I believe that the most unexpected places of healing are found in the very wounds that have caused our innermost pain. For many of us, addressing wounds caused by some sort of trauma in our lives is painful. However, when we don’t acknowledge these wounds by facing them head on, we perpetuate a story of brokenness and create a breeding ground for emotional, mental, and physical disease.
As someone who has had my share of “wounding”, one of the most profound ways in which I have been able to heal and transform many things in my life is by addressing painful wounds from my childhood. I won’t say that it has been an easy road. In fact, I believe that most wounds run very deep and from experience I will say, just when I think I’ve healed one wound- a new challenge reveals itself to test my faith and capacity to heal.
So the question is, “how do we heal?”
1. Recognize The Need To Heal
We can’t heal if we don’t recognize that we need to heal. By the time I was 26, I was already managing the role of a wife, mother, and career woman. When the pressures of everyday life started to take their toll, deep seeded insecurities, fears, and questions of self worth from adolescence began to surface out of nowhere. By virtue of becoming an adult, I thought I had moved past all of the wounds from adolescence but I was mistaken and that’s when my quarter life crisis ensued. At first, no one knew because I felt a tremendous amount of guilt and shame for feeling anxious, depressed, and unfulfilled even though I had all trappings of a “good life”. However, despite my depression on a much deeper level I was able to recognize that I needed to heal my childhood wounds in order to find inner peace.
2. Identify & Acknowledge The Wounds
Part of the reason why I grew up having so many insecurities and fears is because I didn’t have a substantial relationship with my father. As a young girl, this wounded me very deeply. Not only did I feel abandoned by my father, I felt unworthy of his love, and love in general. As a result, I often sought validation and love from others, especially from romantic partners. When I finally broke down and shared with my loved ones how much pain I was going through, it was a turning point that enabled me to seek help and begin the process of mending some very deep wounds. Although acknowledging and sharing painful feelings associated with various kinds of wounds can be difficult, one thing is for sure- you can’t heal if you can’t acknowledge and face those wounds head on.
3. Find Forgiveness
Forgiveness = Healing there’s no way around it. However, there are people who believe that forgiving someone who has wronged them means they condone that person’s actions. The truth is, if you can’t find forgiveness YOU hold onto the pain. True healing happens when we not only forgive others, but forgive ourselves for the emotional hoarding. Imagine for a moment how much energy it takes to hold onto anger, resentment, guilt, and, shame. In the long term, harboring these kinds of unhealthy emotions eventually manifest into stress, depression, and yes, physical disease. When you find forgiveness you let yourself off the hook and allow the healing process to take place.
4. Cultivate Self Love
A huge component to self healing is cultivating self love. Self love is something many of us struggle with. On a daily basis our nervous system is bombarded with external messages that either confirm or deny our self worth and so there’s no surprise that many of us struggle with self-love and approval. When we don’t give ourselves the love and care we deserve, we eventually find ourselves emotionally, mentally, and physically bankrupt. One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is that by giving myself the love and care I deserve, not only do I honor myself- others do too.
5. Respect The Process
Healing is a process. Not only does it take time to heal deep wounds, it takes time to undo conditioned beliefs and negative patterns of behavior associated with those wounds. Of course, the path to healing involves a lot of deep inner work, as well as a network and community of support. But it also requires that we surrender to the healing process with faith, honor, patience and respect.
So my question is, what area in your life do you need to heal and who/what do you need to forgive in order to move forward? I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to email me or leave a comment below.
With Love & Light,