Breaking Open Healing
When we take a moment to reflect on how times have changed over the decades; a true turning point is shown to us in the depths of our core as to how we react to the world around us.
I embrace a sense of gratitude that we have finally reached a point of change and acceptance around emotions, mental diversity and that not all paths are equal.
What do you hear when someone asks you to break yourself open?
I was raised in an era where we were taught not to share our feelings, counseling was shameful and mental illness had extraordinarily different notions than it does today. It was a lonely time.
I have had to pause to honor and allow my grief in this turnabout for taking so long. I sincerely believe my life would have been hugely different and my struggles would not have gone on as long as they did if I were raised with an understanding that expressing my feelings was healthy.
I imagine if someone honored my emotions and validated my tears by just sitting with me, I may not have taken such a dark road through self-discovery that stole much of my life. Today, I can find gratitude in those experiences.
Just the word ‘healing’ can bring an intense reaction for many. It is terrifying for some and simple for others. There was a time when I would never consider this idea. That was a time of my youth locked away in the ideals of my upbringing that you do not talk about anything ever; hold it all in and never show yourself. That literally nearly killed me in a 14-year battle with disordered eating and body image and haunts me still in a journey walking through anxiety and depression that most individuals face. We just are not talking about it.
Hear that again; most people are struggling and yet are productive human beings. There is no shame in mental illness. The shame that has been placed on the idea of mental illness comes from those themselves who are afraid.
It took many years and pains for me to be able to put words on to my experiences, wounds, and feelings; it took longer to be able to express them safely. The ability to cry today says so much about those who walked with me on my journey; sat with me in the healing and taught me to live in this newly discovered expression of strength, hope, and light.
When we open ourselves up we grow, we heal, we learn, and we become who we are meant to be.
When we trust ourselves, we become free.
We must first break ourselves open in order to break through to our core identity. Learning to stay with ourselves during this unravelling of lies is the heart of our healing; it is the definition of courage.
Healing is not black or white.
Healing is not equal.
Healing is personal.
There are many stages of healing. I do not know anyone who walks through every stage with ease. Truer is we see people who tend to skip over some of the more intricate and painful phases hoping for relief. Unfortunately, we only continue to come back repeatedly to the wound until we are able to stop ignoring the pain that brings our levels of fear to an entirely different level at our core. Until we face those stories, those wounds, we cannot break the cycle.
Some of the stages are clearer than others.
Profound Sadness is the start of the journey. It can come from a crisis state present or past, a loss and following grief, struggling with a situation that does not have a clear answer, or general feelings about the confusion around the meaning of life for oneself. It can look vastly different from person to person, and it can be experienced in deep and mysterious ways.
Cocoon Stage is a desire to be alone, to not engage in small talk or activities that feel distracting or empty. A lot of time spent reflecting. To someone who is in this stage, they often feel a sense of protectiveness.
Aha Moments draw us towards and eagerness to learn or try new things stepping outside of our comfort zone. I relish these moments and recognize how they kept me walking through the process knowing I was receiving peace and strength as I took risks.
Adjusting to awareness is when we are knowingly feeling different than those around us…. We accept. We embrace. This can be both liberating and terrifying. It can make us feel like an outcast wanting to go back to the cocoon stage for a bit; or it can inspire us to embrace the light and truth that we can live in the world.
Re-birth of new self. When we are ready to honor the entire path of breaking open our healing, we come to know an updated version of who we are. This re-birth allows us to use our story to continue to heal and live more fully on the journey of life. This most often will change and shift relationships as those around you begin to see you in a new confidence. New interests, behaviors, beliefs that are consciously chosen are seen as a threat to those surrounding you in the pain who knew you before.
Healing is not linear.
We may have to repeat this process often along the way. But when you keep showing up, you get to see the gift in living.
You are allowed to be proud of how far you have come even if it is not where you thought you would be by now.
You are allowed to start over.
You are allowed to voice your story.
You are allowed to heal at any stage of your life.
It is time to take back your power, right the wrongs and fight the demons of your darkness.
It is time to recognize the elephant in the room, even though no one else wants you to. You have one life; you deserve to live it free.
You deserve to heal.
I see your braveness. I see your heart. I see your wounds. I will walk with you either way.
The choice is yours to allow the hurt to hurt you any longer.
The choice is yours to allow the light to heal you today.
I live by a quote I once saw that said, ‘be the adult you needed as a child.’ This changed my entire outlook on my life. I am my own parent today, as are you. It is time to take care of yourself in all the ways that have been stolen from you along the way.
It is time.
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Andrea creates, builds, and offers her teachings and hands on life tools based on her journey healing her body image after a 14yr battle and life of trauma. Her vision always is to help others live a full life with the journey they are given.