Taking a Closer Look at Ourselves

Taking a Closer Look at Ourselves

When testifying in a court of law, we are told to raise our right hand. We are then asked, “Do you solemnly swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth?” Once we say yes, we are expected to truthfully answer any questions asked of us with factual answers.

In any legal proceedings, the moment we agree to tell the truth, the court considers us to be under oath. If we lie while under oath in a court of law, we can be charged with perjury. And we may end up facing serious consequences. Punishment for perjury can result in fines, probation or prison.

Our concept of honesty is in many respects extremely limited. Giving factually correct answers is only a small part of being truthful. We are being dishonest with ourselves and everyone else for that matter whenever we are avoiding those issues that we need to be dealing with and suppressing or denying our authentic emotional responses. In essence, we are living a lie. And just as there are in a court of law, there are consequences.

Avoidance coping has for many become the standard mode of operation. We’re just not dealing with the issues that need to be dealt with. And that’s not at all surprising considering that so many of us started learning from an early age to disconnect from our feelings, physical bodies and the more difficult realities of our everyday lives. Those of us who were subjected to emotional, physical or sexual abuse as children may have had to disconnect in order to survive.

Our addictions to smartphones, texting, social media and the 24/7 news cycle are in many ways compounding the issue. The resulting changes in the biochemistry and neural structure of our brains are making it extraordinarily difficult for many of us to focus our attention for any significant length of time.

We are far more distracted than ever before. That’s making it difficult for us to set an intention and then follow through with a plan of action. As we become more disconnected from our feelings and physical bodies, we are also losing much of our capacity for empathy.

We see the evidence of this disconnectedness in our lack of personal accountability. We’re no longer accountable when the words coming out of our mouths cease to have meaning or significance. We lack accountability when we fail to do what we say we’re going to do or take responsibility for our actions.

I derive a great deal of fulfillment and satisfaction from my work whenever I see people healing from digestive and respiratory disorders, injuries such as those resulting from automobile accidents, cancer and a wide range of other health related issues. It also means a lot to me to see people healing from anxiety, depression, the traumatic wounding that has left them so deeply scarred or the devastation of a painful breakup or divorce. What I find disheartening and incredibly wearing is having to deal with the lack of honesty, congruence and personal accountability that I encounter in so many of the people I interact with.

I started using Meetup in 2009 to promote the classes that I conduct on a weekly basis to help people heal the emotional devastation resulting from a breakup, divorce or death of a loved one. Around sixty to eighty percent of the people who RSVP’d showed up during the first five or so years that I offered these classes. Only thirty to forty percent of those who RSVP are now showing up. It has somehow become more permissible for people to blow off other people and any plans that have been made involving them now that flakiness has become so normalized.

People who RSVP to classes, workshops and other events and then blow it off, fail to realize that organizers such as myself put in a lot of effort to make these events possible. There is often travel time involved and considerable expense for space rental. Many who are not showing up to the events they RSVP to are so self-absorbed that they don’t care.

The lack of personal accountability is clearly evidenced when people fail to show up for the events they RSVP to …or fail to pay the admission for the events they do happen to show up for. One can always fall back on excuses such as “Something came up.” “It’s been a long day.” “I’m tired …maybe some other time…” They’re demonstrating through their words and actions that their words don’t mean anything and that they cannot be counted on.

Have you been guilty of this?

If you’re truly a person of integrity, then you will either show up, or you will let the presenter know if you cannot make it. Rather than being a flake who completely blows off the event you indicated you were going to attend; you will make a concerted effort to actually be there the next time the event occurs. By doing so, you are being congruent, and you are demonstrating through your words and actions that you are someone who is actually worthy being taken seriously. 

Many of those who fail to show up are either stuck in toxic relationships, going through a devastating breakup or are strung out on someone who is not reciprocating their feelings of love. Because they fail to show up, they’re not gaining the crucial understandings that would enable them to sort through all that confusion. And they’re not learning the practices that would enable them to heal the deep emotional wounds.

