You know when a realization just smacks you in the face? Recently, I was sitting with my mom and sister by the pool, just hanging out. There was a moment when my mom turned to share something with my sister, and I became so hyper aware of just how far we’ve come since my childhood.
I have two brothers and one sister. My parents divorced when I was 12. The extreme narcissist that was my father left the picture completely. My mom was broke with no career. She bravely moved us down here to Florida to give us a chance for a restart, free from the shadow my father held over us for so long. She hustled, working hard every day so we could survive.
Life was not easy, and we were far from privileged. My mom did what she had to to literally keep the lights on for us, but because she was forced into working long hours, we were often left alone. My sister and I tried to keep in line and not get into too much trouble, but my brothers were a different story. They found solace in the wrong crowd and eventually, their choices led to jail, arrested at different times for drug charges.
So, as I sat by the pool, the sun actually shining on my mom, sister, and I, I couldn’t help, but smile. My heart warmed by the ease of conversation, until my mom turned to tell my sister how proud of her, she was. Now, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t jealous. No, this wasn’t a jealousy situation at all.
My mom continued to praise my sister for becoming the woman she is today, an engineer married to her best friend, despite being an extremely stubborn, rambunctious child. She told her she’s incredible and just so proud. Then she turns and says, “I don’t know how you did it, but somehow you were never affected. I never had to worry about you. You just kept to yourself, and you were so strong.”
I nearly lost it. She triggered me with just a few simple, in her eyes probably praising, sentences. Does she really think I wasn’t affected? Did I hide it that well? I was silenced then.
I kept it in because I had to, not because I wanted to.
Or so I thought, as a child and even into adulthood.
I thought I had to be strong.
I felt like if I wasn’t strong and instead expressed my true emotions, then we’d all crumble.
It took years of suffocating the emotions I bottled so tightly during childhood,
years of denying myself any true happiness,
years of feeling I was just doing life instead of actually living it,
in order for me to truly see what I needed.
I had to heal.
I had to forgive.
I had to let go.
Not at all.
Healing is hard.
Healing is work.
How did I do it? Well first, I didn’t do it on my own. The idea that you can just collect a bunch of information and read the online articles and eventually you’ll just heal yourself is a bunch of bs. It is. I’m not sorry I said it.
Accountability is needed. Support is a must. You need someone who can provide space for you to muddle through all the tough shit and still be there when you wade out the other side. That person might have never experienced what you’re dealing with, but they are there with you, in that space with you, ready with open arms to catch you if you should stumble or a solid boot to give you a little kick if you need that, too.
For me, that person was a life coach. I learned I had to align myself with my purpose. At this point, I didn’t even know WHAT my purpose was. I knew I had one, but with the weight of my childhood bearing down on me, I had no chance of figuring out what that was. I needed to confront and go through what I call now, the 6 phases of healing.
I teach my clients these 6 phases of healing. I have lived them myself. Because of these phases, I was able to look at my mom and let go of the tension she triggered. I was able to have that hard conversation with her, to share with her that I wasn’t strong. I was scared and alone and forced to be the “strong” daughter. I want to pass these phases on to you, so that you may begin your journey towards healing and if you’re ready after you read this to find that stability buddy, I’m here for you. You are never alone.
Here’s your reality check. You can’t change your past. You can’t change what happened. You can’t change your circumstances, BUT you can change how you react to them. You can decide that you are a “no” for allowing your past or for your current situation to dictate your future. You can decide that you are worthy of healing. It’s time to face it head on and accept where you are in your journey, so you can begin taking steps to where you want to be.
It’s time to start saying no, friend. Where do boundaries show up for you? What parts of you feel like you have to be the “yes girl” or the “helper?” Sit down and make a list of all of the things you actually enjoy doing. Start checking off that list! When you are scheduling things on your calendar ask yourself, am I a “hell yes” or a “hell no” for this. Make it a goal to say no to at least one thing every single day!
Acknowledge Your Emotions. All of them.
Yup, even the icky ones. Shame, sadness, grief, worry – all feelings are valid and have a place. When negative emotions arise, instead of self judgement, get curious. What happened prior to these emotions? Write it down. How do you feel about it now? Write it down. You don’t have to worry about what they mean, just acknowledge it exists and know that it truly is okay if sometimes, you are just not okay. Pick yourself up and keep moving because on the other side of those negative emotions are the positive ones waiting for you to embrace them. Oh, and for the love of God, please stop saying “I’m fine” when you simply are not!
Speak Your Truth
You were meant to shine. Full honesty here. You are, in fact, the only you that has existed ever. WHAT? This is madness that you aren’t running around sharing your gifts and talents with the world! It’s time to own your story. What makes you YOU? Because that is so very unique, it’s beautiful. It’s time to get real and raw with yourself.
Connect With Your Inner Self
In order to truly heal from trauma and to move into the next version of you, you have to face… well, you. We each can experience trauma during different stages of our lives. Want to move on? You have to face that past version of yourself. What would you tell your 5-year-old self-who’s hiding in her room or how would you console that angsty teen or what would you do to make that college freshman stop crying every time she looked in the mirror? What would they tell you?
Now before you make a U-turn and run for the hills, let me just get real here. I see you, Betty with your exaggerated eye roll. You must forgive in order to set yourself free. How can you profoundly move past from what hurt you if you continue to hold on to the pain or resentment that brought you here? You can’t. Whatever happened that landed you here, forgiving the person or the situation is not making the thing that happened okay. It’s just saying that you are able to accept it so you can finally free yourself and step into this new life free to be your wholest, truest self.
These are my 6, my biggest 6. I hold them dear to my heart and I hope they are a catalyst in your life. I need you to know this will be hard. You might fall. You might waver. You might want to run from the pain. But I know this – you will not run. You will take the steps because I know you want to heal. I know you will find your way back to your purpose free from past trauma constraints.
And if you are looking for that hand to hold on your journey, I invite you to hop on my waitlist for my upcoming course, Aligned Within. 6 weeks of learning, 6 weeks of accountability, 6 weeks of healing, all to put life back into your life. Just you, me, and a bunch of other sisters on the same journey as you. Click here to join the list and when it opens up, you will be the very first to hear and gain access to a special discount. Plus, just for joining the list, you will receive $100 off and all of the incredible bonus materials.