Express It or Repress It! Healing Happens

Lea - Doug & Dorien Sippy CupAn essay chronicling a journey of healing

By Doug Johnson

Express It or Repress It!
Repressed Expression Leads to Violence, Disease and Depression.
Expressed Repression Leads to Wholeness, Healing and the  Soul’s Liberation. 

I’m a big fan of expression.  Not only have I found it to be fundamental to living a healthy and happy life, but I found it to be the cornerstone of my own healing.  You can’t heal what you can’t express.  Expression is the vessel within which the aspects of ourselves that are in need of healing are able to travel from the unconscious into the subconscious and can then permeate consciousness…where true healing is possible.

Throughout the course of our lives we repress, conceal, excommunicate, disenfranchise, fail to honor, and attempt to completely snuff out different aspects of ourselves in order that our basic needs, such as love, affection, and attention, may be met.  These repressed aspects of ourselves don’t die or completely disappear.  Instead, they fester inside of us, often wreaking havoc in our lives to get our attention.  They can make us ill, whether emotionally, mentally, physically, and/or spiritually.  They can manipulate and destroy any aspects of our exterior lives.  We go on being “strong” just as we’ve been taught, trying to remain unaffected and forever ignoring our interior lives.  We become addicted to any assortment of unhealthy and even healthy things to keep ourselves from feeling what is going on inside of us.

Meanwhile, the repressed aspects of ourselves continue their mission of emancipation, hoping to become one with us once again.  Their means are very clever indeed.  These repressed aspects bring us into situations that will reflect and illuminate their state of repression; draw us to causes, legitimate or not, that reflect their cause; and cast our judgment at those whose actions somehow mirror our actions toward them.

Western society, with it’s dependence upon all things left-brained and it’s constant debasing of all things right-brained, has rendered us so incapable of understanding our interior lives that we are left to blame any and all of our pain and misfortunes on external factors.  We routinely buy into the belief that other people, events and circumstances have victimized us.

I suffered from depression off and on for many years. At nine years old, I became cognizant of my pain and started trying to alleviate my pain by various means.  By the time I was a senior in high school I realized that none of those means, among them athletics, playing music, religion, girls, and doing well in school, had helped.

It was then that I took a psychology class and was convinced that psychology held the answers for me.  Thus began a lifelong interest in psychology. Not long after graduating from high school I worked with a professional psychologist for one year. While the therapy succeeded in righting my ship toward adulthood, it did little in the way of bringing me the answers, in getting to the roots of my depression, that I was so yearning.  From then on until my hitting rock-bottom at age 27, I continued reading several psychology and self-help books and fruitlessly trying to psychoanalyze myself. Despite these efforts, my depression had only worsened.

A few months after my 27th birthday, my depression staged a powerful, all-out offensive front taking me to new depths and immobilizing me there.   It rendered me a hostage to a mind I no longer had control of. Functioning in everyday life had become quite a challenge.  My sister urged me to try professional therapy again, but after ten years of unsuccessfully turning to psychology for answers, I held little hope that a professional therapist could help. In fact, with no success to show for all of the time and energy I had put in to my healing, I had lost hope that there were any answers.

But the thought of continuing to live the way I had been living was absolutely unacceptable, and despite the loss of hope, I knew that suicide was not an answer.  I finally vowed to do whatever I had to do in order to truly heal.

I set aside all of my other goals and began what was to become a three-year journey – the journey of the dark (k)night.  It was a dreadful but amazing time in my life.  It was absolutely the toughest phase I have ever gone through in my life.  Not surprisingly, it was also the most profoundly impacting phase of my life, rivaled only by becoming a father. I can not imagine having lived the last 20 years of my life still suffering from the pain and depression I was suffering when I began the journey.

The first six months were very tough, but eventually things began to click, and synchronicity began routinely showing its face right on cue.  I don’t subscribe to any definitions or character portraits of God these days, but it has been my experience that there is an all-knowing, magical, mystical energy that understands and affects life.  I call this God.  Whether it is the work of a conscious, all-knowing being or whether it is a product of quantum physics, or both, or neither, I don’t know.  What I do experientially know is that it is present and functioning.  On my healing journey, my experience was that God would not heal me (despite my begging and my pleas), but that God would show me what I needed to do to heal myself.

