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.

A Valuable Lesson

I’m back to being self-absorbed (am I ever not 🤔). I cried a lot yesterday. I felt very sorry for myself in parts. Sorry for others in the other parts. I woke up this morning after a long sleep, feeling like I’d been hit by a bus and rolled over by a truck.

No surprises there. When I’m sad, I become self-destructive in the sense that I start to have very high expectations of those around me. So high, that no one can reach them or come close to fulfilling them. The soul sisters had messaged me. They were both awake, with time, and we could unpack the purpose of the shadow self.

I knew there were old behaviour and emotion patterns that needed to be broken, and were so presenting themselves AGAIN. They have reared their heads now because I am in transition and they will not serve me in my next phase. I needed to acknowledge them, wrestle with them, speak to them, and ultimately, love and release them.

Healing work takes time, and I’ve realised, with such busy lives, we don’t tend to make time for it. I used to a lot more than I do now. Ironically, running a healing business takes my time. I grin wryly and shake my head at the folly that is human.

I gave myself permission to not feel guilt when I cancelled my plans today. When the guilt rises, I let it know that it’s okay that today, we put our needs first. And it is okay, even though I feel like I’ve been doing it a hell of a lot, too much, in recent weeks. Then, I chat to my shame and I let it know that it’s okay, we are in transition and we are growing and that causes disruption.

It’s important to walk the talk. I preach at others to do what they need. When they present excuses, I am firm. It is more than okay that I make myself do what I tell others to do because I know it works. So, I have.

Off to Bunnings to grab a few final touches for my meditation space. I realised that just being near the plants released stick parts of myself, so on the way home, I explored roads I’ve never been down (I did think they lead somewhere different, but it didn’t matter that they didn’t go where I thought they would).

Words kept going through my head – you have to become lost to find yourself.

A constant mantra as, mesmerised, I stopped the car to be mindful of and to where I was. I expressed gratitude and kept going, stopping every fifty or so metres to acknowledge the different sights, sounds and feelings.

I was free. I was empowered. I was present.

After hitting the car’s undercarriage on a rock, I was forced to turn around and head back to a road I knew.

I live very close to a national park. It’s one of my soothing places. I don’t go there enough. I’m scared of being raped and murdered and no one finding the body because I’ve turned location settings off on my phone. I know. Welcome to my brain. Residue from childhood trauma.

Today, though, I turned right without hesitation and started the descent to the dried out lake beds.

I love water and I am devastated that there is no water in the lakes anymore (thank you, fracking). However, the bush is still there, and it soothes my soul almost as much as water does. Well, today it did that and more.

There were people eating lunch and I’m avoiding humans to the best of my ability, so I decided to walk down a walking track – just a little way.

Oh my. Forget your pain. Forget your self-obsession. Forget everything. Just be.

I started to feel inspired. Ideas for workshops started to crystallise. Directions became clear. My spirit strength gushed back through my veins and arteries, exploding my heart.

I only felt mildly concerned when some guys on trail bikes were at the head of the path and the other picnickers had gone. I don’t think males appreciate how vulnerable females can feel.

I started the journey home. I felt lighter.

And then, the purpose to the misery yesterday revealed itself. Funnily, I had to feel, really feel, something I believe and something I always say, to the extent it’s the byline for both of my businesses – empower yourself.

Healing is a solo journey. Healers hold space so that you are safe as you journey your healing path. But, ultimately, healing is a solo endeavour. And, it’s scary to do it alone.

I think it’s human nature to want someone else to hold you, to save you, to do the work. To be there, even just to listen and to hold your hand. I also think that that doesn’t really help you brave the healing wilderness and come out the other side, more whole than when you started.

This is MY life. I am responsible for it. I, and only I, am responsible for it. I make choices, as an adult, that dictate my days and my life. I need to walk the path alone so that I can be mindful of everything I experience along the way. Other people can offer their wisdom and their support, but ultimately, I need to do the work to attain my own wisdom.

