I am the nerd on the plane reading Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. Wow, this book is captivating and useful. In the early pages, one of the testimonials dives right in, reminding us, simply, that fear and negativity are part of the process of doing anything big; they are challenges to overcome rather than something to stop us in our tracks. What an important reminder!
I started thinking about fear and how it stops us. We’ve all been immobilized by something big we want to achieve. We’ve also all, at one point, pushed through our fear to experience the miracle waiting for us on the other side of what had just petrified us. It’s worth the inquiry: what are we afraid of, and why?
How Trauma Happens
Fear is your ego’s way of keeping you safe.* The dynamic can look something like this: when you are young, you are innocent, and very often running around as a joyful bubble of love. You are connected to source and expressing the energy of your divine essence – and because this energy is so pure, clear, and strong, it can make others feel uncomfortable and even angry, because it is triggering unhealed places in their own energy field.
Inside of this dynamic, someone, most likely an adult, has a negative reaction to your behavior; perhaps you stop what you are doing, perhaps you are even punished. The reaction is huge or it is subtle, and either way it hurts and you feel it deeply. A severe reaction from the adult can cause trauma to the child. This trauma is held in the system until it is addressed and cleared (sometimes decades later). At this point, your ego says, “I am NEVER going to let you get hurt like that again,” and a block is put in place to keep you from expressing yourself in that particular way.
Often times we think of trauma as being big, physical, and dramatic – and yes, sometimes it is. But trauma can also occur on subtle, emotional levels, and this can do as much damage to the psyche as something more physical. Emotional trauma is as real as physical trauma, and often more insidious because the wounds cannot be seen.
The Way Out
The above is a description of how an “original wound” is created. As children, we are bright, innocent, joyful, and self-expressed. Adults in the presence of a child like this can project their own pain onto the child, and make the child feel wrong and even shameful for his behavior – thus causing an emotional wound. As the child grows, and if he is on a healing path, there will come a time when he is called to heal this wound. This is when we are called to face our fears. The part of our sacred essence that was blocked, or frozen, as a result of the childhood trauma is actually an integral part of our whole being.** This energy must flow again; part of our most brilliant expression is buried under the fear that stops us from doing the very thing that we know we must do to be whole adults on our Hero’s and Heroine’s Journey.
And what is it that you must do? What is your fear? So often our deepest fear involves “being seen” in some way, whether that looks like performing for an audience, public speaking or leading large groups, or expressing your true self in a book or an intimate conversation with a loved one. It is the possibility of vulnerably bearing our true selves that threatens the protective ego. Like anything worth it’s while, the way “out” is the way through.
Start this inner work by finding a practitioner – someone who is trained and experienced at holding the deep space of this tender part of your being.
Then drop in, and thank the ego – really. Rather than blaming the ego or making it wrong, a more useful approach is to recognize that, really, the ego was doing what it thought it needed to do to keep you out of harm’s way. So thank it for doing just that over all these years. And then lovingly tell it that you are ready to grow.
Step two is to get in touch with this blocked energy in your system. It can feel shaky and very vulnerable to be in touch with this part of you. In the safe container set by you and your practitioner, feel all the feelings associated with this space – feel the sadness, the grief, rage, despair, lost years, whatever else is there. As you commit to allowing yourself to feel what has been buried for so long, the energy of these emotions will flow through your system and clear out, to be transmuted and returned back to your auric field as (your own) pure divine essence. As this happens, you will feel relief, then possibly joy, and finally peace. You have reclaimed this piece of yourself.
Step three is to integrate this energy. To do that, you must listen. How does this energy want to be expressed? Often times, this energy is playful and highly creative. Use drawing, singing, dancing, and journaling to get your creative juices flowing and listen for the left-brain version of how you can incorporate this newly flowing energy into your work, projects, and life.
The final and most important step: watch for the miracles. Identifying and re-integrating a piece of yourself that has been split off for years and potentially decades is no small task. It is some of the most important work you will ever do in your life. This work in itself is a miracle, and there will be more miracles to follow. The freedom and celebration on the other side of this petrified energy is what we said ‘yes’ to when we agreed to come here. Go for it!
Do you have a success story you’d like to share? I’d love to hear about it in the comments! Do you feel stuck in something big and would like some help through, message me, let’s do this together!
*In some cases where physical danger is obviously present, listen to your instincts and keep yourself safe.
**For example – energetic blocks in the system can lead to illness and disease because of lack of vital energy flow to organs.