Over this three-year journey, I was lead to some incredible people and sources of information that were instrumental to my healing. An open mind and a discerning heart were requisite.  The people ranged from a traditional licensed psychologist to people on the fringes of the healing arts and many in between.  The sources of information ranged from books, lyrics, lectures, radio shows, overhearing a few words from a nearby conversation, a transient’s off-the-cuff remarks, to a voice that spoke to me one night for three hours while meditating.

There were a few experiences in my healing journey that were monumental.  The first was giving up my victimhood.  Most of the world’s major philosophies and religions, including Christianity, sight the principle of “free will”.  According to this principle, everything in our lives is of our own will.  How could that be?  Who in their right mind would choose to experience the situations that cause us great pain and suffering?  No one it seems.  But the realm of the eternal and spiritual that this principle comes from operates differently than the realm of the here and now and of our little minds.

When I first heard the principle of free will I was twelve years old.  I had come down with a bad cold on the very day I was to go on a fishing trip with my cousin and uncle.  My father saw how upset I was that I would miss the trip and explained the principle of free will.  Yes, he told me that I got sick because I wanted to!  That really angered me and as soon as he got his posterior out of my room I began gathering evidence to prove that the principle of free will was a bunch of poppycock.

My anger began to grow.  By the time I was ready to formally address the jury in my head with the overwhelming evidence that would surely repudiate my father’s claim I was furious.  Then something hit me, something in my gut.  I knew that somehow, on some level or another, there was something true about what he had said.

It was another sixteen years before I was able to fully embrace the principle of free will.  I became aware not only of how often I played the victim, but of how much easier it was to be the victim…or so I thought!

Well into my healing journey, now 29, I had an experience that helped me realize the truth of the principle of free will on a deeper level.  While working with a gifted massage therapist who used several different methods to induce self-awareness, I found myself transported back to a bizarre but blissful, spiritual place.  I was talking to God or a spirit guide about some of the lessons I wanted to learn in life.  Somehow I knew I was revisiting a place I had been to before coming into this life.  Upon describing the setting to the massage therapist she told me “Oh…you’re in the place of planning”.  The spirit guide and I were discussing the major lessons I wanted to learn in the upcoming lifetime. At one point I told the guide I wanted to learn how to unconditionally love someone that had caused me great pain.  Another spirit then came over and volunteered to be the someone who would cause me great pain.

An incredible thing then occurred.  A tingly pain had resided in my gut since I was nine years old.  It was usually unnoticeable but under certain circumstances it would become moderately painful.  As soon as I had thanked the spirit who volunteered to cause me great pain, I felt that pain lift out of my gut and out of my body and float away.

I felt a shift throughout all the levels of my being. The truth of this healing resonated through my entirety.  This was definitely a monumental moment not only in my healing journey but in my life.  The hopelessness I had been harboring after years and years of
unsuccessfully searching for healing suddenly disappeared.

This deeper understanding of the principle of free will would pave the way for my experiencing several deep, true and tangible healings over the next two years.  Realizing my free will and accepting responsibility for it was incredibly empowering.  The truth of it set me free.

After this healing experience, I was extremely blissful for several days.  In fact, I thought and hoped I had found the healing I had been long searching for and could now get back to my normal life and goals etc.  What I didn’t know was there was a legion of repressed, injured, festering aspects of myself that were now lining up to settle things with me.

It is akin to the following scenario:  An event at a sports arena has just ended. As the spectators are exiting, all of the exits are suddenly locked shut, trapping all of the unfortunately remaining people inside.  For years these people remain stuck, scattering to different parts of the now dark building hoping to find or make their way out.  One day a door briefly opens, allowing one spectator to get out before the door quickly closes.  The flash of light from the open door briefly illuminates the entire arena, and all of the spectators then rush toward that door in hopes it will soon open again.

Sure enough, about five days later I began to feel strangely agitated – the agitation I now know to be the first sign of an old, unexpressed aspect of myself making its way into the subconscious, where with some help and prodding it will soon pierce consciousness.

