A full debriefing on my healing, and also, honest accountability
04 September 2016
Ryan is away hunting this weekend. "Do you care when he goes away hunting like this?" a young woman from my Sunday School class asks, expecting me to match her family members who get so bothered by hunting trips. No, gosh, not at all! Because to me, it seems so co-dependent, even selfish, if I were to be bothered. I want Ryan to live his passion, and I get excited with him. And plus, I look forward to this time of my own passion projects that I otherwise can't focus on when he's around, because I just want to hang out with him. We live our passions in this hunting season, and we both enjoy it.
But, that's not to say that holy heavens, I miss that guy.
Luckily, Ryan came into a small town on this Sunday, so he and Gary can attend church and honor the rest of the Sabbath. So we talk on the phone, text, and send pictures for as long as he has cell service. Today we even selected a middle name for Baby Girl. Our process of choosing her first name and her middle name lasted.... oh, about 5 seconds for each. One of us offered just one name, and the other responded, "yes!! I love it!" And that's how surprisingly easy it was for us. Only one name came to the table, and that will be our little girl's name forever.
Anyway, the last couple of days I have been completely engrossed on a writing project. To which, sidenote, I have partaken in zero media. I have been so full of focus and excitement over my project. Which tells me that the sluggishness of the last while from tv watching and social media has not served me really at all. I should go back to my days of little to no interactions with such.
Anyway, this project has led me to read old writings of mine, dig up old pictures, and I have been really connected to the past, in the most beautiful way.
I admire how open I've been about really personal things. It's interesting how my past self can rejuvenate and strengthen my current self. I just taught my Sunday School class about the importance of journaling a couple weeks ago, and now here's another testament. Anyway, I read just one post today from my divorce healing journey (here), and it brought remembrance to how freely I wrote about that journey through the years when it was so relevant to me. And then, I stopped writing about it altogether. Maybe people noticed. Maybe they didn't. Maybe blog reading has altogether truly sunk into oblivion like my suspicions suspect. Who are you that still read here anyways?
Well, I'm feeling really grounded and clear tonight, as I work to the sound of crickets, my diffuser, and in the soft light of Ryan and I's bedroom. It is so safe and full of love here. So I'll tackle some of these unanswered questions. Whatever happened to my healing journey? Did I just close up on vulnerability and stop writing about it? Or did maybe... the journey come to an end?
Well, amazingly, it indeed came to a close - maybe once and for all? or maybe just for a season, because it tends to do that. But this has been a long season of reprieve nonetheless, nearly a year to be exact! And as such, I'm very grateful. I was set for this to be a bruise that would linger my entire life, but it indeed goes for longer and longer periods of time where it stops bleeding.
Here's a story about this last year, and the peace I've felt:
Just one year ago, Ryan and I were married and sealed in the Jordan River temple. I still cannot wrap my brain around this incredible blessing, and further, I still cannot wrap my brain around the marriage that I have with Ryan. I really doubted that I'd be able to find such a level of depth and joy with another person, especially after my jolt of real life. But it is possible. I am so humbled to Heavenly Father because of how much He's given me.
Alright so just over a year ago, Ryan and I were married. Could it be thought that possibly entering into a new, healthy relationship with a promising future would sever the pains of a difficult relationship and abandonment from the past? Yeah, it would seem reasonable to think that. But alas, remember this post from back when Ryan and I began dating? Opening myself to companionship with Ryan was fraught with nights of me coming home after being with him and sobbing endlessly into my pillow in fear and trauma over my past. I would vox my friend Jo, because she lived in London, so she was the only one to be awake at such hours. Plus, she has been to this amount of pain as well. We tried to talk through it, help me release some of the pain and the fear. Eventually, as Ryan and I got to know one another better, I was able to open up to him about the depth of pain that was still in me, and we would work through it gently together. We had a system set up where every evening he would ask me, "How are we doing today?" And that was my open door to share any triggers that had burrowed themselves in me. He would often have to coax me open, and I would cry softly with him about how much I hurt, and sometimes, his own tears would come as he glimpsed more of my trauma. Gradually through our courtship, the pain dimmed. Nights like these, though precious, had ceased. My trauma eventually stopped looming at all. And because of this, and the deepening and growth in our relationship in general, we were ready to be engaged, and then quickly after, married.
