While doing a guided meditation and journaling on relationship and inner wounds, I was awed to discover an unforeseen block that actually held me back from intimacy. Part of me couldn’t believe that with all the transformational work I have done, that this new piece of the story had remained unclear to me as a key to what I actually want to experience in partnership!
I am far from perfect and have plenty of room to grow. What I have become quite good at is being really tender and caring with myself when something arises, loving myself as an evolving human and not judging that I have a wound, and taking the time to journey within to understand and heal it. As always, I feel tremendous satisfaction and profound awe when this happens. Plus, I really like doing this work.
But this missive isn’t really about healing wounds or relationships with others. It’s about how we treat ourselves while we are going through a challenge, and the reminder that we are worthy of the best care we can give ourselves, especially when something really uncomfortable comes up.
One of the most surprising things I learned this time, as I was peeling back the layers, was a feeling of shame I carried about what had happened long ago, even though I thought that I handled the experiences at the time with great integrity and clarity, and took care of myself very well on a physical level. I never talked about it, I never told anyone, mostly based on a need to protect others. This shame, or any other emotions we tend to bury, is complex and deep and will drive our actions in life whether we want them to or not, even if we have done some really good inner work. Compassion arose immediately for myself and also others, and especially for young people who simply don’t have the maturity to navigate certain waters and interpret events without distortion. So many life decisions are made, often over and over and over again, that keep us from having what we actually want because we have lost our trust.
All too often though, we can get down on ourselves, judge ourselves, beat ourselves up for letting things happen to us or making “stupid” mistakes. We can even feel we deserved it on some level because of our actions. And if we judge ourselves harshly every time something deep comes up, well, maybe we just won’t go deep anymore. Maybe we’ll just block ourselves off from actually learning and growing and healing because we will just end up hating ourselves over it.
There is another way. We can become a type of inner mentor who chooses an approach that invokes kindness, curiosity, compassion, thoughtfulness, courage, and a gratitude that we have the inner resources to clear this from our psyches and hearts so that we can live in greater trust and openness. We can actually become good at and comfortable with the territory of healing ourselves. Because that’s how we win with ourselves. We can’t win when we feel shame and mistrust. We can’t win when we are afraid we are bad or wrong or shameful on a deeper level. We have simply misinterpreted and have not made choices that are more aligned with the beauty of who we really are. Those wounds are a part of our beauty, they are there for good reason, and they can be treated with respect and care and a deep reverence for what they actually have to teach us, so that we can become better human beings.
One of my wonderful teachers said that we don’t have to go looking for the problems to heal, life will present itself to us and issues will also present themselves, and that’s when we can apply the loving touch to our healing, so that we can really live a life of our choosing. We are the ones who deserve our most sincere forgiveness.
We have a magnificent inner world that is equipped to heal anything and live happy lives. And when moments happen when we say, “Holy Crap!,” we can go to a profoundly loving and open place with ourselves that can navigate us from the stormy sea right into safe harbor.