Consequently, those who are not taking the steps necessary to facilitate their healing are not letting go of their attachments to toxic relationships, unhealthy partners or that person they’re longing to be with who is not reciprocating their love. In many instances, the relational patterns resulting from these deep emotional wounds will continue to perpetuate themselves indefinitely.

There is a healthy sense of shame. And you have every reason to feel ashamed when your words and clicks fail to have meaning and when you’re conducting yourself in ways that create additional and unnecessary stress and hardship in the lives of others.

It doesn’t matter whether you say it verbally, by text or by the links you click on when you go online. You are being dishonest when you fail to do what you indicate you’re going to do. The fact that the damaging consequences of your actions are unintentional doesn’t in any way absolve you from being responsible for your actions.

Having to waste so much time and effort leaves me feeling cynical. I sometimes feel as though I’m throwing pearls to the pigs. Maybe you’re one of those people who find my reference to pigs to be offensive. What’s really offensive is the lack of accountability. There’s no reason to feel offended when you’re living from a place of personal integrity.

Living with integrity may not necessarily be easy and yet it’s much simpler than most people realize. Living from a place of personal integrity is what happens when you make a concerted effort on a daily basis to do what you say and say what you do. Another important part of living from a place of integrity involves making a plan and then actually following through with it.

An apparent lack of self-reflection

I’m teaching a series of practices in my weekly classes that facilitate the healing of the deep emotional wounds of those struggling with patterns of abandonment, rejection and unrequited love. These practices are also highly effective for those suffering the devastating losses resulting from a breakup, divorce or death of a loved one.

I hear so many people anguish about that guy or girl who flaked out, cheated on or betrayed them. I cannot help but feel the hurt and anguish in the hearts of those who have been ghosted or that have gone through a devastating breakup. They’re desperately longing for love and yet they cannot seem to find any kind of meaningful connection. They want someone one who is fully present, dedicated and deeply committed that they can count on. They’re longing for that special someone that they can truly love and be loved by.

And yet so many of these same individuals are incapable of self-reflection. They’re so out of touch that they cannot see the many ways in which they are not showing up fully present in their own lives. Maybe they’re just not willing to be honest with themselves …and then they wonder why their love life sucks.

There have also been many instances in which people have shown up in my classes or worked with me individually and then had a profound sense of realization. Many are for the first time connecting the dots. They are experiencing in that moment a much greater awareness of themselves. They’re having a vivid sensory experience in which they actually see and feel the situation with all its players and conflicted relational dynamics for what they are. And they’re beginning to truly understand the patterns that have played out in their lives.

Sadly, many are not willing or able to sustain this level of increased awareness. Those who find such awareness threatening will quickly revert to that which is familiar.

It is critically important for us to be making a concerted effort to show up fully present in all aspects of our lives. That means facing the issues that need to be dealt with head on. We need to learn to work constructively with our own cognitive and emotional responses to the people with whom we interact, the situations we find ourselves in and the issues concerning us. And whenever possible, we then need to be making a consistent effort to effect workable solutions.

Serving as a conduit

I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to train with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe. I have since that time gone on many vision quests, a traditional Native American healing practice that involves going out to fast alone in the mountains for four days and nights without food or water.

Like the traditional Native American doctors, I act as a conduit by allowing other forces or beings to work through me to facilitate healing that would not otherwise be possible within the bodies and minds of the people that I’m working with. This healing presence can also have a powerful effect upon people around me, acting in many ways as a truth serum.

I have also compared the action of this healing presence to pouring hydrogen peroxide into an infected wound. All the feelings, memories and other sensory impressions of those deeply wounding and other stressful life experiences that people are holding within their bodies that have yet to be processed are brought into people’s conscious waking awareness. All of this content is being transformed during the individual healing sessions in such a way that it can be digested and then utilized as fuel for growth.

The willingness to do whatever it takes to heal

I’ve noticed vast differences in the people that I’ve had the opportunity to work with over the years. Many initially show up with a sense of urgency and what appears to be a willingness to do what it takes to heal. But the majority of people in our modern-day world possess a very limited understanding of their own bodies and minds. They have never experienced the kinds of powerful forces that Native Americans and people of other indigenous cultures have relied upon for thousands of years to effect healing. They understand very little about the healing process taking place. And yet many come in with a set of preconceived expectations.

