“Healers” are never fully done healing, 'tis the point to our existence as a practice. Yet, many of us learned to more easily recognize traumas in others, developing empathy once the wheels of sympathy begin to turn. Tantra teaches us that Challenges grow the Masculine, while Praise grows the Feminine, and that every human embodies a blend of both energies. Without flexing the heart muscle, we won’t be conditioned enough to sustain, or even recognize, the “real thing” when intimate loving relationships do arise. Nor will we be able to refill our cups as healers, attempting to help others along the way, and instead leaving us depleted and our communities tapped-out.
Unearthing The Shadow
Sooo… I have deep abandonment issues in regards to my past relationship with someone that I deeply loved and respected, for many years. I recently opened myself up, yet again, and this trauma was triggered by seemingly short-lived flings, that while I did not initiate, know the connections were sent to me for the sake of growth (reopening a deep old wound, in a short time). My internalized reaction from the beginning, was with great hesitation, fear, anguish, and disbelief that I could like someone, on a spiritual level, again. This potential was met with a deep intuitive knowing that it would end with me encountering red flags and holding onto more baggage, should I choose to avoid vs confront said red flags. I’ve got nothing to lose but my ego. So, I big fat did it anyway! I suppose I’ve grown to be playful like that, lol.
Q: So, how do we date when everyone seems to be tasked with going through some sort of healing?
A: We have to do the work (in regards to intimacy).
Real Recognize Real
In order to find the root, we must first become aware of what we have to heal, by sitting with our feelings. We can also tether ourselves to safety by share our emotional status with someone that we trust to just hold space, without them trying to fix or judge the situation; someone who is able to hold space for us without taking on our woes as their own, yet not looking away from ours. Sometimes this looks like a friend, a sibling, a peer, a parent, a guardian, a lover, an elder, a coach or a therapist. Our biggest development tool in relationships, then, must be in cultivating discernment, in who we choose to share our energy with, while still be able to note any red flags, without judging our partners, or doing the work of healing for them.
Sometimes as “Healers” the ones we attract in life, are those who also help others heal, because they already have done some work on themselves, and also need help healing other areas of their life. It must be on both parties to do their own individual process of healing in order to engage in intimacy in a way that isn’t causing more harm to the other. Just because 2 healers are present, does not mean they will know how to heal, be open with you, or help you heal in reciprocity — this is where discernment comes in.
Who Helps A Healer To Heal?
We are all human, and with that comes the reality that we are all still evolving and growing through pain, which can be extremely tiresome. This is precisely why many healers are more comfortable helping others heal, or healing silence, rather than in tandem for fear of vulnerability that comes with intimate settings. It is a very raw and open place to be, which in of itself is an opportunity for deeper growth through a capable and informed mirror. I am an advocate for Healers helping Healers, and have found myself growing in leaps and bounds in such relationships. Sometimes it takes that leap, to lead to greater understanding through intense mirrors, transforming us into a version of ourselves that is more “un-fuck-with-able”, while still allowing us to lead with love. By proxy, we become better healers and providers for the communities that we are in service to. Now we are able to refill our own cups, rather than constantly feeling depleted. Like a sport, Healers require loving-conditioning and self-discipline to achieve self-mastery.
Of course, the other party may not be ready, so the loss can feel lonely, and begrudgingly so, this too is part of the work. Not only noticing our relationship patterns, and noticing toxic behaviors, but shifting the way we react to these patterns, vs expecting the other party to magically shift and change their reality to accommodate our needs. We must learn how to make ourselves happy, and be able to tune out all other distractions for a time each day, and allow the time and space to just be with ourselves, sitting with our emotions, breathing through it, crying, laughing, getting angry, simply feeling all the feels rather than suppressing and wishing them away. The only way out is in. We don’t get over things, we get through them. Facing our shadow self, with a loving heart for our inner child, is where true root healing begins.
Identify Root Causes
Last night, I had a dream where I was riding on the hood of a sports car with my twin sister, going fast as someone else drove. I felt alive, some hesitation in the back of my mind, which was a signal to me to hold on even tighter and enjoying the ride while it lasted, knowing death was a very likely option, since my hands were my only form of attachment to the vehicle.
We hurt people, gaslight them into thinking it's their fault, and then abandon them time and time again, possibly leaving them in tears, groveling for an end to the pain, all the while subconsciously taking pleasure in having “gotten out” before having to feel the pain ourselves. Their pain can actually become a signal of our own virtue, validating that we are so desirable that they cannot love without us, and out there is better, or the game of love is not a worthwhile one, so we play the field or develop relationship style akin to agoraphobia. Making the act of leaving them a powerful tool for the insecure party to do the torturing, rather than endure more pain that would trigger our own past traumas. With that, I have to ask: Where’s the safety in that?
Where’s the progress?
Are we not perpetuating more cycles of trauma and giving into our own pain body?
Who are we fooling here, but ourselves?
