4 Lessons on Spiritual Healing and Standing in Your Power
When spiritualists refer to shadow work, they’re talking about the process of bringing to light the parts of your consciousness that have been buried or “locked away”. In short, shadow work is learning to expose and accept everything you have ever felt shame for thinking or feeling. To begin to heal burdened problems that have evoked anger, guilt, disgust, shame, or grief.
I have a lot of Virgo, Libra, and Scorpio influence in my natal chart (I’m a huge astrology and numerology enthusiast!), along with a heavy influence of the number 9 in my full numerology report. What does that mean? I chose to come into this life to learn the lesson of self-worth. To learn what it means to teach and inspire worldly change, by mastering self-validation.
How have these lessons of self-worth manifested in the physical world?
My journey of invalidation began early childhood. I didn’t have a relationship with my father. In our few exchanges, he’d give me money and tell me he loved me. Eventually, at the age of three, I moved to Miami with my mom and our conversations ensued on the phone here and there for several years. Our phone dialogue was never deep or personal. I typically avoided his phone calls because I detested the shame I felt in not being able to give into his self-validation. His violent alcoholism and its effect on my family unit, specially my mother, never rested easy in my mind.
My trek through the self-guided invalidation of myself deepened when my mom decided that the best way she could give and care for her family was by marrying someone that could provide financial stability. The person she married did not live in the country, so as much as she knew how to be a provider then, she asked my sister and I to go with her. Mansions, and material gains galore were all ours if we went with her! But, we rejected. We didn’t see a life outside of what we had already built in Miami. In addition, her decision happened right after several years of abuse that was sexual in nature, which made her a mother seemingly unable to protect her children.
It’s been almost a decade since my mom has been back my life. The living, breathing, physical manifestation of my deepest pain and fears was placed right in face. So, what did I do? I partied. I planned, organized, and executed with absolute attention to detail every part of my “Oh nooo, this is my life and it sucks, no one understands what I’m going through, wahh, I’m completely helpless” party. In addition to being in a relationship that was immensely social (I did attend many parties there. Actual parties with booze and stuff, along with the pity ones I became really good at as well), thereby triggering multiple facets of the self-beliefs that convinced me I had to grab everything and everyone around in a chokehold because my life and value depended on it.
I was so crippled by the illusion that I was deserving of abandonment, that I couldn’t trust those closest to me, and that I was only valuable to others if I did something for them, thereby, validating my self-worth. I held everything outside of myself responsible for my healing.
FAST FORWARD AGAIN.
What are some things I’ve learned? What lessons can I share from my ongoing journey of healing that have helped me see through the shame, guilt, resentment, and self-doubt?
Lesson One: Shame is not yours to carry
The truth is, you are a victim. Just as my father’s alcoholism and absence, my mother’s decision to leave, and a sex addicts inability to respect my boundaries are not my fault. You are not at fault for the ill choices of others.
Although the consequences of their decisions can carry immeasurable weight, here’s a sobering thought: their shame is not yours to carry. Riding yourself of shame does not mean you won’t get triggered when a situation your brain processes as threatening sends signals to your body to enter fight or flight mode. Riding yourself of shame means being compassionate with yourself. It’s bringing awareness to understanding that these feelings don’t belong to your present self.
So, suppressing or resisting them is invalidating the child in you that once needed validation. The child in you that wanted compassion and nurturing. Which leads to…
Lesson Two: Be compassionate with your wounded inner child
Relieving the load of shame, is freeing yourself. It’s taking back your power to heal the child in you. To tap into this ethereal you. The you that once existed in this timeline and was given an age because we as humans created a notion that time exists and its finite. The past you that feels so real regardless of how much “time” passes. The you that pulls and yells for attention, making it difficult to divert your attention to the present.
Taking back your power is accepting that version of you as an integral part of you, and choosing to give the wholeness that your heart has cultivated in the present to heal the timeline that created the illusion that you aren’t worthy of love.
This is a process, and it happens little by little. Meditate, it helps bring to consciousness thoughts that control us and we’re not aware of.
It’s in the small moments in which you chose to tell yourself “I see you hurt, it’ll pass” instead of “You ought to be ashamed of yourself for feeling this way, and it’s never going away”.
When you came into this life, the consciousness that was the child you once were, was so in tune with a larger knowing that it didn’t have a doubt your future self would go back to help that little kid. So instead of criticizing and ignoring the wound trying to resurface, speak to it kindly and give that wounded child the nurture and compassion it’s screaming for. Because I can assure you, that the more you push it away and pretend it’s not there, the louder it’ll scream.
Lesson three: Take responsibility
Sometimes, we end up in situations that aren’t always the most conducive to our healing. Places that were once safe, can undoubtedly become hazardous and toxic. Even environments that never turn “bad” have their expiration date. That’s why it’s important to tune in, and pay attention to your feelings.
Take note of how you truly feel being around certain people, engaging in certain activities, or spending time in specific locations. Be honest with yourself.
Without applying logic or reason, ask yourself how do I feel? Can you be your authentic self around the people you surround yourself with? Are the activities you spend time on expanding your repertoire of skills in a way that’s rewarding? How do you feel when you sit by yourself in your room?
Those are all important questions to ask yourself and most importantly, answer truthfully.
Taking responsibility for your healing is all about choosing to do the things and be around the people that enable your healing. Taking responsibility is huge because it enables you to take back your divine power. The power to choose your well being because feeling good is important to you.
Taking responsibility for your healing is accepting that you don’t have to take someone else’s power away in order to feel yours.
Lesson four: Do things that bring joy to your life
A proverb: “The body heals with play, the mind heals with laughter, and the spirit heals with joy”.
Simple as that, right? In order to do the things that bring joy to our life, we first need to identify what joy is.
Joy is feeling good, and excited to be experiencing a moment. Joy is giving up resistance to what is. Joy is diving into a moment with so much surrender, that you feel the magnificence of what is. Joy is walking lightly through difficult emotions, because that’s how we transcend them.
So go outdoors, take a walk in the park, swim in the ocean, hang out with a child, listen to an elderly person’s life story, dance to your favorite song by yourself and let loose, read, write, cook for someone, give out food to someone in need. The list is endless! Just move, move, move, move in whatever way you can- because motion is energy.
Here’s a link to a list of 100 small things you can do to bring joy to your life (and that only covers a small percentage of the bunch): http://www.wisebread.com/100-small-things-that-can-bring-you-joy