Personal responsibility and empowering the self.

I know what makes me feel peaceful. It’s nature. When I’m out of balance, and I know when I am, I need to go into nature. But, so often, too often, I don’t. I put the needs of others and my ‘responsibilities’ first. I have dozens of excuses to not do what my soul cries for.

And I face the consequences for not listening.

I am worthy of giving to myself first. Just as you are. In fact, it’s my core responsibility. Without fulfilling it, I am less able to do the things I choose to do for others.

Healed. Lol. Thank you, kind old tree.

To Speak or Not To Speak – that is the question.

When I was younger, I stood up all of the time and spoke out whenever I perceived something was wrong or unjust.

I got burned – a lot. I was often standing and fighting on my own. So, as I’ve aged, I have carefully worked out which battles are worth fighting, and as a result, I don’t fight as much.

I’m not happy with this.

I’m in transition at the moment and I’m not quite sure where I’m going to land. The universe keeps giving me opportunities to work myself out, rediscover and rebuild myself.

Yesterday, a woman I greatly respect, reminded me who I used to be. It’s been on my mind since. I woke up thinking about, and reflecting on it, this morning.

At a polling booth, a man from an opposing group, whilst handing out, in public, made a comment that Liberal women are the “best roots”.

My friend was angered by her perception of his disrespect to the mixed company and the public (voters). When I arrived to hand out, she mentioned what happened several times. She needed to do something about it.

She was advised to speak to the Booth Organiser inside. She did. He came out with her to speak to the man responsible for the comments.

You know, all he needed to do was acknowledge that his comment was disrespectful to women and inappropriate in the company he was in, and it would have been over.

Being the person he is, he didn’t. He kept it going.

My friend became very angry. My friend became my younger self.

I tried to calm her down.

And, this is the interesting part for me, I’m not sure I should have done that.

I’m not sure I shouldn’t have turned around and stood with her.

He was clearly in the wrong, and he was, quite clearly, an arrogant dickhead.

The socially acceptable version of myself understands that we were representing a candidate and not ourselves, that nothing would be gained by taking on a dickhead, that it wasn’t worth the fight.

However, we also need to call out poor behaviour. My friend did, and she stood by her calling out of his poor behaviour.

Was she naive to think it would change something, change his perception, or was she just being plain hopeful and trusting that people would correct their ways when poor behaviour is pointed out.

Regardless, I’m proud of her for standing in her truth. It took courage to speak up, and then to stand by that.

Not only that, upon reflection, when she held her ground outside, the Booth Organiser from the Electoral Commission, turned on her and attempted to put her in her place, and I think he did this because she was a woman. Because we were all women.

The moronic guy kept making comments. Not in front of my friend – she had fairly cuckolded him. I warned him at least three times after that to pull his head in and he made comments about me. I, too, stood my ground and told him he was disrespectful and an idiot. His Booth Captain supported me in it.

He became cowardly in her presence, choosing to make sideways comments out of her ear shot.

Two different ways.

I like her’s more. There was passion and integrity. Calling out every idiot in the world takes time and energy and requires putting yourself in the firing line.

I think I prefer how that feels.

I’m proud of her. The jury is out on me.

I know I did what I had to do. I know that politically we need to play things a certain way. But I think I’ve become too politically minded, and that means playing it safe and only disrupting the apple cart sometimes. And I don’t think I like it.

I’m working out who I am and who I want to be and whether they are the same thing. Massive time of transition.

Grateful for it.

A Healthy Ego v Arrogance

I was chatting to one of my sister tribe this morning. I’ve said a hundred times before that whilst I was a teacher, I became used to keeping myself small. I was safe there, being small, working within the parameters I was given by an institution. It suited me to not expect very much from myself. I was scared of so much.

It took me fifteen years to acknowledge to myself and then to others that I was an amazing teacher. I still am.

