I’ve done a LOT of work on emotional self-healing.
I started to feel like something was wrong with my life when I was fourteen or fifteen, and started searching for answers. They were answers to an undefined question, a question that I can only describe as a wordless angst, a need to fill a void.
It took me a long time to find productive ways of channelling this impulse. I took a lot of false turns. I mean “Columbus discovering America rather than India” kind of false turns. I went down the wrong paths for years.
Walking backwards can eventually take you forwards, though, and despite making my condition worse, I also learned the valuable lesson of how NOT to do things. I eventually came to be more and more skilled at the art of self healing and personal development, and at last came to find answers or at least satisfaction.
Now I know that that void was there because I had a load of unfulfilled needs and unhealed pain in me. To heal this I had to grapple with what it meant to be human, and what it meant to be me. For instance, I discovered I was an indigo child, and had a special need for a more sensitive kind of company that could see me as I was. I also discovered, surprisingly enough, that I was transgender, and that was a whole other can of worms we won’t get into this time. (Click “read by category” at the top of this website if you want to explore more on that topic).
I had to learn to understand feelings, and understand the mind-body-spirit as a whole rather than separate pieces. When I was younger, I thought I was my brain. I didn’t understand that my energy permeated the whole of my body. I didn’t know the interesting fact that people who have organ transplants often start having certain different personality traits which match those of the people who donated their organs. Nor did I understand that I had an aura, or a spirit. I didn’t get that I was all of that.
As I learnt to understand my mind-body-spirit better, I began to move my focus away from my thinking and more into my body. You can feel emotions and even thoughts in parts of your body. When I’m aware enough, I can see a emotionally charged thought flit across my mind and a part of my body contract at the exact same time. When I find it hard to deal with an emotion on a purely mental level, I might locate it in my body and do EFT, massage, or focus exercises. Dealing with the body can have a knock on effect on the mind.
Having an awareness of energy is also rather powerful. Some people who dislike paranormal ideas will balk at this concept, or think that it’s just a sort of metaphor. I think it is more than a metaphor though. For instance, I found it quite important to pull my energy down into my body, as I was too ungrounded, and to contract it a little, because it was too expansive and tended to fly out of my body and mix with other people’s energy. My body needed the energy to be healthy, so it wasn’t good to send it out everywhere.
I learnt about negative energy and positive energy. If you are sensitive, you can see these qualities in your mind’s eye; negative energy appears black, dense, and sticky, while positive energy is lighter and freer. I made a conscious attempt to move towards positive energy, for instance by avoiding unnecessary arguments or strife, by trying to move towards positive thoughts, and to avoid lingering in thoughts and situations that made me feel bad. Over time, and with a long process in healing, I started to get to the point where external negative energy would affect me much less, as I was on another “plane” so to speak.
For instance, it used to be a lot easier to be drawn into arguments. Now, I sometimes find myself laughing when someone is making an obvious attempt to drag me into a gratuitous conflict. Not a harsh sort of laugh; just a natural laugh, because the situation seems so absurd from where I’m standing. The other person can’t see what I see, though, because the negative energy is strong enough that it blinds them. I know that the best way to help them is to stay unaffected, because if I fall into negative energy myself I will reinforce their negative energy. Negative energy needs the presence of other negative energy to survive, that’s why unhappy people do their best to make other people unhappy.
I think these big-picture issues are a necessary basis for any emotional self-healing process. I can’t imagine making progress on self-healing if I didn’t understand the dynamics of negative energy vs. positive energy, for instance. If I completely ignored these dynamics, I might let myself get into a cycle of hatred, perhaps by joining some negatively oriented activism and spending years raging against the machine. So long as I did that, I don’t think I could ever really heal. When you’re in a general negative state, old pain and darkness just sticks to you. When you’re in a general positive state, you slough it off; the old darkness no longer has a hold. It’s like waking up from a bad dream and discovering the dream was never real anyway.
Meditation is an important tool in my self-healing process. By meditation, I don’t necessarily mean just the sitting-in-the-lotus-position kind of meditation, though there is a place for that. I think meditation has to be have a wide scope if it is to be meaningful. If you are in a positive state while sitting on a cushion but then get up and return to negative life, what use is it? Real meditation continues throughout your whole day. The cushion part is just a practice for maintaining a positive state later on.
The essence of meditation, for me, is held in Eckhart Tolle’s book The Power Of Now. I’ve read other books with similar messages, but so far I’ve never found a book that was as powerful, as relevant, as on-point as this one. Simply, it shows you how to move towards positive energy and away from negative energy, though perhaps such a plain sentence belies its actual power when you open the book and feel the words for yourself.
In my obsessive days, I thought that The Power Of Now was all I needed. I now know that to no longer be true. There are many ways to heal, many aspects to the process, and that can’t be contained by a single book. Actually, I think it’s much healthier for me to flow with things rather than obsessing over a single book or way of doing things. Even so, it’s true that The Power Of Now set the groundwork for my healing process.
