5 INTEGRAL STEPS TO SELF-HEALING
We have all asked ourselves: Why is life so challenging sometimes? And then we are reminded that if life was easy, we would never learn anything. It is the nature of the human experience to live out the peaks and troughs of life. As a result, the human experience can be quite uncomfortable at times. As with all circumstances, we have a choice. We can let them get the best of us, or we can employ our spiritual warrior sides and face them head on. When we choose, we must realize that if we choose to ignore the situations or let them get the best of us, we will continue to be confronted with them time and time again until we have healed. It is fair to say that the old proverb “If not now, when?” is of great import with this.
As a spiritual healer and teacher, I am often asked how to heal from a situation; whether it is a soul contract, heartbreak or trauma. Whatever the origin, the grieving process can be difficult at best. Here are five steps that we must all take in order to heal properly from pain, loss and trauma:
1) Acknowledge- The first step to healing is to acknowledge that we are hurt. Acknowledge that it is time to heal.
2) Accept- To fully heal, we must accept that we are hurt. We must accept responsibility for our part in the situation. We must accept that we are not a victim. We must accept that we have been involved in a situation that has caused us pain and accept that our actions have gotten us here. Or in some cases, we must accept that we were in the wrong place at the wrong time. We must not blame others for our pain. Though other people may have been involved in our traumatic experiences, our primary responsibility is to ourselves and our own healing, irrespective of others. We cannot change the events that have taken place, we can only change our reactions to them by accepting the situation as it is.
3) Feel your feelings- to fully heal from an experience, letting yourself feel the depths of your pain is the most sincere form of facing your shadow side. It can be extremely uncomfortable at times to stare your heartache straight in the face but it is necessary to do so in order for it to work its way out of your system. Of course there is a major difference between dealing and dwelling. Dealing with pain means bearing down, sitting in it and letting the emotions run their course. Dwelling in pain refers to those of us who repeat the story of our pain over and over again to ourselves, not allowing ourselves to overcome the pain. It refers to those of us who are stuck in the trauma so deeply that it becomes who we think we are, and our true nature becomes lost. There is a fine line between dealing and dwelling. To deal with our pain, we must not ignore our feelings. We must not numb the pain with external substances such as drugs, alcohol and food. By numbing the pain, we are procrastinating the self-work involved in healing. We will eventually have to face the pain. And the deeper it’s buried, the harder it is to find. The more we ignore our feelings, the more we create a blockage within ourselves. And the bigger the blockage, the more healing will be necessary in the long run. To deal with our pain, we must acknowledge it, accept it and feel it; however uncomfortable it may be.
4) Forgive yourself- Perhaps the most overlooked step to healing is self-forgiveness. Self-blame is a common thread in all situations that involve healing. We often blame ourselves for aspects of the situation that we had no control over at the time; aspects of the situation that could not have been altered. We blame ourselves to the point that the guilt takes over and causes a downward spiral thinking pattern. This too can lead to repetition of thought resulting in it becoming our identity; losing ourselves in the process. To err is human. We must recognize that we are fallible. We are not perfect; and it will only harm us to continue to punish ourselves for actions that we have taken that have created an undesirable result. It is part of our wiring to make mistakes. If we did not make mistakes, we would never learn. And as we realize this, we can grow. To be gentle with ourselves is to begin to heal. Once you have forgiven yourself for your part in the situation, you are ready to let it go!
5) Let it go- holding onto any burdensome situation is unhealthy. This behaviour affects our physical, emotional mental and spiritual states. To completely heal from any situation, we must let it go. We will know when we have finally healed from the experience when we are able to think about it and remain balanced. No crying, no sadness, no remorse. Once we have healed we will be able to reflect on the experience with love.
The road to self-healing can be complex; and to walk it we must be courageous. Remembering that we are only faced with what we can handle can give us the strength to succeed. Should we choose to delay the facing of our fears, we will hinder our personal progress. We will be subject to living out the same scenario time and time again until we learn from it. It is important to be patient with ourselves during our road to healing. We must give ourselves healthy space and time to breathe and build self-confidence so that we are able to overcome our perceived obstacles in order to come into alignment with our highest selves.