WHAT DOES HEALING REALLY LOOK LIKE?
5 years ago I had awareness around things that I wanted to shift in my life. The truth is I was drowning deeper in shame than I even knew.
Shame is dangerous because it keeps us isolated. I was so ashamed of some of my behaviors I felt like I couldn’t even be fully open with my own therapist. My protective “good girl” mask was running the show.
I was also really good at keeping myself so busy that I never even had to admit the truth. I could just keep numbing it out and suppressing painful emotions that stemmed back into my childhood. And I wasn’t even aware of it. Most of us aren’t. We are on autopilot, running the subconscious programming and coping mechanisms that we developed (for very good reasons) in our younger years.
I was constantly trying to hold a beachball of stress, responsibility, anxiety, and emotions underwater.
My coping mechanisms included quick-fixes like over-indulging with alcohol to get a release, and dating men who were emotionally unavailable (a true reflection of myself.)
Unfortunately these coping strategies were causing more harm than good. I would just go right back into a shame spiral. Lather, rinse, repeat.
After years of staying in my comfort zone (listening to podcasts, being semi-open in talk-therapy) and nothing really changing, I finally decided to invest in myself, for real.
I spent money on things I had never prioritized before. Somatic therapy (getting into my body), Coaching, Inner Child work, Breath-work, Thought-work, Meditation.
I spent time slowing down, paying attention, being more honest, asking for help, listening to myself and my body.
I had never considered myself a spiritual or “woo-woo” person. I never meditated. And guess what? My old way wasn’t working. External fixes are only temporary.
I love sharing how much my life has changed and yet I want to be honest with you all. I am still just beginning this path. I still struggle all the time.
The difference is, my suffering is far less severe, lasts for much shorter lengths of time, and I am MUCH nicer to myself. I live my life with more confidence and less shame. I am gentle and curious when I mess up instead of beating myself up.
I am building evidence in my own life that I am worth it. Every time I am my real self (no mask), every time I am honest, every time I let my emotions be valid, every time I ask for support and really receive it… I am healing.
Doing this deep inner work is a practice. It’s not easy but it does work when we are truly ready.
I am so pumped about my life now. It’s still challenging and scary and messy and HUMAN. And I let myself feel it all. I am learning to love myself. And that has made all the difference.
We go at our own pace and when we are ready.
Small shifts and practice over time lead to the “big breakthroughs.”
We cannot heal what we are not willing to feel.
Change is more sustainable with self-compassion and patience rather than judgement and force.