People often come to me with the expectation that I will somehow magically remove the painful emotions and realities of their lives that they are not willing to deal with and make it all better. Many are not willing to do the work necessary to facilitate the healing of their bodies and the deep emotional wounds. No doubt a consequence of having grown up in a society in which many of us are so lacking in awareness and understanding of our own bodies and minds.

True healing occurs when we make use of the gifts being presented to develop the capabilities necessary to effectively navigate our lives. And when we find ourselves triggered by the many vicissitudes of daily life; we need to show up to the best of our ability. That means finding the courage within ourselves to face the issues head on and honestly experience our authentic cognitive and emotional responses. Digesting and integrating these newly freed emotions and other emerging aspects of our selves after a healing session is as equally important as the session itself. That can initially be quite challenging for those of us who are not used to being radically present. But the process becomes much easier with practice.

I have worked with so many people over the years that have suffered as a result of being emotionally, physically and sexually abused. I too suffered a great deal of emotional and physical abuse during my childhood and adolescence. And so I know quite well how horrible it can feel when all those emotions held within the body for so long start making their way to the surface. I also know what it was like to flail in the dark, not knowing where to turn or what to do in those times when I was in so much pain. I had the opportunity to work with a very empathetic therapist and a few highly gifted healers. For the most part, I had to figure it out on my own.

People who initially seemed to be receptive will in many instances become hugely resistant to the healing process and then disappear as the feelings and issues they have spent so much of their lives avoiding start making their way to the surface.

I can feel the disconnect that happens in people’s bodies and minds when the walls go up. And then it becomes quite obvious that they’re not willing to go any further (or at least not in that moment) along their own path of healing. They’re not willing to face their issues, experience their authentic feeling responses or go to those wounded places within themselves. And so many end up derailing their healing. 

Some of what they’re resisting is at times projected onto me. Apparently, I have come to represent that which they are not willing to face within themselves.

I have on many occasions watched people’s eyes glaze over when I called their attention to the issues that they were not willing to face. Some will escape through spirituality or shut down and go into a very contracted space. Others have chosen to opt out of this lifetime because of their unwillingness to face the issues that are needing to be dealt with and experience their true feeling responses.

I have at times felt hugely disappointed when people take one or a few steps and then bail out on the healing process. I used to take it personally. And it was hard for me to understand, because my own orientation has been to go right to the source of my own emotional wounding.

I later came to understand that this is how people respond when they’re unwilling to be intimate with all, but especially the more vulnerable parts of themselves. That means facing the issues concerning them, experiencing their own authentic emotional responses and making use of the resources that will facilitate the much-needed healing.

Bailing out on one’s own healing process

Having worked with thousands of people over the years, I’m very cognizant of the long-term consequences of not healing the deep emotional wounds and addressing the issues that need to be dealt with.

Being very empathic, I cannot help but see and feel the extent to which people are wounded as I look into their bodies and minds. I know that a large percentage of those who bail out on their own healing process are not going to move beyond the painful limitations or heal the deep emotional wounds that initially caused them to reach out to me.

Some have told me that they either didn’t resonate with me or the work. I do understand and accept that not everyone is going to resonate with me personally. I have no problem with that. But what many of these individuals refer to as a lack of resonance is in actuality their resistance to showing up fully present. More specifically, it’s their resistance is to facing the relevant issues and fully experiencing their own authentic emotional responses. 

I heard a quote somewhere that says, “To deny a truth is to give it strength beyond all endurance.” So many of us are denying the painful realities of our lives and our subsequent cognitive and emotional responses. And we are disowning the parts of ourselves that are so deeply wounded. What we fail to comprehend is that by doing so, we are giving so much more power to that which has already caused a great deal of suffering in our lives.

