Emotional Alchemy: Turning Trauma into Growth

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I love talking about growth and all of the beauty that surrounds us, but in truth this realization didn’t come by rainbows & butterflies….it came through experiencing the opposite via an emotional black hole, lost days (years) in confusion & chaos, and enough pain to stop me dead in my tracks. To get real with you… these times of change were traumatic, but with this being said I was actually feeling again instead of being numb to the polarities of life – and this medicine was exactly what I needed. To feel. To open.

I knocked myself down…so I could awaken.

If you have ever allowed yourself to feel shattered you know it hurts; like a visceral pain felt deep within every cell. Most days I felt my heart deep within my chest, as I would breathe into it and pray for healing, meaning, grace and love from anyone, especially myself. Broken hearts are real. Some may wonder why I talk so openly about unconditional love & grace and the truth is, I love every being I see because I’ve experienced the depths of emotional pain & suffering. I know what being lost and out of control feels like. I know what feeling numb with zero words to describe the void within feels like. I know how scary it is to feel disconnected from who you are & your soul. I’ve met shame & guilt enough times to know them well. And in all of that, I feel like I’ve earned a space to talk about the REAL stuff which includes the shadows of pain, the light in bliss. and all the many shades in between.

When the world crashed around and within me I remember saying to myself, “The only way out of this is straight up. You must surrender and uncover what it is you are here to do.” Here I was, starting life completely over at the age of twenty five with the word divorce hovering over my head, a broken heart, and not one clue about how this world works…. the fear was consuming and contracting every breath in my body until I stood up and said, “to hell with this….there has to be something more for me here.”

There was. Within.

I believe that our break-ups, relationships, divorces, separations, and all of life’s traumas have the potential to become the most liberating experiences of our lives. Truth is, I would have called myself nuts if someone told me this during or before my divorce. Laying down in a fetal position on the shower floor with hot water running over me for 45 minutes was not a time where I would have believed what I’m about to tell you now…but guess what? I lived it, and just like you will, I survived. It is time to flip the script and shine a light of love on the trauma & pain these fragile times of our lives bring; for in their chaos our greatest potential for growth awaits.
Trauma, to me, can be defined as being locked into an identity that leaves us feeling small, separate, violated, ashamed, or powerless. We’ve all experienced these trauma’s in our lives. Some more than others, but all challenging within their own varying degrees.  These traumas usually lead us all the way down to one of these narratives: I am not worthy of love. I am not good enough. I am broken & unlovable. Shame.

These narratives are born out of the disconnection from our true nature, which is an infinite, pure, and boundless soul. Whenever something happens in our lives that disconnects us from this deeper truth, we feel pain. We feel limited in our love…and this hurts because it’s ultimately what we all crave – the connection to unconditional love. Home.

When we lock ourselves into these limiting roles (damaged goods, a divorcee, victim, etc) we start unconsciously locking ourselves into the stories that make us feel powerless & alone. Along with these limitations comes boatloads of shame, fear, guilt, and a whole spectrum of emotions that weigh heavy on our hearts & souls. This is what leads us down destructive paths of distraction such as alcohol, sex, drugs, TV, food, etc. Which makes sense. When we take on any identity, we must take on the meaning that our cultures have associated with that identity (i.e. divorcee, bad at relationships). If you believe that this is true about yourself, the people around you will support you in this belief too.  Which, my friends, isn’t freedom, it’s called “hell on earth”. Because the meanings are often painful, shame inducing, and soul shattering.

It’s time to choose new narratives. New story lines. A new operating system. A new perception. From fear to love, a miracle indeed.

You are an ever-evolving being – the only constant here folks is change. We need to be able to grieve our previous roles & identities that led us to this here moment, keep the ones that are serving our soul (think expansive & light) and learn from the ones we are ready to let go of.  Each layer we shed, the freer we become.
As the universe would have it, the collection of words & emotional intelligence needed to navigate the waters of trauma and pain didn’t drop down on the line until I was completely immersed in the mental – emotional cob webs of the past. As I sat completely frozen in the unknown, looking around at a world that I had avoided for so long – the world within (i.e. my emotional world aka my heart aka my soul aka me) – I started to feel all of the emotions I had suppressed and repressed for a long damn time.