The other basis for my healing process was trust in the Universe. Does this sound kooky to you? I’m certain it would have sounded kooky to me once too, but even so right now I understand it as nothing but the most practical of information.
How does trust in the Universe help you?
Well, when we trust in the Universe, we know that the Universe has our best interests in mind and is bringing us what we need to heal, when we need it. When we don’t trust in the Universe, however, we might keep running against walls trying to do everything ourself, despairing because we can’t work out what to do, or ignoring our intuition or the natural flow of things. Our best chance for healing is to work in partnership with the Universe, not against it or ignoring it.
When you don’t know what to do, just hold a place of peace and stillness inside of yourself. Dark energy is scared of peace and stillness, and might try to convince you that you need to keep running, keep working, in order to avoid that stillness. Instead, if you can, try to hold the stillness. In that place, inspiration can come.
Without stillness, we are like a person who keeps talking on and on without giving the other person a chance to speak. (Some people are literally like this). With stillness, we give the Universe a chance to speak, so to speak.
To try out a different metaphor, let the ball be in the Universe’s court for a moment. Wait, and see what the Universe brings you, or what inspiration will come. Then, when it feels like the timing is perfect, when you feel inspired, you can take further action to heal yourself. Or, perhaps what you need will come straight to you.
As I said, I used to think The Power of Now was everything and I was proven wrong. Actually, at that time I wasn’t trusting the Universe. When I learnt to trust the Universe, many different things came to me in different moments, each perfect for an individual aspect of my healing process.
I tried out a lot of different healing techniques and disciplines. After mixing and matching, I found aspects of those disciplines that were useful to me, and sort of blended them into my own style of emotional self healing. Nowadays I often use my own style of healing almost subconsciously, having forgotten the process I’ve gone through to learn these skills.
When I find a negative pattern in myself, I try to become aware of it. In fact, finding it in the first place is the first victory. When you can see your negative pattern, it’s the first step to being able to choose a different pattern.
Then, I don’t fight it. Fighting a pattern only brings in negative energy, and as you know by now, negative energy reinforces negative energy. Don’t judge your pattern, don’t struggle with it, don’t beat yourself up if you fall prey to it, don’t think that it makes you an awful person. Actually, I’m trying hard to learn to see people not as assholes or bad people but as people who might do harmful things sometimes. Being able to look at other people this way allows me to look at myself this way. Even if I have done harm or continue to do harm, I am still a beautiful person, and more importantly the harm I do doesn’t define me. Through it all, I am okay.
This also goes for patterns which harm no one but yourself. Beating yourself up changes nothing. Be permissive, and let yourself engage in the self-destructive patterns, not because you want to engage in them, but simply because beating yourself up over them doesn’t change them. In fact, it reinforces them, as negative energy feeds negative energy.
So, awareness of the pattern is the first step. If you can be aware of a pattern, it will actually already start to change from the awareness alone. If you give it stillness and space and avoid judgement or struggle, then it will change even faster.
What I do do, is make an intention for a pattern to change. This is often short, simple, and wordless. I understand that with this intention both my subconscious and my superconscious (the Universe) will get to work. This is often enough for it to change, or perhaps after a few repetitions it changes. Sometimes, the Universe will bring me a resource or a life event to catalyse it into changing.
I often go into my body and aura, feel the pattern there as an energy or a sensation, and inquire into it. This comes into the form of a wordless question, “What positive purpose do you serve?” “What do you need?” “How can I return you to a healthy balance within my overall being?”. For instance, the impulse to lash out at somebody might have something to do with the fact that your emotions have not been recognised. If you can inquire into the impulse and understand it, you can stop the negative pattern and get the recognition you need.
Sometimes, to make a pattern clearer it might be good to write it down. I like to do this when my thoughts become repetitive, going over the same problems again and again without gaining any further inspiration. Writing something down has the effect of getting it out of my head, ending the thought-loop, and often puts it into a different perspective. Very often the act of writing is enough, and I never come back to read what I wrote.
I also engage in the practice of spiritual Alchemy. That practice requires an article in itself, so if you’re interested, just click the link. In short, Alchemy involves in identifying processes in yourself and “abetting” them by leaning into them rather than struggling against them. With this path, your life becomes an alchemical laboratory – your processes get taken out into the open, where they can transform. Meditating, on the other hand, is a different path; it’s much more controlled. In practice, I like to mix and match, though Alchemy appeals to me because it involves engaging in life rather than cloistering oneself.