The hurt, fear, anger and other painful emotions that remain trapped within us obscures our vision while severely limiting our growth. These wounded parts of ourselves that have yet to heal incapacitate us to varying degrees. Some manage to employ motivational self-improvement strategies to help them to achieve their goals. By attempting to bypass the healing of the deep emotional wounds, they are inadvertently setting themselves up for a fall.

The authentic core residing deep within can only emerge when we go through the process of healing the wounded parts of ourselves. The resources we need to facilitate our growth and effect meaningful change within our lives will then become more readily available.

After some time, I noticed that there were certain people who were especially drawn to the healing process that I facilitate. Many of these individuals have continued to work with me for years. Most can be referred to as “growth oriented.” They come to the healing process with a willingness to face the issues, experience their true feelings and do whatever else it takes to heal their bodies and the deep emotional wounds.

The other thing that I notice about these individuals is that they want to break free of the dysfunction and other forms of limitation that have held them back. Many have continued to work with me because they find that they continue to grow. The individual sessions help them to transform themselves, gain a clear sense of purpose and access the additional resources that are enabling them to achieve so much more of what they want to accomplish in their lives.

I’m able to sense the potential of each individual that shows up in my classes and that works with me individually. I find it especially gratifying to see people who were so deeply wounded healing and becoming more and more highly functional. Every session that a person does moves them further along in the process of realizing more of their innate potential.

Eyes glazing over

I once worked with a yoga instructor living on Manhattan’s upper west side. Her organs and systems were shutting down and yet she would keep trying to force herself into yogic postures thinking that it would somehow turn her around. I remember how her eyes would glaze over when I called her attention to the issues that needed to be dealt with.

We’re being dishonest with ourselves and everyone else when we refuse to experience our authentic emotional responses and go to those vulnerable places within ourselves. Numbing, denying, distracting and running away from the feelings and issues that make their way to the surface will invariably derail our healing.

All of that pain, fear, confusion or whatever else that we’re attempting to escape from will remain trapped within our bodies. Those feelings and impressions we’re trying so desperately to escape from will at some point resurface again. And they will cause our bodies, minds and spirits to contract.

All of that undigested emotional residue that we’re holding within the body also affects our health. This residue becomes very toxic over time and will in many instances manifest in some form of disease process. It also causes our bodies to break down at a faster pace, thereby accelerating the aging process.

Our woundedness will often play out as some form of drama in our lives. We may end up sabotaging our relationships. Or we find ourselves attracting the kinds of partners into our lives that end up causing us lots of additional pain. Maybe we’re driven by the compulsion to self-medicate with alcohol and other drugs. Or perhaps we sabotage ourselves in other ways.

We can continue in our attempts to deny, ignore, suppress or disconnect from the wounded parts of ourselves. But in doing so, we are deepening our existing emotional wounds. What we resist will persist. And the problems we’re trying to deny the existence of will very likely get even worse. 

The traumas that continues to live within us

Another yoga instructor living in Soho was initially very receptive to the work. Kelsey’s nasal polyps completely disappeared after a few of the individual sessions. She was very appreciative and indicated that she was getting a lot out of the sessions. I continued to work with her for some time afterwards. And then Kelsey abruptly disappeared as the feelings and memories pertaining to the molestation she suffered during her childhood began to make their way to the surface.

Sexual trauma when it is not dealt with acts in many ways like an infection and will do considerably more damage. The feelings and memories that arise in response to childhood sexual trauma can be horrendous. Many would rather just not go there. For true healing to take place, it is especially important for us to develop the capacity to remain fully present with these deeply wounded parts of ourselves.

I wouldn’t have anticipated that Kelsey would suddenly disappear. She was in many respects very resourceful. I have worked with many individuals who were sexually abused as children. Some were incredibly fragile in the beginning, and yet they possessed the courage and commitment to do what it took to heal. It has meant a lot to me to see them become so much stronger and more resilient as they healed and their lives were transformed. 