I hadn't expected to what degree a new marriage might stir up my past. Ryan and I were riding on such high feelings, and everything else in the entire world felt so far removed. But very shortly after we were wed, trauma came tumulting into me with such domination. After all that time and healing, I didn't realize that such massive anguish still remained. The forces of pain were as strong as if I was reliving the reality of my life four years prior. I could not distinguish between my true reality and the past - it all seemed as one. I remember a couple times when my mind was so convinced that I was living within my past reality, and I really thought everything was going to cave in on me all over again, and I would begin convulsing and hyperventilating, and my entire body would shake immensely in panic. Ryan would come close behind me and wrap his arms and legs around me so tightly, so I was completely surrounded by him, and he tell would me repeatedly that I was safe, everything was okay, and he was right there with me and not going anywhere. And it would take his soothing, our prayers, and a blessing for me to come back to the present. It was such excruciating fear, though it was also paired with the complete bliss of being a newlywed to Ryan. It was very much a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde situation, depending on which reality my mind chose to live within. I wrote these posts trying to capture it - here and here.
Due to the intensity, I knew that I needed a modality that was more powerful in order to get me through this phase of healing. I had been using exercise, meditation, writing, friendships, therapy, tapping, etc. etc. But one day, I called up my friend's father, whom I had become good friends with. He is a therapist in Idaho, who once told me about his recent work with trauma conversion through deep hypnosis. I called him while on the balcony at my office. We spoke in the sunlight, and he referred me to a Trauma Conversion Specialist in Utah. I scheduled an appointment with her one evening, and I drove an hour north to her office.
Immediately upon entering, I knew she was the exact person I needed. She seemed angelic to me in her demeanor, appearance, and energy. After brief introductions from both of us, she then asked what it was I came in for. The flood gates opened, and I exposed myself to her in such rawness about everything I had endured and that I was now re-experiencing. She was lovely; I felt wrapped up in her just from the way she received all that I shared. She said that normally she waited a few sessions before doing a complete trauma conversion session, but she could see that I was really in need of one, and also that I would be capable of doing one right away because of the meditation I had practiced on my own.
So she guided me into an extremely deep place; I was in my most relaxed and trancelike self-hypnotic state. She then worked with my subconscious "Pain Manager" - the place where all our deepest rooted pains are stored because our body doesn't know what else to do with them. We addressed the trauma directly at my subconscious level, reliving it to its fullest extent in that moment, and then she gave permission for the Pain Manager of my subconscious to let go. Let it go.
The work lasted for some time, as there was much to live and release. Then she brought me back up to awareness. We chatted just a little bit more; I felt mostly weary at this point. I could tell my body and mind was undergoing a lot of construction.
Then I left her office and got back in my car to drive the hour back to our newlywed apartment. The further I drove, the more my body, mind, and soul was awakened. I was becoming perceivably more weightless. I was releasing to my very core. I could feel everything leaving me from a really deep place! I began singing and dancing to the radio with such life. I felt reborn.
When I arrived home, I was full of energy and joy. Ryan commented that I seemed totally different!
And, I can honestly say that since that time, I have not been affected by my divorce. Have I thought about it? Yeah, a few times. But rarely. And if I have, it has not had any sort of emotional charge. How amazing! To say the very least.
I have since used that same self-hypnosis meditation on several other painful instances, and the effects have been just as far-reaching. This is the crux for why I am such a die-hard fan of meditation now. I meditate every single day. I've absolved insecurities, anxieties, pain of others that have transferred to me. Right now, every day I meditate on the birthing and labor process, creating subconscious beliefs around how I would like that experience to be realized.
But anyway, this isn't a preaching on meditation. But rather, a showcase for how far a soul can come.