Relationships Are Mirrors We attract like and complementary forces into the vortex of our being, in order to level-up in life lessons and challenge our thinking/perceptions. The outcome of how these forces, manifested as partners, depends upon the vibration at which we exist (high or low) and the frequency in which we tune into, depending upon where we are on our healing journey, and how we react to them. As tough as it is to focus our wide zoom lens and in order to see the bigger picture, each relationship is an exercise, and a way to examine, release, and shed our emotional need for external beings to complete us, or make us happy (an ability only the self can truly provide and allow in).
In hindsight, I have a track record of being possessed in relationships (like a hoarded trophy) or sought after for a trait that others want or need to feel more whole, and later thrown away by those very partners, in a cold way, once deemed no longer useful or that they have been “found out” upon feeling too vulnerable. Grief, insecurity and resentment ensues. A cycle likely rooted in cycles of generational abandonment, by both parties. I do not wish to live in victim mode. Which is why I struggle to share correctly about what I am going through in new relationships, since I can’t always place my finger on when “avoidant dwelling” is occurring, vs asking for support.
After my divorce, to someone who vowed to leave before ever betraying me, I requested to see a therapist. After 6 months, my request was granted. 2 sessions in, I was told I didn’t need to go anymore because "You're so resilient" (yup, tired of hearing that one) "You are at a place we hope to see all of our clients. You don’t need therapy, so today will be your last session" and it was. I did so much healing work on my own after that, even though I felt abandoned yet again. I knew what I had inside was dangerous, I knew the pain was growing and since a therapist wouldn’t help, I had to do this all on my own, alone. Depressed, anxious, afraid, broken, feeling unsafe, unseen and achingly alone. Yes, I was still functioning, so my cries for help were seen as pain that they will just get over with time. My "friends" at the time seemed afraid to even ask what I was going through, since I was mysterious by nature. One so called friend proclaimed "we're just waiting for you to snap, and it's been 2 years and you haven't. How do you do it?"
I know that may seem like a compliment, but the words were deeply cutting and insensitive to hear. They echoed in my mind along with the replays of what had happened, and nightmares of my ex-spouse watching me squirm, in pain and anguish, taking laughter and joy in his control over me. My power being harnessed by another, their sucking dry of my light and the power they must feel to bring me to a low point. Damaging me so deeply that no one could have what I gave them, not even myself, and as a result not even my own inner child.
Facing The Shadow
From a young age, I subconsciously began to fall into relationships with unavailable people, at first physically from a distance (imprisoned), and later a magnet to those with trauma of their own, serving as a vessel, a counsel to their needs, later to be tossed aside when I asked for the same support in return. They either can’t hold space, don’t know how, to or perhaps simply don’t want to, signaling an "I'm bored, time to move on" response. I'm left thinking “I thought I healed from this” and remember that this it is I that must be the one to shift my reality (since I cannot control others), by changing my reactions to the patterns.
Doing The Work Now, I keep things light, I am exploring other types of relationships, relationship styles, mates. Over the last 21 years, nothing seemed to quite fit, but the level up has been real! I can’t help but have glimpses that I am getting closer to balancing my internal reality so it may magnetize a high-vibrational mirror externally. I no longer wish to control the flow of life, or the bonds like I used to. I know from experience that the more I do my work, in regards to sharing intimacy and pooling creative energy into my purpose, the more I expect my romantic partners to do their own inner mothering. While I’m not fully "there yet", I am making in effort to observe my dreams, "putting myself out there", and flirting with life, dating as a means to learn myself, building healthy slow bonds. My current work involves discerning what is in alignment and who is compatible, what is good for my mental health, and sitting with emotions, and respond differently, from a place of boundaries and compassion rather than scarcity and anger. I now get my needs met from all the deep relation ships in my life, and fully comprehend that only I can allow happiness in and can create said happiness rather than depending on others to supply it. The joys and sensations that come from kismet experiences are the icing on top, while I observe and participate in reciprocal dynamics instead of chasing or forcing an outcome. The more I allow the universe to do it's thing and follow it's guidance, I trust that I am getting closer to someone that challenges and praises me from a place of openness and depth, not merely for personal gain or pleasure, but to magnify love (and healing).
Sharing Can Helps Others Heal
Yes, I help others heal, yet I have not fully healed, so why is this helpful? Why am I even qualified to assist by sharing my on-going story? Because healing is a journey, and I have come a long way. Every time that I write, I am expressing a part of myself, like a gland, and am able to get the thought form out on into the physical, so that I don’t suppress and hold on to my revelations.
Putting things to form on paper, allows me to work out, or flex my throat chakra, a particular area of healing that has manifested into a disease called Hashimoto Thyroiditis, where traumas suppress the immune system, allowing foreign objects to clog the gland and become inflamed, I have to voice my woes in order to clear the line and grow stronger every day. This progress takes time, and effort, I have to show up and do the necessary work in order to stay limber, adapt and build muscle memory.