I build amazing relationships with my students and I work from a place of love. And, I myself, am a lifelong learner. Education is holistic – it involves significantly more than delivering content and enabling skills.

I am now developing into an amazing business woman, but I am a work in progress and wouldn’t have come this far in my businesses without the help of four women specifically ~ Karyn, Donna, Mai Mai and Michelle.

And then, wouldn’t be here without the support of my family and extended family ~ people who love me and support me through the every day. I may not see them often, definitely not as much as I want to, but they are in my heart every day and I know they are in my corner which enables me to keep moving forward.

I am humble in my arrogance. Hehe. And I will never allow myself to be small again.

In our society, as women, we believe (are taught) that to stand in our truth, the truth of who we are, and express what we are good at, what we have achieved, what we can achieve, what we have done, is wrong.

It isn’t.

There is a distinct difference between a healthy ego and arrogance.

We should be able to speak our truth. We should be encouraged to speak our truth. We should stand proud when we speak our truth.

I’ve worked fucking hard in my life and on myself to be the strong resilient woman that I am. I have had very low lows and some amazing highs. I’ve lived a full life of extremes and of balance. I’ve weathered storms and basked in sunlight. I’ve had it all. I’m proud of myself.

Every day, I wake up, blessed (and bloody tired lol) and ready to serve. Every day, I am grateful for all that I have and all that I am. Every day, I take steps towards achieving the life I want to live, and every day, I live the life I want to live.

I own this. I own me.

If you call me arrogant, I ask you to look within yourself and ask where that need to judge comes from. If you think you shouldn’t own the best in you, ask who is keeping you small and who that serves.

Me being amazing does not diminish your amazing-ness. There is enough light in this world for us all to shine.

Today, mentally, vocally, in writing, List the qualities, the things, that make you amazing. And then, stand proud in your truth.

We are phenomenal people.

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A Perpetual Work in Progress

Massive lessons being learned by me at the moment. I am in transition again. So much movement in my life, and so much trying to be and do everything. You can only ever disappoint when you try to be everything to everyone.

Hmmm … I didn’t mean to underline, but there you have it. The first salient point in this post lol.

My whole life, I felt small. I felt like I had no worth unless I was doing and being for others. As I reflect, that core belief is what has always landed me in trouble during my adult life. And it is ultimately the belief that has lead me here to be able to smash through it. Gingerly lol.

Obviously, that belief started in childhood. I don’t hold others responsible for it – it was my perception (mis-perception) of the trauma I encountered. The same trauma that has made me who I am (who I like – an empowered, resilient, and beautiful woman – a little proud I can say that without any challenge or awkwardness).

Last weekend, I hit a snag on Sunday. I forgot I had organised to go to the beach and then catch up with one of my very closest people. I was too tired. Soul tired. I slept ALL day.

I knew I had to make changes.

I couldn’t keep watching people live their lives – explore the world, see family and friends, do stuff – whilst the vast majority of what I did was work. Don’t get me wrong, I love my work. I just realised last Sunday, that I also love not working. It’s as simple as that.

I am most present and most liberated when I am doing any sort of healing work, be it with others or on my own self. Healing, and all that means, is my highest value and the reason I am on this Earth at this time – to empower and inspire others to be their best selves.

When I am not engaged in this work, I am not as buoyant.

This work takes many forms: tutoring, workshops, clients, writing, videos with Renee, and connections. And I’m sure there is more. It is my whole self.

But there needs to be a balance within the healing work.

And because of my ‘fear’ of disappointing people, my inability to say no for the same reason, all connected to my belief that my worth is connected to what I do for others, I have run out of mojo already this year.

When I’m working in my balance, I am energised. When I’m working out of balance, I become soul tired.

I’ve made difficult decisions this week, had difficult conversations, and the world hasn’t imploded. I still woke up this morning. People are managing to live their lives. Not much seems to have changed.