Our woundedness will find all kinds of ways to express itself through the body

There’s the thirty-something Indian woman in Hell’s Kitchen that was and most likely will again be suffering from ulcerative colitis. I did a number of sessions for Aditi and then she abruptly disappeared. Much to my surprise, Aditi called me again sometime later when her colitis flared up. She told me that the previous sessions had really helped her and asked me if I could come over and work with her again.

Aditi showed dramatic improvement during that second round of sessions, but only stuck around long enough to address her immediate symptoms and then disappeared again. There was definitely an emotional basis to her colitis as Aditi seethed with anger. Being around her felt quite uncomfortable at times. The sessions were helping her to process much of that anger. But she didn’t give herself an adequate opportunity to address the underlying cause of her digestive distress. Therefore, all those debilitatingly painful symptoms are probably going to return at some point.

Inauthenticity

And then there’s Lauren, a restaurant owner who portrays an image of being a very community minded person, and yet there’s an inauthenticity about her. She would much rather be at home writing and having martinis with her husband. She’s incredibly rigid, controlling, strong willed, opinionated and at times arrogant. She is also driven and gets things done. I definitely had this feeling of walking on eggshells while working with Lauren and felt that I had to proceed very carefully.

Lauren did a few sessions, but later told the friend who referred her that she didn’t want to continue because she was feeling uncomfortable with all of the feelings and issues that were surfacing.

Lauren does possess a high level of sensitivity. She is easily triggered emotionally and has a deeply rooted tendency to avoid that which she finds uncomfortable. All those emotions and other stresses that are not being processed are accumulating within her body. I could see and feel huge amounts of accumulated stagnant emotional residue in the lower abdominal and pelvic regions.

Lauren’s subtle bodies, consisting of the chakras and layers of the aura had a very dissonant quality about them. The combination of all those highly charged emotions that she’s not dealing with, the stagnation and the dissonance within her physical and subtle bodies are contributing to her periodic seizures.

Children are highly empathic and can easily absorb the unprocessed emotions and dysfunction being modeled by their parents. Those of us who have children, will invariably end up passing on much of our own dysfunction.

If we’re avoiding the issues we need to be dealing with and numbing ourselves to our emotions, we are teaching our children to do the same. We are teaching them through our example to be inauthentic and to disconnect from their inner core being. Lauren’s daughter is now exhibiting very similar tendencies.

Shutting down the flow

Many of us are so fearful of emotional turbulence or any disruption to our routines. And so we restrict the flow of life force moving through our bodies. We contract around our fears and the experiences, interactions and events of our lives that stressed us out or left us feeling hurt or shaken. Our state of contraction then stunts our growth. All of those wounding life experiences and our subsequent cognitive and emotional responses that we have failed to process continue to accumulate on the inside of us.

Anxiety, fear, hurt and other charged emotions feed our addictions, damage our relationships and account for so much of the other suffering in our lives. Continuing to hold all this toxic emotional residue within our bodies only reinforces our woundedness.

Self-medicating

I realized while working on this chapter that all my examples up to this point are female. Men are just as bad. Avoidance coping is an equal opportunity means of attempting to escape from that which we rather not be dealing with.

There’s Devin for instance who has had an extraordinary difficult relationship with his mother. When we don’t deal with the parental wound, it will often play itself out in our adult romantic relationships. Devin’s present-day romantic relationships seem to keep blowing up on him. And that’s causing Devin enormous amounts of pain. Rather than doing the deep level processing of the emotions that were surfacing, Devin went out and drank a twelve pack of beer right after a session. And by doing so, he shut down the healing process that was taking place. 

Self-medicating is for many the default means of coping with the realities of daily life. The prevalence of and addiction to alcohol and other recreational drugs is truly staggering. Just look around at the abundance of liquor stores, the number of isles and cooler space set aside for beer, wine and coolers in our supermarkets and convenience stores and the marijuana dispensaries popping up around the country. And then there’s the opioid crisis and epidemic of methamphetamine use.

Avoidance coping takes on so many different forms. We binge watch Netflix and down whole quarts of ice cream after a breakup. Other choose to go the pharmaceutical route rather than deal with their emotions. Much of our overuse of anti-depressants stems from the fact that we’ve never learned to work constructively with our emotions, therefore we find ourselves overwhelmed by them.