Reluctantly, and frankly with no other options, I renewed my vow to remain on my healing journey until my pain and depression were gone.  I continued to find people who had been where I was trying to go – who could actually teach experientially what I needed to learn about healing.

I was about 17 months into my healing journey by this time.  Though my depression had lightened up a bit, I continued going through a very intense period of fully experiencing and expressing my pain.  As long as I continued to do this, my depression declined to storm my brain and manipulate its chemistry to the point of inescapable obsessive thinking and not being able to sleep.

How many times have you seen “create wealth”, “live the life you want” and other self-help book themes in which success is dependent upon the reader thinking a certain way?  These books preach “You have to change your thinking”, “Think only positive thoughts”, or “Purge your mind from any and all negative thoughts” but either give no means or an ineffective page or two on how to go about changing your thinking.  Changing your thinking is one of the toughest challenges in life!  Fortunately, it is the one thing in life you have absolute domain over.

The mind thinks the way it does for a reason.  The unconscious uses thinking to draw attention to what one is in need of giving attention to. Thinking is very stubborn.  It will not change until oneself has changed.  If one wants to change his or her own thinking, one must first make the changes one’s thinking is trying to get one to make.

My depression was largely due to a backlog of emotions I had failed to express.  Surprisingly, some of these repressed emotions were of a positive nature, such as joy and love.  The biggest culprits for me, however, were sorrow, grief, and truthfully expressing myself to others.

I had learned at a young age that crying was wrong.  One parent told me I had no reason to be sad. The other parent told me how much it hurt to see me sad.  So, to the best of my ability, I didn’t cry…I unknowingly repressed one of the vital aspects of the self: one’s sorrow.  The funny thing is, I was always sad.  Even when I was happy, I was always a bit sad.  I couldn’t figure out why I was sad or what I was sad about, I was just sad.  I felt guilty about my being sad, as I had learned it was wrong to feel sad, that I had no legitimate reason to feel sad, and that my sadness was responsible for making one of my parents sad.  Years of guilt, repressed sorrow, low self-esteem…definitely a recipe for disaster.

During the first few months of my healing journey, the floodgates gave way.  I experienced episodes of intense crying that would last for several hours.  While I didn’t know what I was grieving, somehow I knew I needed to grieve.

The unbearable state of my life and the urging of my sister pushed me to begin working with a licensed psychologist.  Unfortunately, the state of my mind was rendering impossible my following the strategy my psychologist had laid out for me.  She realized how out of control my thinking had become and suggested I go on some kind of medication that would stabilize my thinking and enable me to make some progress.  I was very resistant to this.  I wanted to find real, permanent answers to my depression and not have to rely on drugs to make me feel better.

But my mind was a mess.  It would endlessly and adamantly obsess over the same situations again and again…and again. The lack of control I had over my thinking was mind-boggling.  One night I timed myself to see how long I could think about something other than a situation I kept obsessing about.  I timed myself several times, each time thinking about something fun like surfing, playing music, and even Disneyland.  The longest I could go without the object of my obsession showing up in the surf, at the gig, or at Disneyland, was eight seconds!  In eight seconds or less, my thinking would segue from what I wanted to think about to what my mind wanted me to think about.

My sleep was also in ruins.  No matter what time I got in bed, I couldn’t fall asleep until 1:00 or 2:00 a.m.  No matter how exhausted I was, my mind was buzzing, hyper-alert, re-imagining the situation I had been obsessing about over and over again.  Once I fell asleep, I would wake up three to four hours later as if a bomb had gone off.  In an instant I was hyper-awake, and still obsessing about the same situation.  I would then realize that I really didn’t fall asleep.  I just sort of dozed off while my mind continued rehashing the situation over and over and over again.

After a couple months of making no noteworthy progress with my psychologist, I agreed to try the meds – Prozac to be exact.  I’m very glad I did.  Once I got through the tortuous process of coming on to Prozac, my mind stabilized.  My psychologist and the psychiatrist we worked with (for the meds) were great.  They found the just the right dosage that was high enough to stabilized my mind and my sleep pattern, but low enough that I still felt my pain and grief.