However, I have. As someone said to me yesterday, “It’s good you are setting boundaries, Tina. We would keep taking as long as you were still giving.”

As a person who has experienced trauma, standing up for what I want and being supported in that and not being belittled or punished, has been empowering.

The world didn’t end when I set some boundaries. People are disappointed, but we are all still functioning. The difference now, my needs are being met too.

And I AM worth that.

Oh My. Healing the trigger.

If you have read my last post, you were witness to a triggered reaction/break down from unwanted male attention. I had to stop writing and responding to comments, and move away to process what I was experiencing.

I felt shock at first, as I realised the extent of the violation because I connected it to my childhood sexual abuse. I have always known that my weight issues were connected to unresolved childhood trauma and the subconscious desire to protect myself. I have been wanting to resolve that – ask and you shall receive – as I roll my eyes at myself.

After the shock and the realisation I was breaking down mid post, I felt sick in my stomach and my shoulders tightened. This is where I usually carry stress. I walked through my house and fed my pets. Made the bed, opened the blinds and turned on my salt lamps.

Amidst that, I started to unravel purpose. I need to resolve more layers. I’m good with that. This is a healing opportunity, and a teaching and learning experience. That’s the purpose.

Then, to gratitude. Find the gratitude in the discomfort, Tina. What am I grateful for?

I am grateful that I am still healing, for I am human and I love learning. I am grateful for the immediate support I received, and for the love and solidarity that was so strong in their comments and messages. I am grateful that I have a voice that empowers and enables me, and hopefully others. I am grateful that I am strong and that I am resilient. I am grateful that as I write this, I can feel the cortisol that was coursing fast through my body, start to abate. I am grateful that I am taking deep breaths and that I know to do and how to do that. I am grateful that I know this is temporary. I am grateful for all of my past healing. I am grateful because this will not destroy me, not ever. I am grateful that I have grass to mow. I am grateful that I can apply all that I have learned, including self-care. I am grateful for my ability to help others. I am grateful for the intensity of the experience and for the ability to feel my body’s response so that I can empathize with others to become a better healer. I am grateful …

These are my first steps. I will take the time today to continue my work on me. I will give myself the space to do that. I will walk the talk.

I will cancel my commitments today. I will mow the lawn and water my plants. I will make a nutritious breakfast. I will focus on me. I will Demartini the experience and look at the benefits and drawbacks which I’ve already started to do.

The beauty of having done so much work is that I feel already that I’ve got this. This will work for me. I needed to do this. I will model what others can do.

Funny thing – I’ve been blocked bowel wise since this happened yesterday and I rarely get blocked. After this, my body let go. Something in that for all of us I think. Our bodies hold our trauma and our grief. That isn’t healthy.

Seven Weeks. Fourteen Days.

I am grateful that my windscreen was smashed. We have not found out who was responsible for it. But, I feel no anger, just gratitude. I hope that the child responsible finds the support they need to be able to fill the hole within them that lead them to the point where they believed their actions were appropriate and necessary.

Regardless, I am grateful.

Education no longer serves my highest self. This is no judgement on or against anyone else; these are just my thoughts and my perceptions. If you are a happy teacher, power to you. I no longer am.

I love children. I love working with them to empower them to fulfil their dreams. I love those light bulb moments when they get it. I love the jokes, the loving teasing, the rapport that is built through symbiotic trust. I love inspiring them to see the world and their place in it, in new ways. I am still a passionate and idealistic teacher. I always will be.

However, I do not respect or like the machine that education has become. I do not like the lack of humanity embodied in the broader leadership, and I cannot fathom or respect machinations that regard teachers and students as robots and tick a boxes.

I do not have the passion to fight it. There are too many who just follow it. My type of teacher is in the vast minority. I don’t see enough commitment to want to change; people don’t stand up and fight for anything anymore.

I will stand up and fight for me by being true to me, and putting me first. After all, no one else will. It is not anyone else’s responsibility; it is mine, and mine alone.