Processing all the narratives, emotional wounds & experiences that led me to that moment of implosion (we will get here in the next blog post) was the only way I was going to get out of where I was. And I believe the same goes for you.
We have a choice, a crossroad, where we stand between two options:

  • We can use these experiences for greater freedom by opening further and deconstructing the patterns, identities, and roles within or;
  • We can run from ourselves and re-energize the very stories that have caused our suffering & remain in pain. This is what we call repeating the pattern.

There is no power in blaming the world for your pain, except for the very validation of your belief that the world is happening to you. How far does this belief get us? Nowhere. When I figured out that I was the co-author of this reality, I was extremely sad because the girl I saw in the mirror didn’t realize how asleep at the wheel of life she was. But she did know one thing – it was time to wake up. Now.

Every relationship is an opportunity to grow, learn, and evolve into a more whole & integrated being. I invite you to face the patterns that keep you bonded into the small version of yourself & victim-state consciousness, because if you don’t get to it now the feedback loops of the past will continue playing out right in front of your eyes. The only difference will be the characters in the play. Have the courage, and determination to get to the bottom of every mental & emotional charge that keeps holding you back from the simple genius & spark of beauty that shines brightly behind it all.

Here are 6 simple steps to turn trauma into transcendence, fear into love, separation into unity and illusion into Truth. 

1.    Reverse Engineer the Event – By writing out all of the actions & thoughts that led to the experience – without blame & victimization – you begin to take responsibility. From this empowered space, we regain our power by reclaiming our soul and taking away the mystery of these events. Reclaim your power.

2.    Feel Everything – It can be extremely easy to wrap our pain and emotions into little boxes and repress them by avoiding and numbing in the world around us. However, you and I both know that it is not sustainable. Open Pandora’s box, your power is in the control of these emotional energies.

3.    Check-In Instead of Checking Out. Get laser focused. From an empowered space, you begin to build a relationship with the world within. This inner world is comprised of your desires, thoughts, dreams, emotional triggers, and motivations.  When you start to become super aware and focused on the story-telling machine (mind/ego), you begin to dissolve the power it has over you and instead, you turn it into a mechanism that works with you in creating the life you want.

4.    Make Room For Awareness. By watching the mind and becoming bodily aware, you start to create space for reflection & contemplation to happen. When we are mindful & conscious of how we are feeling and what we are thinking, we begin to plug into the most powerful space – the Present Moment. From this space of awareness, the patterns of the past no longer determine our reactions. Instead we respond from a wiser space that seeks a deeper connection to others through having one with ourselves. This wisdom helps us heal, and integrate a new holistic awareness that takes the mind, body, and soul into consideration – with every choice we make.

5.    Give Gratitude. The people around you hold the keys to your destiny. From this level of understanding, our relationships become something to be grateful for as the biggest catalysts in our journey towards personal transcendence. Into a deeper truth & freedom.

6.  Have a Support System. Durning the moments where I needed help to process everything in my life I worked with a mentor and a coach. I should say life-savers, because they reflected back to me things I couldn’t see or hear within my own story. These guides were imperative for me on my journey to healing. I believe a safe space to openly talk about & dig deeper into your world is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Ask for help, when you need it. This also means you disconnect from anyone who is bringing you down & projecting their pain onto you. The last thing we all need when we are going through a soul-deep transformation is more emotional poison. Protect your heart, ask for space when you need it to heal.

No matter how many times you get knocked down, promise yourself now that you will get back up. Gently. Step by step, a new you will emerge. From the ashes of the past, a more resilient & alive heart arises.

I have faith in you. In us. Together, we are re-writing the scripts.

Unconditionally,

Ky