Soothing In Ways That Serve Me:
1. One of my go-tos for comfort is food. So, I make sure that when I am down, I cook. I remind myself that what I am looking for is comfort, to replace the love that I am needing, in order to help heal the inner wounds that are being triggered.
2. I take a microbiome test every season, so I am aware of what food sensitivities are harming my gut and causing overall body symptoms. Gluten is a big trigger for those with any auto-immune or neurological disadvantage.
3. Over the decades, my family and I transitioned to a vegan lifestyle, and we try to buy and grow organic foods as much as possible, and reduce (if not avoid) processed foods. The added pesticides, toxins and chemicals take a huge toll on the (every)body’s immune system and immune response. It’s like being drunk, impairing the immune system’s ability to function coherently and discern between friend and foe.
4. With Hashimoto Thyroiditis, when my thyroid is overburdened by free-radicals, it gets confused, and perceives itself as the threat. Essentially, my thyroid then attacks itself (Dun DUN DUNNN!!!) The way to mitigate these attacks in through gut health, which is tied to what I consume, and my ability to regulate stress.
5. I left my corporate job, sold my home, and built a out a campervan determined to live beneath my means, so that I could afford to work differently and reduce stressors while spending as much time as possible out in nature (my secret healing remedy)
6. Yoni Steaming: It is no a mystery that we store trauma and memories in our root chakra, or more physiologically in our reproductive organs. Every time we detox these areas, we are able to shed some stagnation that keeps these memories suppressed. Steaming allows the body to express and released these trapped emotions that also overburden our immune system and the body's ability to regulate and flush out traumas on a constant basis. Circulation is not only a physical aspect, it is also an energetic one, both emotional and spiritual. Learn more about yoni steaming here
Finding The Taproot
Think back to your childhood, and the first time you ever felt the pain of the emotion of “betrayal” (or in my case specifically “abandonment”)
What age were you?
With who and how did this experience play out?
How did you feel in that moment (you can always ask your inner child what it was feeling)?
Allow yourself to feel into that moment, knowing you have a tether to the adult world now, and have your own back. Allow the memory to unfold just long enough to identify the feeling or emotions. Was it deep regret, physical pain, sorrow, betrayal, deceit, fear of death, vulnerability to the elements, feeling of being lost, scared, humiliated, etc?
Now, ask “what did my childhood self need in that moment?” That child still exists with our psyche, known now as the “inner child” and rules much of our adult endeavors on a subconscious level.
“What does my inner child need now?” Do they need a hug from their adult self (someone who will always be there and have their best interests at heart)? Ask it. Then, subconscious do it (in your imagination). Let “little me” know that “adult me” will always be here for them, and make a pact to never forget that the other exists. How can I provide this to my inner child on a permanent basis? In my case, how can I make sure that my inner child does not have to experience (ie. ‘abandonment’) any longer? Am I giving this power away to external forces/people to handle for me? How can I provide companionship to myself so that I no longer have to fear being vulnerable, unsafe and alone, triggering feelings of loneliness?
A Hope or A Daydream?
If only both parties could communicate their traumas triggers and fears, in tandem with the other, and learn to hold space for the other without the need to jump in to compare or fix… but that is rarely the case. Trauma holds us in a place of shame, denial, avoidance, dismissal and deeply guarded, building our walls way up so that we don’t feel the pain or betrayal again. Truth is, as a collective, we aren’t there yet, but we are each capable of becoming the masters of our own internal realities.
Long ago I chose to build a relationship with my inner child, by taking them on outings, allowing them to choose what activities we do and what environments we visit, meanwhile never letting go of their hand. Together, we play and do adult things like drive, make delicious food, get dressed up in colorful ways, being loud, exploring nature doing tactile things, and spending more time being creative than we used to. This is “our” time to bond and build trust again. Shifting our confidence, self-worth and vibrational volume.
I was born an identical twin, so my very first sense of aloneness began at birth, for the first 2 minutes my sister was gone, later to be placed in incubators away from our mother. While this may seem trivial, our body holds on to memories and the same is true about how others make us feel. We are all chasing a feeling, and intimacy (or an avoidance of) is a big one for most. This expression is often tied to safety, and to the young child, we do not understand why we can end up feeling unsafe and alone even when in a room full of people. It is the love, the security, the intimacy of being protected, that comes as an instinctual need to humans, being pack animals by nature.
Through connection, is also how we can grow and heal as adults. This takes an unlearning and relearning of our own ability to self-health and soothe without numbing, distracting, avoiding or dismissing how we feel and the emotions that inform us of our hidden memories of past traumas. Luckily, no matter the person, the inner child is pretty damn cute. As I allow myself to invest in them, I enjoy spending more time with myself, and learning how to allow happy in. Essentially, "getting high off my own supply" (remembering to puff, puff + pass). Bless up.
Words + Photography by Natasha Jain © 2021 @asha_art.n.soul