So, I have fourteen working days left until I hand in my keys. Keys that I will have held for very close to twenty years.

I have no intention of ever going back. I thought, when this time came, I would feel more heartbroken. Maybe the grief will come; maybe it won’t. At the moment, I feel like I’m finally answering a call to let go of fear and to start living. I feel liberated.

I have been sick this week, my body has been purging stress toxins, I’m sure. I have not been at school since the incident. I feel liberated. In the past, when I’ve been sick and had to take a couple of days, I’ve felt sooooo guilty that I was letting other people down. This time, I was able to prioritise my health and acknowledge my own worth. Illness requires rest. No one is let down; it just is what it is.

I feel happy. I have felt exhausted this week, every afternoon, as I’ve headed out to work with my clients. But my energy thrived as I arrived to the first door step each day and sustained itself until I arrived home. I feel very present when I work with my kids. I feel a happy heart and fulfilled soul; feelings, that in teaching, have been eclipsed by ever increasing administration demands and the systemic disregard for the welfare of teachers.

I know I’m a teacher. I always will be. But, at the end of the day, I am worth more and am more valuable than the system/broken machine of education decrees, and so, like all abusive relationships, I will move away from it so that my soul can thrive. I will not allow myself to be made small again in my life. This lesson is learned ( fingers crossed lol).

This time, I am breaking the abuse cycle that has ruled my life. This time, I empower me. This time, I am truly free.

Time to Fight 😳

Oprah’s acceptance speech was amazing. Made me bawl my eyes out and filled me with hope for a better future.

Yesterday, I had a migraine that became increasingly debilitating as the day went on. I ended up taking a mersyndol (lord help me when I need a prescription come February 1 – it’s the only thing that relieves the pain of my migraines) and slept ten hours.

But, whilst in pain, unable to do much else, I felt a surge of something fire my soul and I googled the NSW Ombudsman. If I were to lodge a complaint about the investigative process utilized by EPAC during 2016 (not their decision, but the process), I need to complain internally first. When that fails, as it will, I then refer the complaint to the NSW Ombudsman’s Office.

I am angry (still – a sign I need to do something) that it:

* took as long as it did (nine months – seriously impacting my mental health),

* took so long for me to be informed why I was under investigation (three months),

* took so long for me to be given a chance to respond (closer to five months),

* involved me being instructed to not discuss it at work with anyone (when others were gossiping about it willy nilly),

* resulted in me not being permitted to have a Support Person within my workplace,

* I was not given the opportunity to show or provide any supporting evidence in my defense before being labeled a “self-serving liar” by the lower ranked investigators, and

* took so long to receive the adjudication after the letter had been typed and dated (November – I received it in December after enquiring about it).

Yes. Still angry. I barely functioned personally during the year of 2016. I suffered extreme anxiety. I cried most mornings on the way to work. I managed to perform at school (except for a minor marking snaffle and a few meltdowns with the boss); in the classroom, it was my best year to date.

I was not myself at all.

I did work through it. It was a sign from the universe for me to change my life. I appreciate all of that. However, other people will find themselves in situations similar to mine, and whilst I understand that children come first, I do not accept that this requires an adult’s welfare to not count at all.

I won’t even get started on the NSW Teachers Federation’s ineptitude and failure to support me at all through all of this, after years and years of dedicated service to the union as a Federation Representative and for a shorter time, as a councillor. Grrrrrr. I resigned from the union as a result.

My dad always encouraged me to fight against, stand up against, injustice. He always has. But, I couldn’t do it during 2016. I couldn’t do it during 2017. I can do it during 2018.

Yes. The anger with the process is still there. My mental health is in a great place. But, it is still terrifying to think that I will be opening a can of worms by putting forth a complaint. What if? What if? What if?