Our vices provide a momentary escape. They may even be pleasurable. Our vices also numb us and divert our attention from that which we rather not feel or be aware of. And by doing so, we are inflicting considerably more harm upon ourselves by deadening our awareness and damaging our brains and physical bodies.

Avoidance coping

Avoidance coping has for many become the default mode of operation. Not allowing ourselves to be present to the parts of us that are vulnerable or wounded has in many ways becomes a cultural or societal norm.

We are naturally resistant to that which feels painful. Many of us are afraid of what we will find if we ever allow ourselves to go to these vulnerable places within ourselves. The problem with avoiding, disconnecting from or suppressing these parts of ourselves is that we end up doing a lot of additional damage to ourselves. And that can prevent us from healing.

Making the choice to not deal

We can easily fall into the habit of numbing ourselves to or avoiding the issues concerning us and our authentic emotional responses. The problem with this approach is that it becomes our default coping mechanism.

Whenever we turn away from our authentic emotional responses and the issues that we need to be addressing, we are making a conscious choice not to deal. We’re refusing to show up fully present to life.

We may think we’re getting away with it and yet we are only deceiving ourselves. The problems we’re avoiding are not being dealt with. We’re admitting through our actions or lack thereof that we cannot cope with the realities of our lives here on planet Earth or our own cognitive and emotional responses. We’re basically saying through our words and actions that the issues concerning us are better left unresolved.

We need to be addressing our concerns in the here and now or we will very likely find ourselves in greater difficulty later on. The longer we postpone, distract or avoid, the more difficult it will be for us to address the issues.

Conversely, when we embrace our lives by facing the relevant issues head on and process our cognitive and emotional responses, we are empowering ourselves by increasing our capacity to handle the many challenges of everyday life.

The reality of our everyday lives can at times be intimidating, but they are nowhere near as frightening the self-made prisons we invariably construct and find ourselves trapped in when we resort to denial, suppression and avoidance. We need to stand our ground by making a conscientious effort on a daily basis to remain fully present at those times when we feel like shrinking, running or distracting ourselves.

We need to be especially mindful of the many diversions we use to escape or distract ourselves. And then we need to be making a concerted effort to take constructive action backed up by focused intention to address the issues that need to be dealt with.

The toxicity we’re creating

Our life experiences along with our subsequent cognitive and emotional responses need to go through a process in which they are thoroughly digested. Whatever we fail to digest will remain trapped within our bodies. The combination of unprocessed emotional residue and the physical toxins that accumulate create a lot of stagnation. Our bodies turn into a toxic waste dump as that stagnation continues to accumulate.

This toxicity we’re creating is not only hugely damaging to our bodies and minds. The painfully empty void that we’re creating within ourselves drives our incessant consumption. Our excessive consumption of the goods and the resources needed to produce them and the pollution created in the manufacturing process is causing us to destroy the planet we’re living on. This destructive force of our own making also fuels our wars and other forms of violence. 

Right after a session

One’s experience can vary tremendously right after the individual healing sessions. And it can also vary greatly with the same individual from one session to the next. Many people initially experience a sense of lightness and wellbeing afterwards. People sometimes feel a bit exhausted as a result of the deep level processing of their life experiences and subsequent emotional responses. Their energy level usually rebounds as the life force increases in their bodies soon thereafter.

A great deal of emotion can surface in the days and weeks afterwards. That may include feelings of frustration and sadness. Some may also experience a sense of disorganization or of not having it together. But many tell me that they feel a greater sense of ease, calm and clarity as the backlog of stress and stagnant emotional residue is processed. Sight, sound, kinesthetic feeling and other senses become more vivid. Awareness of one’s self, other people and the immediate environment becomes more acute. And the resources needed to handle the challenges of daily life become more readily accessible.

I don’t want to go there

I did a few sessions with a woman who endured an abusive marriage for many years for the sake of her children. Amara put her children’s needs before her own. The model that she is presenting to her children is one of suffering in an abusive marriage. The children know at some level that both parents are unhappy in the marriage and that their mother is being abused.

