Summer is almost here and we are already on month 6 of the year, I can’t believe it. Now is the perfect time to review your healing progress, to check in with yourself and the tools you’ve been using and what’s working for you and what isn’t.
But first, I want to celebrate you for your commitment to your healing. I know it can feel like two steps forward, one step back sometimes. Remember to not focus on what you didn't accomplish. Because that's not important. The only thing that matters is what you did accomplish. I know you had several victories so far (even the smallest changes can be HUGE victories in the healing journey) and I hope you celebrated them. If you haven’t, do that now. You deserve it!
What healing goal did you set for 2019? It’s easy for abuse survivors to forget change is a growth process and that part of healing is to learn to trust the process. The journey is the healing, not just the destination.
Survivors often ask me if...
The biggest reason why we don't change and why we find ourselves stuck is because we simply don't know how to change. For so many years, I thought there was something wrong with me and that everyone else was moving along in their lives, reaching their goals and sorting out their challenges, and that I was the one who was missing something to be able to do that. This was the logic of my trauma brain, my overwhelmed, fight/flight exhausted mind and body thinking and collapsing into thinking there is no hope and certainly not for me.
I got tired of reading books about how broken I was, the terrible impact of child abuse and trauma. The broken relationships, the addiction, lack of self worth, the mental health challenges, the sick bodies that we are left with after our coping strategies fail because our body simply cannot continue with decades worth of toxic stress lodged into our nervous systems, our hearts, and beliefs. I was learning about all the negative impacts but still...
The trauma from child abuse disconnects us from the truth we feel in our hearts. The healing journey is about finding your way back to your truth. Being able to feel again is how you do that. It's one of the incredible blessings of the healing journey.
We spend a lot of time learning how to safely feel and release our negative emotions like fear, shame, pain, and loneliness. But there comes a time when we need to learn how to feel positive emotions, too. Why? Because these emotions are our truth.
What is your truth? It’s the same as mine:
Slowly work your way down this list and practice “feeling” each of these truths. Allow them to saturate your heart, soul, body, and spirit until they become a part of you.
Actually, these truths have always been a part of you. The trauma of child abuse simply disconnected you from them. When I began to feel these...
As you can tell from my blog post topics this summer, I’m on a mission to help you dig deep enough to uncover hidden toxic coping skills and patterns. These are what fuel your triggers and create major stumbling blocks on your healing journey.
Thanks so much for all your emails and comments about this series of blog posts. I’m thrilled to hear I’m giving you the kind of information you want and need!
Today, I’d like to tackle the frustrating issue of “resistance.” Why do we resist healthy change? Why does resistance rear its stubborn head every time we decide to do something good for ourselves? It makes no sense!
Or does it?
Actually, it makes perfect sense. Every scary door you open on your healing journey contains an important message. Resistance is no exception.
The purpose of resistance is to protect you. Once again, this is a biological brain issue. Your brain keeps you safe. That’s one of its many skills. However, change involves...
My heart sings with happiness every day. Why? Because I focus on the things that make me happy and give me joy. I do this on purpose. It’s an intentional action. Not something that just happens.
To be honest, feeling joyful isn’t easy for me. I’m not one of those naturally happy people, who leaps out of bed every morning with a smile on her face. For too many years, I was bound by shame and couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be happy or joyful. I didn’t feel worthy of happiness.
Back then, I wanted everyone else to make me happy. However, that’s not how happiness works, so I was always disappointed. I expected things to go wrong, to be betrayed, abandoned, and ignored. It took a long time to get to the happy, joyous place I’m at right now.
How did I do it? Through the simple practice of self-care and self-love.
The secret to happiness is to do at least one simple thing every day that makes you happy and gives you joy. It can be...
Becoming a loving, caring, nurturing parent to your inner child can be scary at first. This child remembers every minute of the child abuse you survived, even if you’ve blocked out the worst of it. Ouch!
But don’t worry. Your inner child isn’t going to unleash all those horrible memories on you. Instead, it will only be the parts of you that need healing, the parts you have rejected or ignored.
Yes, your inner child is angry. That’s scary, too. Mine was furious. She wasn’t as upset about the abuse from the past as she was the fact that I had rejected her for decades. I kept giving her to other people to love. She didn’t want their love. She wanted mine.
The wonderful thing about making the commitment to do inner child work is you discover just how loving you can be as an adult. In my case, I discovered I was capable of creating safety for this little girl. I could make her a top priority in my life. I could protect her. I could even help her...
When I began my healing journey, I didn’t know if I could heal. But I was hopeful.
Back then, there were plenty of people who could tell me what was wrong with me and why. They could diagnose me with depression. They could tell me the depression was caused by the trauma I had suffered as an abused child. But few could give me what I needed most at that time: someone who believed I could heal.
And that’s my message for you today. If there’s one belief you need to cultivate after child abuse or trauma, it’s the belief that you can heal.
How do you do it? The same way I did!
I searched until I found survivors who inspired me. These people were able to show me what it looked like to heal after child abuse and trauma. They showed me how to move from barely surviving to gloriously thriving. Their lives had become their healing testimony.
From these courageous survivors, I learned healing from child abuse and trauma is a lifelong process. Even though I’m...
Every time you make a decision to change a toxic behavior pattern, your wounded inner child will appear. It’s what makes healthy change hard for us.
And that’s why inner child work is so important. You can’t recover from child abuse and trauma without doing this deep, messy work.
Your wounded inner child is that very young part of yourself, who was hurt by the abuse and is still in pain. In my case, it was my 6-year old self. She was angry for never being seen, heard, or valued. She believed the only way she could ever be worthy was by overachieving and taking care of everyone else’s needs, while ignoring hers.
Because I could feel her anger, resentment, and pain, I was terrified of her. So I rejected her for decades. Of course, that just added to her painful burden.
Inner child work is the practice of building a loving relationship with your abused inner child and becoming the loving parent that child never had. Easier said than done, right? I mean, how do...
Have you noticed my recent blog posts have been building on a certain theme? Each one is written to take you deeper and deeper into your healing. My intent is to help you tackle your core issues and accelerate your healing.
Today, let’s talk about what we believe. It’s more important than you might think.
Unfortunately, abused children are told many lies. Children are sponges, and they’re born into this world, trusting their parents and caretakers. It’s only natural for them to absorb and believe everything they’re taught. Even if what they’re taught isn’t true.
Every single thing we do is a direct response to what we believe. Everything we say and think is also based on these core beliefs. So my question to you, is what do you believe?
Unless you’re consciously choosing healthy beliefs, creating new habits based on those beliefs, and changing your behavior to match those beliefs, you’re living your life on...