I was on Prozac off and on for one year.  I grieved and grieved and grieved.  Despite my still not knowing what I was grieving, it became clear to me that this grieving was an essential part of my healing.  My reluctance to the grieving process disappeared now that I knew the Prozac would keep me from getting sucked into the endless swirl of depression.

I was extremely lucky to have a support system throughout all of this.  Countless times I cried in the arms of any one of my family members.  Even though I was still holding some of them accountable for my pain, they were graciously there for me.  A support system is imperative for anyone going through the healing process.

Life is like a factory.  A conveyor belt continually transports potentially damaging events to the processing area.  If these issues are not processed a backlog begins to accumulate. Unfortunately, western society does not give us the tools to process our issues.  Instead of teaching us to bravely face our issues, it teaches us to “be brave” and not face our issues – to “be strong” and ignore our issues.

When these issues are processed properly in the first place, chiefly by learning what they are trying to teach us and by properly and totally expressing the emotions these issues trigger, they cease to exist.  But if left unprocessed, they fester internally and permeate every moment of one’s existence from thereon with their essences.  If one decides or is “forced” to go back and rescue these long-repressed aspects of oneself, expression is the first order of duty.

When these repressed aspects begin to bubble up from the unconscious, the pain and agitation is very nebulous.  Merely expressing this pain, however, rolls out the welcome mat.  The pain will eventually use this mat as it steps into consciousness.  Once it makes its way into consciousness, the origins of the pain will begin to become clear.

I used to fall in love with sad women.  At the beginning of my healing journey, the situation my mind was so adamantly obsessing about was yet another pseudo-relationship with a sad woman.  On the chance I would actually get involved with a stable, happy woman I couldn’t handle it.  I’d immediately be off to find a sad woman.  These sad women always took a liking to me at first.  But soon thereafter they would cut off any and all meaningful communication with me and start going out with someone else.  They usually wouldn’t even tell me they were no longer interested in me, much less they were seeing someone else.  I was typically left hanging, hoping in vain the relationship was still on.

So let’s see here.  I had an expansive backlog of repressed sorrow and grief.  I needed to heal the division and become one again with my repressed sorrow and grief.  Meanwhile I kept getting into pseudo relationships with sad women, yearning to become one with them.  Hmmm.  I came into life as we all do with the natural inclination to express sorrow, but then one day I began repressing my sorrow to the best of my ability in order to maintain my parent’s love and approval.  Meanwhile, the women I was attracted to always liked me at first, but would soon give me the silent treatment as they cut me off and sought the love and approval of another guy.  Hmmm.  My repressed sorrow and grief for years vainly hoped to someday gain my attention and acknowledgment.  Meanwhile I, for years, vainly hoped to someday gain the attention and acknowledgment of the sad woman.  Is it possible this relationship pattern was trying to tell me something? Were the sad women just a projection of my own repressed sadness?

The symbolisms that often appear in our exterior lives can be incredibly poignant.  The sad woman pattern was a pattern of mine for years.  I look back and wonder “How could I not have seen this?”  The pain, torture and embarrassment I would have saved myself!

Again, the mind thinks the way it does for a reason.  The worst thing one can do is try to force one’s thinking to change, because it won’t change without its purpose being realized and is likely to eventually become even more of a monster.  Instead, find a healthy, non-harmful way to honor and express it.  Encourage it.  Communicate with it.  Ask it why it is thinking the way it is thinking.  Seek to understand its healing message, its healthy mandate.

These mandates lie below the emotions and the impulses.  They will never instruct one to harm oneself or others, even if one’s emotions, impulses, and fantasies are doing so.  Finding healthy, non-harmful ways to express any potential harmful thinking, emotion, impulse, and/or fantasy, and asking it why it is thinking, feeling, and/or fantasizing as it is will eventually lead to its divulging its purpose and mandate.  When this true mandate is understood, carry it out.  The mind’s thinking will then change.  When the positive purpose of the mind’s negative and/or harmful thinking is realized, the mind will begin to think in more harmonious ways…at least until it embarks on a new mission to draw our attention to another issue within us that needs to be healed!