In the times since that ultimate healing hypnosis when I have thought about my past and the character(s) in it that caused me so much hurt, I stand on a completely different vantage point. I stand in love, a lot of love. A great deal of this is attributed to one of my favorite books, A Light in the Wilderness (see here and here). This book really captures our essence as spiritual beings. I absolutely believe and feel that we are sources of eminent light. Every one of us is an incredible creature that is spanned to such heights! But when we come to Earth, we must enter into these "suits," so to speak. An operating system for our souls made up of our connected body and minds. These are carnal, and they surround and squander our souls of massive light. And each of our mortal casings is malfunctioning in different places, some in the body, some in the mind, some broken in such large way. And we have to continue living as best we can, despite these breakdown and bugs that we may or may not be able to understand, may or may not be able to control, may or may not even be aware of. And sometimes we come together, and the fuses ignite each other's suits, and we can't grasp it or deal with it properly. We just clank around in these suits we don't understand, not even realizing how little we comprehend of our diminished light and the control of this temporal operating system. But we must all eventually come to acceptance that our suit is acting up and glitching and breaking down. And others' suits are acting up and glitching and breaking down. And when you can accept how all our souls are locked in such an inferior state, we can better look past the suit altogether and just see the Lit Soul of every person. The world makes sense differently. People make sense differently. Our own self makes sense differently.
And it makes sense from an extremely merciful place.
So, I look at The Unnamed, and attributing characters, and I can see his Lit Soul. I feel complete mercy over the malfunctioning suit that he resides in while on this Earth. And I can see my malfunctioning suit so clearly as well, and I remind myself to laugh, look past our shifty operating systems, and just see the goodness of our souls. Haha, your faulty suit is giving you quite the time, isn't it? Mine too. Sorry you couldn't understand mine, nor I yours.
In my journey of forgiveness, this vantage point feels like the ultimate one to me. It is full of love and understanding.
But of course, even all these malfunctioning suits, and the resulting trauma I endured, I still have to be accountable and wise and say, "Alright now, what is your lesson here? You, and all others, may be broken. But that doesn't negate deliberate learning on your end and doing better in the future. So, what malfunctioning pieces of your suit are you taking accountability and proper perspective for?"
For one, I have a much clearer picture of anxiety and it how affects me when stressful situations come my way, and also, I can see how a lack of properly understanding it when I was younger did severely affect my past relationship. That is a broken piece of my suit that have given noteable advancement to.
And also, boundaries. Oh, blessed boundaries. I have learned that absolutely, without a doubt, with ravenous conviction that it is MY job to say NO. I was co-dependent on everyone else to know when to give me a No. How innocent that I trusted that people would establish proper boundaries for me, and I could just trust them and be nice always. But, it is MY job to know what's okay in my arena of life and what is not. Even to my own brain, because our own beliefs and thoughts bring about reality, and I did bring about this scenario to a great degree because of what I believed about myself and others. But now, I see it is my job to actually say more No's than Yes's, as I continually understand what's okay to come into my life and what is not. I would say Yes out of wanting to be kind, and I would assume that I could bring the best intentions out of others so the situation would be safer and kinder for me as well. Nope, that is never my journey to assume. I must have more self-respect than that. Then, because of my lack of No, I would be treated poorly somehow, and I would resent people and negative situations for not treating me as I wanted, when I often knew intuitively from the start. We teach people how to treat us. And I had not been taught people well, and it has resulted in a lot of resentment and indignation on my part that I felt was all fair due to people treating me poorly. But, I allowed that mistreatment (to an extent. Of course, some things people do to others are entirely wrong and out of one's control, even if we do or don't say no). But now... "No," I say. "That isn't okay." "That doesn't work for me." "This is not right for me." I can openly reject what I do not want in my life, and I can freely trust my intuition.
I read a Brene Brown article where she talked about learning this same lesson for herself. Since she has had a rise in her assertiveness and boundary setting, she has become less kind. However, she has become far more compassionate. And I couldn't agree more. Being too soft and too kind allows people and experiences to come into your life that do not belong. The kindness of a Yes may "feel" more right than the strictness of a No, but self-respecting boundaries will absolutely leave yourself and everyone else in a better place.
So there you have it. A conclusion to a healing journey. Including miracles of God, the power of our subconscious, new vantage points, and stark lessons of accountability.
It has been interesting to revisit this place, because I am in such a different place of life now. Ryan and I are about to become parents. Motherhood has been the focus of all my thoughts now! The time is coming!
Love to all!
Especially to Ryan in the forest, my baby's daddy <3 <3 <3
Upward and onward,