When we are in crisis or in pain, we often just want to know when it will end. We want someone to tell us what we have to do to make it stop, to quicken the process, or to return us to the time when we didn’t feel this way.
I get it! Pain is hard.
Working our way back to ourselves is hard.
Uncovering our trauma,
peeling back the layers of our lives,
befriending the parts in us we didn’t want to see, let alone befriend, is hard.
Unraveling the story we have been telling ourselves…is hard.
I get it. Pain is hard.
I wish I could tell you that if you just have 1session, or 2 or 3, it will all be better. Well, I can’t.
But here are some things I can tell you.
The more access you have to your resources, the faster you will heal. By resources, I mean both inner and outer. Outer resources- do you have community? Do you have friendships and relationships, a support network? Do you know the basics of how to take care of yourself? Listening to what your body tells you it needs. Do you know how to find help when you need it?
Inner resources…the model I teach and use is Bill Plotkin’s map of the psyche, which he writes about in Wild Mind (check out the Self Compassion Course that I teach with my colleague Dr. Ieleen Taylor…it’s all about our inner resources), accessing our Whole Self and the amazing resources it contains. For example, how well can you access your Nurturing Generative Adult, which is your ability to truly love yourself, all of you. How well do you access and process your emotions, can you work with them not from them? Can you feel them in your body? How well are you connected to your body, can you feel the inside and the outside of you? These things will help you on your journey. Truth be told, most of us need help accessing our inner resources and often need to ask for help from someone a little further down the road…someone with more access to their resources.
So, why does resourcing matter? Well, healing happens in relationship. We are wounded in relationship and we heal there too. That includes our relationship to ourselves. We often come at ourselves with a battering ram, demanding that our insides stop what they are doing and get their shit together.
Francis Weller says, “People come into this work with an urgency to change and underneath it is a profound self-hatred. People consistently fail at their agenda to change because their psyche will not collaborate with an agenda of self-hatred.”
Well, that changes things.
Healing also involves building a container, or how about this. Let’s imagine that you are having a very important dinner for some of your most favourite people in the world (even if you don’t like cooking). You want everything to be right. You want your guests to feel welcome, safe, nourished and loved.
How much time do you spend getting ready?
Now imagine that the most important guests that you are having over, are the ones that live inside you. Your inner characters, your wounded child, your desperate-to-be-loved one, your angry one, your frightened one, your dependent one, your rescuer, your homeless one, your betrayed one, your abused one, your ugly one.
I can imagine that your are deciding to change the menu, only give them crackers, maybe not even let them in the door.
Well, this is healing.
This is why it is hard, and takes awhile.
We meet the ones of us that have been shunned, both by ourselves and by others. We invite them to our table. We make sure they receive what they need. We let them tell us their story. Maybe we weep with those that weep and are angry with those that are angry, fearful with those that are fearful. You get the idea.
How long does this take? Some of those wounded parts of us need to be coaxed to the table in the first place. They don’t even want to show themselves, in case they are rejected again. Some are so buried that you don’t even know they are there. Some are really good at throwing your attention onto other things so you will never suspect their presence. Some are in so much pain that we are afraid to feel their presence, afraid of what they might need. We have to go slow, take our time. That’s where resourcing comes in. Our resources are our containers and we need to build access to them. We need to be able to love, to feel, to hold what comes up for us. We need to be able to truly feel compassion for what we had to do in the name of survival. Sometimes we need help with this. Getting help helps us have a bigger container…it’s called relational space…that’s what we build with the person who is helping us heal ourselves. It’s a big deal, to have dinner with our outcasts, the rejected ones of ourselves. Sometimes it helps to have someone else close by to love them too. Someone who helps us build and hold our container.
So, as you can see, this is not a fast procedure. We didn’t get this way overnight and we won’t heal overnight. I think we might be better served by seeing this as a journey. A journey that requires an investment of our time and sometimes our money. Perhaps we start with a commitment of 6 months or a year…deciding to set out on this journey towards ourselves. Usually, it takes longer, but it's worth it. It's an epic journey.
A journey of getting to know and befriending our rejected parts.
A journey of discovering the things we have stored in our bodies.
A journey of befriending our bodies.
A journey of befriending our emotions.
A journey of how we have survived.
A journey of feeling.
A journey of inviting our rejected parts to dine at our table.
An epic journey back to ourselves.
It will change your life.
Are you ready to journey?
Start setting up for your banquet and your very important guests...and yes, you might need that big of a table so start getting the dishes out and preparing the food, maybe send out some invitations.
It will be worth it.