During my year of being off and on Prozac, I began doing Iyengar Yoga, a form of Hatha Yoga extremely adept at stretching and releasing isolated muscle groups.  This yoga practice went perfectly with my grieving.  Every time I thought I was nearing the end of my grieving process, my yoga practice would get a bit deeper, and up would come a whole new batch of grieving.

For eight years prior to my starting yoga, I had a lower back problem.  My lower back would go out once every one or two months, putting me in bed for one to three days.  Chiropractors and doctors were of no help other than providing some temporary symptom relief.  One doctor even told me I needed surgery.  The yoga instructor had a very different viewpoint.

After my first class, this highly qualified Iyengar Yoga instructor told me back problem was due to my tight hamstrings.  I must have had an unconscious knowledge of what his diagnosis entailed because I did not want to hear this!  He gave me a hamstring-specific stretch and told me that if I did this stretch “religiously” every day and continued to come to class my back would be better in a year.  I felt I had been sentenced to hell.

Turns out I wasn’t that far off! I was more than religious about this…I was hyper-zealous.  And it was hell!  I could barely bend over far enough to touch my knees!  The physical pain involved in the stretching was as much as I could bare.  Then there was the emotional pain.  Waves of grief would usually come up while I was stretching every morning.  If the grief didn’t immediately come up in the morning, it would wait until afternoon, and would show up as anger.  Some trivial event, getting cut off while driving, or rude customer service, would send me into a fit of anger.  I soon learned to go home, roll on the ground or slam my pillow on my bed  or find some other way of safely expressing my anger, and sooner or later the anger would give way to the grief that lay below it.

As I had been learning some great techniques at the time from my therapist about processing emotions, I was able to efficiently deal with the emotions being uncovered by the yoga.  In six months my eight-year back problem was gone.  It was six months of hell but it worked.  My back hasn’t bothered me for 20 years.  There’s a lot of truth to the saying “You gotta go through hell before you get to heaven.”

About 16 months into my healing journey I felt I hit an impasse.  I had reached what I felt were the hallmarks of western therapy: successful psychotherapy and an understanding of the dysfunction in my family (Broken Toys Broken Dreams by Terry Kellogg is a great book on that topic), thorough expression of repressed emotions, apologies from those that I felt had wounded me, and me depression was no longer running my life.

But still obviously present was my deep-seated pain.  It was more present at this point then when I first commit to the journey.  All this hard work and still this unbearable pain.  I didn’t know what to do.  I was again becoming hopeless that I would ever be free from the pain I had so long felt.

The pain was so visible now.  It was on display, like at a museum.  Although I couldn’t yet see it from this point of view, it was if I had been searching for a cherished jewel in an old closet, and after I cleared everything else out of the closet, what I found was a wounded warrior.  There was no longer anything covering the warrior up.  There were no longer any distractions.  There it was in plain but brilliant sight…pain.

I didn’t know what to do at this point.  I had exhausted what I felt all of my options were.  True, I had healed a great deal since the beginning of my journey, but I was still in pain and nowhere near where I wanted to get.  Hopelessness was beginning to set in again.

Soon thereafter, grace began to show its sweet face.  Synchronicity showed up many times, the first instance bizarrely leading me to a childhood neighbor whom I hadn’t seen for 15 years or so.  This woman had just returned from Russia where she was teaching terminal caner patients to hear the voice of their cancer, several of who were healed.  I asked her if the methods she was using would work for depression.  She said “yes” and would soon become the gifted massage therapist that took me not only to the place of planning but played a big part in my healing from depression and one other physical ailment (that is too personal to talk about here!).

Shortly after my “place of planning” experience, now having for the first time an experiential knowing that true, root-level healing, however bizarre, does happen, I recommitted to staying on my healing journey until its completion.

Good thing, because I soon  realized I had a lot more healing – an arena-full – to undergo.  I had been off Prozac for a few months.  I was no longer seeing the licensed psychologist I had worked with, but I continued to utilize her strategy of eating well, exercising, journaling and writing with my left hand (another great book: The Power Of Your Other Hand by Lucia Capachionne), and “pulling weeds”.

