

That’s what happened to me in 2016. I had been too scared, too stuck in the fear of life outside of teaching, that I had not left. As a result, investigation for almost a whole year.

Now, I’m grateful for every second of the torment and anxiety and life as it was.

The Phoenix rose.

Because of that, because of the psychological and emotional healing, I’m now ready to manage my weight effectively. The last frontier for my healing journey.

After this, it will become a journey of maintaining mental, emotional and physical health whilst I grow spiritually and intellectually.

I’m excited.

Healing takes a lot of work and a lot of time, but it’s worth it. Every tear, every breakdown, every second.

Living With A Trauma Survivor

I write a lot about what it’s like to live with a trauma history. I’ve only occasionally thought what it must be like to live with me or to be my friend or partner.

You see, when you have experienced a trauma, the person you were and the person you could have been, no longer exist. There is a grief attached to that, the loss of you and of your past potential, that takes a long time to heal for most.

And the rules that apply to people without trauma, don’t really fit those living with trauma and it’s impact. Trauma breaks people; most temporarily, but for some, permanently.

It changes the way you see the world, and people, and relationships.

When you are abused as a child, you lose trust and a sense of positive self-worth.

As a result, as an adult, you need validation continually that what you are saying, what you are doing, and what you are feeling is okay. You second guess yourself all of the time. Trauma survivors don’t know what the boundaries are and can drive the people closest to them nuts by seeking validation and/or approval constantly. It is hard to live with, but harder to live through.

Remind your survivor that they are safe with you, and that they are enough, especially on the really hard days.

Once a survivor opens up and trusts you, you’re pretty much in for a hard ride. You’d think it would get easier, but it doesn’t.

Because a trauma survivor’s sense of trust has been demolished, when we trust, we trust wholly and expect you to live up to our expectations. It’s not fair, but it is what it is.

We don’t trust easily. We are used to people letting us down, but we expect you to be better than everyone else which sometimes means we don’t allow you to be human, and you feel like you can never win. You can’t. Sad, but true.

Your survivor still loves you, they just need more. Like, if we are feeling something or processing something or working through something, we need to work it through fully. You need to listen. You need to engage. Until it all makes sense in our heads from our perspective, just nod, hold a hand, remind us, “I love you. I’m listening. Keep talking.”

If we express that your behaviour doesn’t help our situation, listen closely, say what you are hearing back, and maybe negotiate a compromise on your behaviour. If that could work.

It’s hard, living or being close to a survivor of trauma. Most of us experience, especially in the early days of healing, irrational rages. If not rages, serious bouts of depression-like behaviours – not wanting to leave the house or interact with others or get dressed or do anything.

We hurt those closest and we try to push them out of our lives before they can hurt us. Even if you stay, we will keep pushing and trying to see how far we can push you, what it takes to break you, because we don’t believe we are worthy of you or your love or your friendship. If there is a chance you can hurt us, your life won’t be easy.

We are damaged.

The world doesn’t look to us like it looks to you.

Where you see sunsets, we see night coming, and that means fear of someone hurting you.

Where you smell eucalyptus, we smell the abuser who wore Vick’s as they hurt us.

We are triggered by the weirdest things at random times, and often can’t access why until we have completely lost our shit. After the release of breakdown, the shedding of another layer of healing, we return to the vulnerable human you know and love.

It’s a hard life for everyone involved. You, the partner or the friend or the parent, well, you need to self-care, you too, need a support network, you need to do what you can for yourself to ensure you cope okay.

You’re right, it isn’t fair.

But it also isn’t fair for the survivor. Healing is a process. There isn’t a one size fits all. And often, healing can take a lifetime as the survivor learns how to live in a world that allowed the damage to happen in the first place. Surely, that, is the ultimate betrayal in trust.

We Are All Different But The Same

Ridiculous title really. At our cores, I think we all just want to be loved and to live a happy life. I’m fairly secure in making that generalization that it’s true for most people, if not all.

Where we differ is how this looks in our lives.

For me, I’m busy building a business and running another one.

My healing business is a slow grower. People want advice and strategies, but most people don’t want to pay for that. Or can’t afford to. Or don’t believe they are worth the investment in themselves.

I get that. It took me a long time to believe my needs were worthy investing in. At the end of the day, I realised, I need to heal and to grow and that money is an investment and will come back to me in some way.

We are worth the investment.

Sometimes, I get a short stab of ego pain if someone chooses a different healer. I hate saying this and owning it, but it’s true. And it only is a short, two second stab. I am human after all.

So, I cut myself some slack and I remind myself that there is never a finite number of people that require healing. The people that are supposed to come to me will find me when the time is right. And I have my bread and butter business where the books are closed and I’m trying to reduce my client list.

All in good time …

Ekhart Tolle’s work taught me how to focus on the now, be in the present, alongside meditation. It is easy to get caught up in perceptions of fairness and equity, but at the end of the day, perceptions are just that. They aren’t truth or fact, well, not broadly.

I seem to be having a week where it’s important for me to reveal my shortcomings lol. I’m okay with that – I’m a work in progress, as we all are. And owning my shortcomings empowers me to work through them.

After all, ego doesn’t have to rule us and only can when we don’t acknowledge it.

Be mindful today in your interactions with others and in your thoughts, does ego dictate your choices or do you.