''The deepest work is usually the darkest.”
Clarissa Pinkola Estes
When I was 15, I remember thinking I was already in need of some serious healing. I started going to therapy. I wasn’t sure what exactly was wrong, but I vowed to myself that I was going to heal. I did not quite understand what that would entail.
When I was 22, I put myself back in some therapy. Upon reflection, the therapist was not that good, but she did say something that triggered all of my damage: “What is the common denominator in all of your poor relationships.” Well, the right answer was me, of course. But that did not help me with the issues at hand. I knew I attracted bad energy. The need was to figure out why so that I could change it.
When I was 32, I started seeing a guru. Well, he was a spiritual teacher, but he led groups of people in meditation and helped guide healing towards those that were ill. In a private session, I asked him if I would ever be healed. He guffawed and said, “You have so much work left to do.”
When I was 37, I once again sought help - this time after an abusive relationship with a narcissist. It was as if everything I was trying to avoid happening to me happened - all in one person. I needed some serious healing!
I was a shell of myself. How could I have let this person do those things to me? I knew the early warning signs of abuse. I had watched my own mom experience this kind of treatment when I was a child. I knew better than to involve myself with such a person.
I had much Work to do.
For the next ten years, my journey of healing intensified. I had to shake off my emotional injuries from that horrible experience, and deal with deeper demons.
I had to finally admit to myself that the path I was on was NOT my path.
I had to find a way to calm my mind and heart from my painful past.
I had to look at the darkest parts of me and forgive myself.
I had to dive into my past to reveal my future.
I began an inward journey of discovery. The first thing I needed to do was get honest with myself. I was not on the right path. I was living someone else’s expectations of me. I needed to break free of this box I had been shoved into and allow myself to say no to those expectations… even though they were deeply ingrained into me.
Once I admitted some key things to myself, I then needed help healing my physical body. I was a wreck. I had severe adrenal fatigue - constantly living in fight or flight mode - experiencing severe anxiety with accompanying panic attacks. My vessel was exhausted.
I sought guidance from people I believed to be more advanced in their healing. I took direction on meditation, movement, and whole-body wellness. I learned to adapt those things to fit my life. I believed I was finally going in a better direction, despite how long it took to make it out of the darkness.
At 48, I found a guide that led me through an intensive therapy session. I finally found some peace from all of the damage done by others. I was able to accept my part and forgive other’s of their parts. I had to own my life and my direction.
Do I feel more peaceful? Yes.
Will I be a better version of myself? I believe so.
Is there more work to do. Absolutely.
What I didn’t understand for so long was that no one can take you anywhere you don’t willingly go yourself. Yes, others can guide. But YOU have to do The Work.
And The Work is hard.
Looking at your deepest, darkest places actually benefits your health. It might hurt to observe, but remember that those deep places were from damage done long ago. The only power it has is the power you give to it. So, dig that mess out; lay it before you; look at it; work on it; let it go piece by piece.
Unhealed darkness is the source of illness, pain, and disfunction. When you really dive into the damage and work to heal it, you likely help to heal so many other things - including your vessel.
If you seek guidance in a teacher or mentor, make sure that person is doing The Work themselves! Make sure they are actively healing their own deep, dark places. Because there are many people in the world that will tell you they have the answers, but that is their ego talking.
The journey back into oneself never ends. But I do believe I see the light more clearly now. The darkness in me is not as deep and scary. I know my damage. I know my needs. I know my purpose.
My focus now is to take what I have learned and integrate it towards healing and help others do the same for themselves. I would be honored to help you find a path. My initial time is free and there is zero expectation to continue.
Whatever help you seek, may it guide you out of your darkness in a kind, loving way. And may you do The Work necessary to heal.
The Work is hard, but with gentle guidance and safe spaces, you too can find some peace within yourself.
Be well, Friends