I’ve healed myself by sharing my shame (a link to Steve Pavlina’s blog); by which I mean, telling people about the things in my past I was ashamed about. The act of sharing itself causes the shame to be lessened, and for the past to take on a different perspective. I started sharing my shame in response to reading the linked article, and told and retold my story many different times. The culmination of this is my book, Stubborn Soul, which will be self-published very soon. Interestingly, being vulnerable like this seems to inspire and maybe heal others as well. It’s rather a win-win proposition.
There are so many other tools I use. Occasionally I might play with NLP submodalities. Or EFT. Or reiki. I might go for a walk with a problem in my mind and imagine that my feet are connecting that energy with the Earth, allowing it to discharge and find its healthier roots. Playing football is therapeutic to me. Or talking about stuff with a friend or lover. Or writing, of course.
Honouring myself is healing. I don’t think I could have gotten so far without accepting myself as transgender and transitioning my identity and my body. It was powerful, too, to discover myself as a writer and speaker, and embrace my need to express myself these ways. How could I really say I healed myself if I had kept those parts of myself locked inside? There is no such thing as healing which doesn’t interface with the real world. I don’t believe in cloisters. Healing should be messy. Healing should be real. If you start looking more like a head-in-the-clouds hippie, if you start giving all this perfect advice from your high horse but don’t actually live it, then you’re not healed, you’re fake. Real healing means getting out and living life.
I engaged in a lot of paths of healing when I started to look for ways of earning money, for instance. What started with a practical need became a reason to learn groundedness, energetic and emotional self dependence, and to heal my pain related to hierarchy and society’s neglect. You could call this Alchemy, actually. A healthy desire (e.g. for adequate money) becomes the fuel and the motivation for inner transformation.
Money has been a big deal for me, and partly the issue is outside me as well as inside, so it’s normal that improving on this matter has taken me a long time. I’ve many times made the intention to the Universe to bring me change in this area, and many times I’ve found the Universe bringing me life experiences which catalysed internal change, making me more grounded, self dependent, and at peace with society. This didn’t bring me money in itself, but it has helped it be much easier for me to move forward.
My biggest emotional trauma in this life is from when my father beat me as a child. I have had nightmares about that for my entire life, though they became fewer as I’ve healed myself. (I think they may be gone now, but it’s too soon to say for sure).
It’s so hard to heal a trauma. It’s an energy lodged in my body, mind and aura, and when I look at it it feels solid, seemingly impossible to move. Still, it is much smaller and less dominant than it used to be.
I talked about my trauma. I wrote about it. Over time, it became more in the open, and less lodged in my subconscious. Awareness healed it. I stopped being consumed by hatred, and started having more space to observe the emotion without it possessing me. This came in steps; first I raged against my trauma so very hard, and later I came to be able to talk about it more calmly.
With time and awareness, I came to have different perspectives on my trauma. When it was completely subconscious, I took the messages of my father’s act (you are wrong, you are horrible, you deserve this) completely on board. When it became conscious, I was able to find new interpretations to some extent. While I think some part of my subconscious still holds onto some of those messages, I’m often now able to see that I am loveable, I am beautiful, and that no one deserves to be abused. I’m at a point where these two perspectives are there, sometimes coming into conflict with each other.
And I was able to define what happened to me as abuse. When the trauma was hopelessly buried in my subconscious, I couldn’t use that word. But not calling it abuse meant that I didn’t believe that it was entirely wrong; I didn’t believe it was entirely wrong to do that to me. When I came to define it as abuse, tentatively at first, and then with more confidence, I gained the power to say that my boundaries are meaningful, that I should be respected, that I should be treated kindly and gently like anyone else. It gave me the power to love myself more.
In dealing with my trauma, I think it helped me to simply move into the light. The more positive energy I expressed, the less my trauma held onto me. It helped to actively shift the negative energy of the trauma, and to shift other negative energies too, as each negative energy reinforces the rest of them. And it helped simply to wake up into a more positive life, where my darkness was a bad dream that no longer had any power over me.
I think ultimately healing for me is a combination of both of two aspects: by raising my general level of positive energy, it makes it easier to let go of negative things. Then, I can do some specific introspection work or use some other technique to kind of shake them loose.
If I’m stuck in an overall state of negative energy, no matter how much specific work I do on a particular pattern, it won’t come loose. But if I raise my general level of positive energy, then I’ll need very little effort. Some patterns might even shake loose by themselves, though I still prefer to do a combination of general energy raising and specific work.
So, these are some of the ways I’ve healed myself. My most basic advice is, start with the intention to heal, and move forward from there. Try out different techniques, but don’t get stuck on a single one. Just keep going, look for the ways you can make progress.
In the end, it is SO worth it. Really, what could be more valuable than doing the work that will allow you to be functional and happy, and help those around you feel good as well? I think it is more than worth spending years on this. As many years as it takes. It may be a daunting prospect, but I think spending your whole life powerless to prevent psychological pain and suffering is much more daunting, if you think about it.