Amara never allowed herself to feel her true emotional responses to the abuses and other suffering she endured for all those years of the marriage. She put the brakes on in the middle of a session when all those emotions began to surface.

Some people just need time to develop trust in the healing process and the facilitator. Many of those who were initially very resistant gradually felt safe enough to go to these vulnerable places. Those who are unwilling will say, “No, I’m not going there.” Some of these individuals continued to have me work with them to address a range of health-related issues despite their unwillingness to go to these vulnerable places. Others completely bailed out on their healing process. 

I care deeply for all of the people I’m working with. And I can be generous with my time and attention when I see someone struggling and even more so when I see that they are making a sincere effort. I let them know that they can always pick up the phone and call me. I may not be able to pick up at that moment, but I will call them back. And I will call to check in to see how they are doing.

These follow up calls give people an important opportunity to share feedback and ask questions that will enable them to better understand the healing process taking place within their own bodies and minds. Some people like Amara never bother to return the call. 

Coming back around

Others do eventually get back to me. One man who ghosted on his healing in the summer of 2019 was very apologetic a few weeks prior to this writing when he reached out to me. Noah told me “I wanted to protect my marijuana addiction. Maybe I was also overwhelmed by your generosity and light.”

Noah has since given up his pot addition. He went on to say “I don’t think I would have come to this without your healing working away at me for the past year and a few months. Your guidance to drop the addiction was also key.”

“The work you did to facilitate the opening of my dan tien (abdomen) is still with me. It’s quite moving how it has stuck with me. I feel perpetually helped by it. I felt something new during the healing like you were able to go in and build this foundation that I didn’t have before. I can still feel the process working. I’m able to revisit the feeling of what was happened during the healing. It’s like a ball of light that has this pressure and integrity. And I feel motivated to put that to work in the form of positive behavioral change in my life.”

Difficult for trauma survivors

The emotional component of the healing process can be one of the most difficult for some of us to get a handle on. We may feel intimidated by our emotions, because we have never learned to work effectively with them. And we’re far more likely to feel overwhelmed by our emotions if we haven’t developed the understanding or resources that would enable us to cope constructively with our emotional responses.

Some of us were as children subjected to horrendous abuses. Our perceptions of what we experienced may have been denied by those who perpetrated these abuses. Many of us have at some point in our lives been sexually assaulted. Many of the people I have gotten to know and befriend in northern Sri Lanka lived through the horrors of a brutal civil war in which tens of thousands of their own people were disappeared, tortured and killed.

Many of us have endured some really horrible things along with way. We probably did the best we could to cope with the resources we possessed. And if we have suffered any form of traumatic wounding, we’re more likely to be easily be triggered during times of crisis. We’re also more likely to be overwhelmed by our emotional responses when we find ourselves triggered by people, situations and the issues concerning us. We may have been forced to shut down our emotional responses out of fear of retribution. Some of us may have even ended up in a psych ward at some point in our lives.

Most of us have never learned to work constructively with our own emotional responses to the suffering that we have endured. We attempt to cope by operating with a “don’t go there” mindset. The coping mechanisms that at one time helped us to survive have now become maladaptive. Our unwillingness to go to the places where we are vulnerable can in many instances preclude the possibility of ever healing our deep emotional wounds.

The only way we’re ever going to heal the deep emotional wounds is to actually go to the places where we are scared, vulnerable and hurting. We are going to have to face the issues head on and thoroughly digest our life experiences and subsequent cognitive and emotional responses.

The process of purification

Having all these unsettling feelings making their way to the surface can at times be hugely disconcerting, frightening and even painful. This process can be a lot more intense for those of us who have suffered a great deal of emotional, physical or sexual trauma.

We may at times feel sad, angry, out of control or depressed. We may find ourselves filled with feelings of dread, disgust, fear and overwhelming anxiety. What many of us fail to grasp is that these feelings would not be surfacing if we were not already holding them within our bodies. It is critically important for us to understand in these instances that we are undergoing a process of intensive purification.

