I need to give a shout out to Mindy for triggering my inspiration for this blog. I know Mindy from my childhood. She was one of the most beautiful ballerinas I had the honor of dancing with as a kid, and she’s grown into such an amazing woman. So, thanks Mindy. 🙂
Mindy sent me a message saying she was thinking of me when she heard Dr. Caroline Leaf speaking at her church, and she sent me a link to her teachings on the brain and it’s interdependence with Christianity. I’ll post the link below. I highly recommend watching! It’s great stuff!
Now, as a survivor and thrive-or (yes, making that word up), of a traumatic brain injury, I’ve learned a thing or two about the brain. I currently have a list of 19 medical professionals that have been helping me through the healing process after my car accident, but honestly, very few of those folks actually DID anything to help me heal. I did most of it by myself. Yes, my chiropractor spent hours working on my soft tissue and back alignment, my osteopath performed lots of cranial-sacral adjustments, and my physical, cognitive, and vestibular therapists helped rebuild the parts of my brain that were damaged. However, when it came to healing, I did it. My drive to seek knowledge, truth, understanding, going to each appointment, following orders, doing exercises, following a proper diet, etc. is what made me heal. My healing came through my own works, my own thoughts, my own emotions, and my own will. I wanted it. I went after it. I didn’t fear my prognosis, because I wanted to come out of my accident as the best version of myself.
One surprising thing about healing from a severe injury is that oftentimes, as you fix some obvious broken areas of yourself, you start to discover lots of old baggage that also needs to go. This stuff has been hanging out in your mind and body tightly bound up to protect you from being hurt by it anymore. Your body protects you from this toxic baggage, but these little pockets of yuck are essentially the seeds of disease. They’re festering. They smell like dumpsters. It’s icky.
So, on this path to healing, I found that I also needed to unwrap the other baggage, look at it, sort it out, and figure out what to do with each item. …kinda like cleaning out your closet and sorting into the “keep,” “donate,” and “toss” piles. Unlike a closet cleaning, this baggage, once unwrapped spewed forth so many emotions; so many in fact, that I couldn’t even look at what was inside. I hadn’t looked at this stuff for so long because it was inexplicably painful. But then, like every major obstacle in my life, I put my fear aside, chose love, and went right into each package of ick. One by one, I slowly unwrapped, looked, felt, cried, vented, wrote, meditated, prayed, cried, etc., until all I was left with was an object without any emotional wrapping. Just a memory. Not good or bad. Just a memory no more moving than a jagged, little pebble in an infinite sea of jagged little pebbles.
…and that brings me to forgiveness.
When I tell you that I had to do a lot of forgiving during the process of cleaning out my closet of emotional and often traumatic memories, believe me when I say it. When you’re looking back at your past and thinking, “How could anyone do something so horrible to me?” as an active victim, and then immediately making the choice to forgive, you’re doing the hardest thing you’ll ever do, and the best. Holding onto this stuff – even the stuff you’ve forgotten about – really colors your heart. It’s toxic in your body. It’s you poisoning yourself from within. You can’t love fully, you can’t be the most compassionate version of yourself, and you can’t really be the best version of yourself unless you forgive.
The process became even more complicated when during my own housekeeping process a close family member was in a downward spiral with her substance abuse and psychiatric problems. I understood why she was flailing in her physical and spiritual life because I know her story. I know she has stress, it’s displaced, and she flames it on everyone because she can’t find the strength to clean out her own closet. When you’re so deep in stress, and you’re literally buried in a closet of emotional trauma, sometimes all you can do is shout about how miserable you are, blame your situation on everyone else, and not pull yourself out. For many years I was her personal whipping girl of blame when she sought to vent off the extra steam because she couldn’t handle all the exploding emotional baggage anymore. I made the bravest decision of my life when I chose to forgive her, remove her entanglement in my life, and move on without her. It was a very difficult and sad decision, but my heart is at peace now, and I pray for her almost daily. Although I don’t feel her suffering, I know she is, and I hope that one day, she’ll find her way back home.
With forgiveness, we have to start simply. At some point everyone needs to start at one end of their closet and work out of it. Maybe you’ll pick a corner to start in – don’t try and tackle it all in one day. Bit by bit, you can find your way out if you want it.
The good news is that there are quite a few tips, tricks and secrets to helping you through the process. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Transcendental Meditation. It does all the work for you. Just do it for 20 minutes twice a day, and let your mantra go at it. It will take awhile to get through all the stress, but it’s a very balanced approach to addressing the heaviness of this stuff.
- Fasting. Fasting isn’t just for brides-to-be that need to get rid of back fat before wedding pictures! LOL! I use fasting for spiritual reasons, and I find it extremely effective. Deprivation from food for just three days can completely re-focus your awareness, unclog your channels of compassion, and clear away years of toxicity. It’s a real karma burner! I’m in the middle of an 11 day fast now (3 days only water, 5 days veggie juice, 3 days fruit/veg smoothies), and on this 6th day, I’m feeling better than I have in years. Fasting is a wonderful blessing. Check out Markus Rothkranz’s book Heal Yourself 101.
- Cognitive behavior therapy. You can’t always chose what happens, but you can chose how you respond and how you think about negative events. Turn your frown upside down, and see a therapist who can give you tools to be successful. Read Dr. Phil’s Life Code or Dr. Lawlis’ book Retraining the Brain: A 45 Day Plan to Conquer Stress and Anxiety.
- Prayer. Prayer is powerful. It can literally change your life. Never underestimate it’s power and ability to help you sort things out.
- Turn to your family and community. Humans are hard wired for community because at a quantum level we’re all connected. The best thing about spending time with other people is that they can also counsel you and support you as you make choices to forgive.
I’m sure there are many other ideas, so feel free to share them with me in the comments below!
Don’t be afraid to look at your baggage. Don’t be afraid to forgive. If you can’t do it right away, just try, try again. Be brave. Love yourself. Forgive, hang up your favorite memories, and throw the rest in the “toss” pile. You’re the only one who can heal yourself, and you deserve a clean closet.
Sending you all my love,
The Guru Girl
Link to Dr. Caroline Leaf’s videos: http://subsplash.com/rivervalleychurch/s/2c14431