The journey soon connected me to several different people in the healing arts who were incorporating into their practices an awareness of the different steps involved in the healing process.  What once was a scary, frustrating and foreign process was soon to become a conscious, efficient, effective and even somewhat routine process.

One incredibly empowering characteristic of the healing process is that it happens within, completely independent of anyone else. The healing takes place regardless of the actions or lack of actions of those being held accountable.  Receiving apologies from and getting closure with those being held accountable has no bearing on true healing.

Have you ever complained of something that happened to you in the past, and had someone say to you something like “It’s not happening to you now.  Get over it!  Why are you still complaining about it?”  That’s a semi-valid question.  It’s not the negative incident that is still causing us pain.  It’s how we continue to react to it.  In our present lives.  The pain is due to the adjustments and changes we made and continue to implement within ourselves in response to the incident.

This became clear to me during the second true healing episode I experienced.  Having read several books by this time on family dynamics, I had a good understanding of the dynamics present in my family during my childhood.  While having this knowledge was very important, it did nothing to lessen the pain I was feeling.  I had even had productive conversations with each of my parents about my childhood and the issues I was holding them accountable for.  They even apologized. While these conversations did bring us closer and resolved several issues, they did nothing to lessen the pain.

One day, I began to feel the nebulous agitation that usually accompanies a painful, repressed aspect of myself making its way from the unconscious to the subconscious in its hopes for conscious resolution and reconnection.  Over the next few days I did what I had to, emotionally and physically, to express this fuzzy, vague pain.  It slowly became more defined until it became a tangible entity I could see and feel in my body.

I began to talk with this entity, but typical for this stage, it wouldn’t respond.  After years and years of my repressing this entity, why would it trust me?  But I continued talking to it, making known my earnest desire to hear what it had to tell me. Eventually, it started talking.  It was my repressed sorrow and grief, expressing how furious it was that I had chosen to repress it.  As I had by this time been faithfully expressing my backlog of repressed sorrow and grief for about two years, it occurred to me I had finally reached the bottom of the backlog pile.  (Of course, there were many other backlogs of different emotions and other issues I would soon deal with.)

Strangely, as I became more and more aware of this voice’s physical presence in my body, I also become aware of a physical separation between it and me.

I explained to this voice of my grief and sorrow that my parents did not like me crying.  It said “Parents?  What the hell are parents?! No!  You decided to shut us up!”  “No.  You don’t
understand.  My parents wouldn’t let me cry!”  I said.  It replied “No!  You don’t understand.  You chose not to cry!”

This arguing went on for a while.  Then it hit me…These interior aspects of the self have no concern for or understanding of anything outside of the self.  To the residents of the inner world, the external world is but a bizarre abstraction at best.  The only thing my repressed sorrow and grief understood was that I, the ultimate ruler of my inner world, had chosen to repress them.

The truth of this reverberated through my core.  I had failed myself.  I had failed to honor and express a vital part of myself.  I then broke down, accepted responsibility for my actions, and began apologizing profusely and with all of my sincerity.  I begged and begged my repressed grief for forgiveness.  Once it believed my sincerity, it said it would forgive me on the condition I would always be true to my sorrow and grief, expressing them whenever they needed to be expressed.

As I agreed to this, I felt that vital aspect of myself that is in charge of expressing sorrow and grief become one with me.  The separation between us disappeared.  An incredibly blissful and harmonic shift occurred on all levels of my being, my physical body, my emotional body, my mind and my spirit.  The truth of this was absolute.

The bliss lasted for about, well, three or four days, when a new, different agitation then began resonating within me.  The process was starting anew, but with a different resident of my interior that had also been long repressed.

I went through this process many times over the next year, reclaiming many of the parts of myself I had repressed.  Some of these had been repressed since childhood, but many of them weren’t repressed until my teens and twenties.  Among them were not only repressed emotions, but aspects of myself I repressed due to my need to be accepted by friends, peers, women, teachers, relatives and society in general.