I need to focus on what is. And, in the present, I am in a position to stand up. I hate being brave and feeling responsible. Why can’t someone else do it …

I have a friend …

I know, lucky me. I have a friend. The ellipsis suggests that there is more to this sentence though for those giggling 😜.

I have a friend who is on a rigorous healing journey. Who is confronting her demons and holding her ground. And, who is absolutely shit scared, every day, of what this could lead to.

When we embark on a healing journey, we first spend time holding the truth within ourselves. We go over our narratives so many times that we can finally feel ‘comfortable’ within them. We start to own our narrative in more than just a debilitating way.

We almost start to feel safe that this is who we are now, and we start to use the labels: survivor, victim, me too. We also brand the trauma: sexual abuse, physical abuse, dysfunction. The labels start to define us. They hold us tightly, but in a way that makes us feel, I don’t know, connected, maybe, secure, even.

This part of the journey can last many, many years. Some people become ‘stuck’ in this part of the healing and they, in essence, hide behind these labels. The labels and the trauma become safe. They, in turn, become the labels. This isn’t healthy.

The next part of the healing journey takes place when we start to share our narrative. We talk to other people, we write, or we create, in some way, to share our narrative. The courage it requires to share is significant. It’s like stepping out into the humidity after a big storm; the fear smothers you until you acclimate.

Sharing comes at a cost. You fear that you won’t be believed, that people will judge you, invalidate your experience (and you), and look at you differently. Sharing makes you very vulnerable, scarier for someone who already feels invalidated.

Rarely, depending on who you choose to share with, will any of these things happen. More often than not, people will support you, commend you on your bravery, and ultimately, start to share their narrative.

This phase of healing helps you to develop strength. It is usually at this point that you start to think outside of yourself. You start saying things like, I want to help others, I want to make a difference, and I need to get my story out there because this needs to stop. Most of us start changing our little parts of the world here. We share and by doing so, we empower and inspire others to share. We start to impact the broader social narrative (this is where #metoo gained real traction, just as a current example).

Some people then move beyond their own circle. They start blogging, writing books, making movies, giving speeches, designing workshops, to get their narrative out there to impact even more people. I think, it is at this point, that the trauma stops defining you. It is a subtle change. But, importantly, I think the healing starts to define you at this point, for most people.

Again, this is terrifying. Even more terrifying than first sharing your trauma with close friends and/or family.

It is here when you start to worry about the impact sharing your narrative will have on those in your narrative. We worry that relationships will change, and be lost. We worry that the pain of others will be exacerbated unwittingly as a result of sharing our narrative. We worry that we will be shunned by those we love.

It is at this point that we weigh up the value of what we are doing, for the world, the community, and ultimately, ourselves. And then, if we proceed, we try to do it sensitively.

Owning our own voice is so important in the healing journey. Owning our voice and our truth.

We are raised to believe that truth is a singular concept. Something is true, or it isn’t. Defining truth, this is ‘true’; however, when it comes to our stories, my truth could be different to someone else’s truth because of perception.

If, in a situation, someone’s action impacted me more than others around me, I might remember the action more than the other things happening at that time, and others may not remember the action at all. This impacts my narrative.

My truth can be different to someone else’s. Both are still valid in the context of a life. Because healing needs to occur from where we are, not from where someone else is.

Someone can say, That isn’t true. It might not be for them. For the person sharing it though, it is. And, as a result, they need to rebalance (heal) it. Standing in our truth is frightening. We all want to belong. By standing up, we risk losing our sense of belonging.

It is important to remember, at this point, that whilst some will turn away from us, the universe always ensures balance, so others will come.

My truth is just that, it is my truth. As I move through my life, striving for harmony and happiness and all things beautiful, I need to do what empowers me to achieve these things. I need to be sensitive to the truths of others without compromising my own truth.

My truth is as valid as your truth. Even when they are different. Healing ourselves, heals others.

Let’s share our stories, rebalance our perceptions, and attain happiness.