I spent nearly a decade looking outside for the answers to my healing.
And while I got some relief from each modality, they all fell short.
This was partly due to my expectation that someone else would have all the answers and come to my rescue (so that I could avoid doing the work) and also due to my belief around what healing actual was (that avoiding pain and suffering was possible).
I had exhausted all options.
It felt like I arrived at a dead end.
There was nowhere else to go.
The only way out was IN.
I was the healer I was looking for.
I had the answers buried within.
And at this point, I now had the courage to face what I’d spent my whole life avoiding; myself.
The five keys to healing are:
Honesty – Healing starts with being honest with ourselves. Many of us have diminished our suffering and told ourselves that the events of our lives weren’t that bad. Or we tell ourselves that we should be ‘over’ something that happened to us when we’re younger. The truth is that our body keeps the score, and emotional pain and trauma are stored in the body. So when we’re finally honest with ourselves that we were hurt, we felt pain, we suffered then the healing can commence.
The truth of who we are will only be revealed if we have the courage and integrity to be honest with ourselves. Self-deception can only take us so far in our journey; now is the time to practice honesty with ourselves.
Awareness – Nothing can proceed without it. Awareness is our starting point.
The simple recognition of where we’re at and paying attention to what’s going on in our mind and body is the catalyst for transformation.
If we remain unaware of the inner workings of our mind, heart and soul, then we remain ignorant to the healing potential.
Acceptance – awareness will reveal some uncomfortable truths and bring our shit to the surface.
And once we’re aware, we need to practice acceptance of our current reality and the events that lead to it. Acceptance can be painful, but if we can’t accept our reality, we won’t be able to heal. Acceptance is the antidote to resistance.
Compassion is the antidote to blame. Whether we blame others or ourselves for our predicament, compassion can transform our suffering. When we practice compassion towards ourselves, we can recognise that we did the best we could with the resources we had at the time.
Forgiveness transmutes anger, resentment and blame into acceptance and peace. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting the past; it’s about releasing the pain and preserving the lesson.
Healing isn’t linear. Neither is it glamorous. It requires courage and patience. The healing process is a delicate balance of holding on and letting go. We can learn to let go of the pain while preserving the lesson.
I believe healing is possible. I believe we can transform our wounds into wisdom and grace. I believe that we can make peace with our past, forgive ourselves and find hope again.
If you’re doing the deep healing work, I applaud you. If you’re facing your shadow and the uncomfortable parts of yourself, I admire your courage.
If you want a guide to help you through the rocky terrain of emotional healing, someone who’s walked this path before and who knows the way out, then I encourage you to apply for Yoga Alchemy – a 7-month transformational coaching program to alchemise your wounds into wisdom.
Art by Daniel Taylor