These episodes of true, ultimate healing would always occur when I became one with the aspect of myself I had long been repressing.  The process leading up to this unification was usually the same:  A nebulous agitation from within; my expressing this agitation; the agitation focusing into a tangible entity; my proving my desire to hear what the entity had to tell me; the entity talking to me and my listening to it; my apologizing and asking for forgiveness; the entity telling its conditions for forgiveness; my sincerely agreeing to adhere to the conditions; and blissful unification. (Two great books on this process: The 12 Stages of Healing: A Network Approach to Wholeness by Donald M. Epstein and Nathaniel Altman; Holodynamics: How To Develop And Manage Your Personal Power by Dr. Vernon Woolf.)

This series of healing experiences brought my understanding of the principle of free will once again to a deeper level.  The pains inflicted on us by other people and external circumstances pass on their own, but the pain we inflict on ourselves in response to these situation does not go away until we make the proper amends within ourselves.

About 20 years have passed since my journey of the dark (k)night basically ended.  Just as life goes on, the factory is still open, the conveyor belt is still running, and the events and resulting issues that need to be processed are ongoing.  Finding healthy ways to honestly and fully express these issues prevents them from leaving any long-lasting pains.

Occasionally a long-repressed aspect of myself that I failed to get to while going through the backlogs shows up.  When I sense this happening, I immediately throw out the red carpet to welcome a long, lost part of myself back home.  I usually get through the entire process with ease and efficiency, but not always.  There are always those lessons that seem to require great lengths of time to be taught correctly.

While my life isn’t perfect these days, it is exponentially better than it was before I went on the journey.  I still have issues, some I ‘m aware of and some I’m not, but they no longer enslave me the way they used to.  My healing journey was by far the most challenging thing I have done in my life.  I’m ever thankful for the positive impacts it has sewn over the remainder of my life.

I was inspired to write this by the many people I have encountered while on the journey and since then who are suffering as I once was.  My experience encourages me to pass on these suggestions to those suffering:

  • Get professional help.  Don’t be ashamed or afraid of it.  If you don’t have the money there are probably programs in your area that can help.  Again, don’t be ashamed or afraid of asking.
  • Express yourself.  Find safe and healthy ways to express your feelings…It is fundamental to healing.  Expression is the bridge to consciousness.  The more you can express something the more likely you’ll be able to heal it.
  • Reach out to others.  A support system is critical to healing.  You must talk to people.  Yes, you’ll freak some people out, but eventually you will connect with those who will be a part of your healing’s foundation.
  • Reach in to yourself.  Delve into your interior world.  Learn the language of the unconscious.  Write down your noteworthy dreams.  Interact with the characters and objects in your dreams.  Broadcast a message to the aspects of yourself you are not in harmony with and tell them that you want to make amends.  As you establish your sincerity and trustworthiness, these aspects will begin to talk with you.
  • Give up your victimhood.  Giving up your victimhood is very hard, scary even, but as long as you believe you’re a victim, you’ll continue to be one.  In addition, you’ll continue to draw victimizing situations into your life that will give you satisfactory reason to believe you really are a victim.  Stop giving your personal power away. Fully and completely accept the principle of free will into your life.  Even if the principle of free will is not true embracing it WILL empower you to heal.  Would you rather be happy or would you rather be right?
  • Don’t wait around for God to heal you – it probably won’t happen.  Instead, listen for and follow God’s advice and direction as to what you need to do to heal yourself.  God talks in an infinite variety of ways that you are capable of hearing and understanding.  Just be open to it…Let God out of the shoebox.
  • Inform yourself.  Read books, listen to programs, and go to lectures about healing.
  • Learn the language of the unconscious.  Read books by masters of the subject such as Joseph Campbell and Robert Johnson.
  • Pay attention to your thinking and your life.  Look for the symbolic messages that the repressed aspects of yourself are sending you via your mind, your health, your judgments, the causes you’re drawn to, your fantasies and dreams, and your exterior life’s situations and relationships.
  • Be open minded and consider/explore/follow up on any guidance that shows up in your life/intuition.

And remember:

  • Your world won’t change until you do.  Changing your world is usually futile.  Changing yourself is always fruitful, and your world usually follows suit.

Most importantly know: Healing Happens!  


If you find anything in this essay beneficial please share a link to it with anyone or on any platform you’d like. Thank you.


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