Each successive healing sessions we go through deepens this process of purification. It’s important for us to understand that every step we take is going to move us further along the path. The accumulation of painful emotion will gradually decrease as we digest more of the backlog. And day by day, we will grow stronger and experience greater resilience as the inner core of our being continues to develop.

Having all this emotional content surface can at times be very disconcerting and yet we want to encourage the process. We can do that by making a concerted effort to breathe softly and deeply while centering our awareness in the midst of any feelings and bodily sensations that arise. Making use of the most effective healing interventions can then help us to accelerate the process.

Having these feelings make their way to the surface helps to put us in touch with the deeply conflicted and wounded parts of ourselves. The deep level processing of our life experiences and authentic emotional responses makes it possible for us to heal the deep emotional wounds and access the full range of resources needed to realize our true potential.

True healing can only take place when we make a concerted effort to go right into the depths of our wounding. We will experience a growing sense of lightness, freedom and enjoyment of ourselves as we come out the other side. We will experience a growing sense of connection to the people who play a part in our lives and the world we live as we heal and become more fully integrated with the various aspects of our being. These important relationships will also become more deeply fulfilling.

Coming from a place of acceptance

Many of us have internalized the shame and critical voices of parents, other family members, friends and society that have told us that our thoughts, feelings and the parts of us that are wounded are unacceptable. That has led us to deny, distance from and disown the wounded parts of ourselves. We feel ashamed of these vulnerable parts of ourselves and may experience a sense of self-loathing.

For true healing to take place, we need to come to a place of self-love, understanding and acceptance.  We need to allow ourselves to become fully intimate with these vulnerable parts of ourselves. We can facilitate this process by breathing softly and deeply while centering our awareness within any feelings or bodily sensations that arise. We then need to continue to follow these feelings and sensations as they go through their progression.

There’s no one method or modality that is going to completely heal us. There are many components to the healing process. We need to combine the most effective practices and therapeutic resources available. We need to be nourishing our bodies and minds with the best nutrient rich foods available. We also need to be educating ourselves by reading articles like this one and other content that will help us to gain a greater understanding of our bodies and minds. Some of us need the support of a caring psychotherapist to help us to understand our wounding. Of all the therapeutic healing modalities I’ve explored, the healing practices of Native Americans and other indigenous peoples are by far the most powerful.

As I mentioned earlier in this article, I work as a conduit by allowing a powerful presence to work through me to facilitate healing that would not otherwise be possible. The presence working through me during the individual healing sessions builds a much stronger internal foundation. This process also facilitates the development of other crucial resources needed to cope more effectively with the many challenges of everyday life.

The presence working through me during these sessions works on multiple levels to facilitate healing within the body and mind. Highly charged emotions and the residue of stagnant emotional content held within the body are transformed in such a way so that they can be digested and utilized as fuel for growth.

Significant changes take place within the biochemical makeup and neural structure of the brain. A great deal of development also occurs within the chakras and layers of the aura. These structural changes taking place within the physical and subtle bodies help to increase an individual’s processing capacity and ability to function in various contexts while providing a greater sense of stability. 

Many of the people who have worked with me have indicated that they find it much easier to “digest” their life experiences along with their subsequent cognitive and emotional responses. These changes are especially profound for those who have been deeply traumatized. Life becomes more manageable as there are far more available resources to handle any challenges that present themselves.

Your whole journey here on Planet Earth is playing out in the courtroom of life. Are you one of the truly growth-oriented individuals who is committing on a daily basis to address the issues relevant to you? Are you allowing yourself to honestly experience your authentic cognitive and emotional responses? If so, feel free to reach out to me. As you work with me one on one, every session you do brings you another step further along your journey while increasing your capacity to show up more fully present.

Have you received value from the insights you’ve gained through my writing? Your generous and thoughtful donation via Paypal or (Venmo @BenOofana) makes it possible for me to devote considerably more time and effort to creating more articles and videos.

©Copyright 2020 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, creation and contact information intact, without specific permission.

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