Our healing is not linear: it’s a windy, twisty spiral that invites healing of each little part of ourself along the way, one part at a time.
This is always so interesting to me, because “what’s wrong” or “what’s bothering us” is seldom what’s actually wrong, or actually what’s bothering us: more often than not, something happens to trigger an old and wounded part of us, that invites us to go deeper and heal it too. When something is bothering you, and more than likely causing the icky feelings of anger/resentment/jealousy/anxiety/bitterness, you can be sure you’ve just hit a trigger of something old and otherwise unattended to you that is waving and calling out to go deeper with it.
So go deeper with it. Ask yourself “The story I’m telling myself is…”
These are magic words. We are inundated with and driven by old beliefs, old narratives, and old stories that we inherited or have otherwise been told/picked up along the way. More often than not, we’re not aware that we believe them – or if we even WANT to believe them. So when we are unwittingly triggered by something and start to emotionally freak the hell out, a really simple grounding technique is to prompt yourself with these magic words: “the story I’m telling myself is…” and trace it back as far as you can go, until you get to the root. And THEN ask, “is that story true?”
So for example, “I’m so mad that she is doing better than me. The story I’m telling myself is…that I am not successful. The story I’m telling myself is…that I will never be successful. And if I’m never successful, the story I’m telling myself is…that I don’t have any real value. Wait – is that true? NO! So… do I really care that she’s doing better than me? Or do I focus on what I’m doing now, and what I’m doing next? How can I use her success as an example of an endpoint, and reverse engineer to how I can go step by step and be the success that I want to be, too?” And honestly, most of the time, as if by magic, the anxiety, resentment, dread, jealousy, anger…it floats away.
Our thoughts hold a lot of power, and are driven by our subconscious beliefs. We have to be brave enough to challenge ourselves with these tough emotions if we want to grow and feel/act differently – because challenging them is the only way to figure out where the fear they are based in is coming from.
We learn what we repeat, and what we repeat, we learn. Want to get really good at something? Even my little girls will tell you that “practice makes perfect.” We tend to get better at the stuff that we do over and over again. What’s so POWERFUL here, is that if you are repeating good and healthy patterns, you’re learning great stuff and probably moving forward with a joyful life. But what if what you’re repeating over and over is toxic or unhealthy? You just keep confirming THAT to be true. Which isn’t “great.”
The good news is, to break those old, unhealthy, or unwanted patterns (including for sure patterns of thought as well as behaviour), you replace them with new, healthy, purposeful patterns, and you do them over and over. Then you do them over and over again after that. And you keep doing them UNTIL you have adopted them AS your new pattern.
My friend Dr. Karin calls it flexing a muscle: working it out and building it up to the point at which it’s so damn strong, you don’t even have to think about that heavy lifting anymore, you’re just doing the lifting, and it doesn’t feel heavy.
Our healing is not linear, and that’s ok; it gives us the opportunity to get real with the true dialogue happening in our heads, and find freedom in what we feel deeply is our real truth. And when we get to that freeing place of authenticity, we can start to gain clarity in what we want, confidence in who we are, and the courage to stay true to both.