If you experienced trauma or abuse in childhood for any reason, you may realize that you have a mess on your hands. Hopefully there will come a time in your life when you are ready to heal. The following steps are of my own personal journey to healing, wholeness and self love. It is not easy, it is ongoing and must be conducted for each wound you hold in your heart. Steps 1-5 are the hardest and most painful, but once you get past these 5, you will be a different person.
It is within your own power to heal yourself. You have everything inside of YOU to get the job done. I hope these steps help you as they have changed my life.
1. Gain Self Awareness.
It is impossible to heal without a higher level of self awareness. This self awareness is gained through mindfulness. You must figure out your true feelings, wants, needs, desires, preferences and thoughts. You must get hold of who you are and why you do what you do. Self Awareness involves locating the toxic shame that holds you prisoner as well as getting in touch with your unresolved anger. The Self Awareness phase continues throughout the process. Step 1 also involves understanding that your life is a manifestation outside of what's going on with you inside. Like attracts like.
Hint: The tendency is to focus on other people, work, dating or anything else than getting to know yourself--this is the trauma speaking within you. You must resist the urge to abandon yourself and focus outside. You must pull yourself in and train your mind to concentrate on YOUR feelings, YOUR issues, YOUR needs, YOUR preferences. It's okay. It's not selfish. You have a deficit of self concern, even though you probably think you're the most selfish person in the world already. Don't listen to that voice. FOCUS ON YOU. Read: How to Pull Yourself Inside.
2. Come Out of the Fog.
The FOG is a child abuse recovery term for waking up to the truth of what happened to you as a child. This is common for Child Abuse Thrivers around 40 years of age. It's like a veil is lifted and you can see things as they really are for the first time. This process can be painful, but is also enlightening and ultimately one of the most freeing experiences you will encounter during the healing process. Prior to coming out of the FOG, you will most likely be in some state of misery, perpetual abuse and denial.
3. Locate ORIGINAL WOUND(S).
Figure out the real reason you are repeating the same emotional cycles. The answers are inside of you. Those of us who were abused as children, or who were neglected or otherwise failed to get our developmental needs met experience the same scenes over and over throughout our life, as if we're trying to right wrongs of the past. We must step outside of today and realize that what's happening now is actually a projection of your emotions from childhood. You are actually attracting the same abuse from others until you deal with the original source of the abuse.
4. Release ORIGINAL EMOTIONS.
Allow yourself to experience your repressed emotions that occurred as a result of the wound. (See Healing Frozen Feelings & Blocked Emotions)
5. Grieve the Loss from the ORIGINAL WOUND.
You must allow yourself to fully grieve the losses from not receiving the time, attention, affection and direction you would have gotten had your family of origin been fully healed themselves. Grieving emotional losses is like grieving a death; it's the same process. Completing Step 5 is the Key to being able to easily and effortlessly complete Step 8.
6. Experience Healthy Connection.
Step 6 is done throughout each of these steps. It's important to stay connected to a trusted person throughout the healing process, though I've done a lot of my healing on my own, so it can be done. We humans are created to connect with one another. We are all connected, but when you experienced a traumatic childhood, you may have difficulty trusting, giving and receiving in a healthy relationship. In order to heal, you must share your pain and resolutions with an empathetic other, whether that is a therapist, sponsor or trusted friend. The importance of finding the right person for this job cannot be over-stressed. Step 6 also involves staying connected to mentors, writers, blogs, forums online and support groups. It's all about staying connected and sharing your inner world with another or others.
7. Reparent Yourself.
You must reparent your inner child through techniques such as self care, self talk and self soothing. Reparenting also occurs during the transference process of therapy.
8. Detach from External Locus.
You must learn how to detach from external measures of worth. It is impossible to detach, however, if you have not completed Steps 2 and 3 related to each individual wound. If you find that you are having difficulty detaching from present circumstances and relationships, that is a sign that you need to use Step 1 to go back and do more work on Step 5. Step 8 includes resolving addictions to people, places or things. Once you DETACH, you will need something to ATTACH to inside your own heart, and that's where Step 12 comes in handy.
9. Re-Compute Negative Core Beliefs.
Step 9 is about rethinking the negative core beliefs, that is, the lies you believed about yourself as a result of the wounding. The truth is that you are pure love, your essence is truth. Anything that you believe contrary to the fact that you are pure love causes perpetual wounding. This is a gift of knowledge that I received on my own without the aid of another. You learn so much about your capabilities through the healing process, the wisdom you gain is almost worth the lifetime of pain you endured up until now... It's incredible, this journey!
10. Clear Away Resentment.
Clear away resentment through forgiveness, but only AFTER you have completed Steps 1-9. Doing this step too early can delay your progress big time.
11. Reprogram Your Mind.
You must reprogram your mind to think differently and take different actions than you've taken all your life in relation to the wounding. This is an ongoing process that can be painstaking and takes time, but is the way to get the best results.
12. Create a New Story.
Anchor / Fortify Your Beingness - Having come full circle, you are now ready to anchor, attach and bond internally. During this step you will be able to fully connect with God, or your higher power. Visualization can be used at this stage to build a new identity, one that is weighted with your own love and which includes a recognition of your value. It's the most beautiful step as you are getting in touch with your truth, your beauty and your inner wisdom.
Once you complete these steps FOR EACH WOUND in your heart, you will be a completely different person. Your shame will be greatly reduced, you will be capable of living authentically, capable of intimacy, integrated with who you really are and you will love yourself like you never dreamed possible.
Leave me a comment to let me know how this article has helped you. I really love hearing from you!