A shamanic approach to growing through the pain.
There’s a secret gift hiding inside of each painful experience.
The gift is something most people don’t want to think about because it means that trauma isn’t all bad. And especially today when there is so much “us vs. them” and “right vs. wrong” mentality, it can be hard to accept that the world isn’t just black and white.
But as you go through your spiritual growth process, you learn that everything is just shades of grey. Taken out of context, anything can be “good” or “bad”. But once you place it back in context, that’s where things get more complicated. It might feel bad that you get in a car accident on your way to the airport and miss your flight. But when that flight crashes and everyone on board dies, then you might see that car accident as a blessing rather than a curse. See? Context is everything.
There are gifts and challenges in everything — just ask any celebrity who has suddenly had to re-evaluate their identity after making it big or any motivational speaker who found joy through their loss — everything has a price and everything has a gift.
As a transformational shaman, I’ve dealt with a lot of trauma — my own and others’. And while I don’t do therapy (which is where active trauma should be addressed), I do deal with the after-effects of it a lot. I work with the wounded well — those who have dealt with the active trauma but are still dealing with the after-effects of it. Most have been through traditional therapy and found that at some point, it stopped working. This is when they come to me.
After more than 20 years of this work, I’ve been able to codify the steps that people go through. I’ve also discovered that people tend to navigate the steps faster and more thoroughly when they know what those steps are. So if you are in your healing process, I thought these might be helpful.
Before you start navigating these steps, let me offer you one instruction: stay in each step as long as you can.
There is a tendency to want to rush through these steps to get to the end, but this only guarantees that you’ll have to go through the process over and over again processing a layer at a time. If you stay in each step until you have no choice but to move to the next one, you’ll shorten your total processing time significantly. Don’t be in a rush. Each step has its gift for you. If you rush forward, you’ll miss those gifts.
Step 1 is to get over the shock of the situation. You need to accept that something did happen and wrap your head around what it means to you that it did.
Step 2 is to see the truth of the situation in duality thinking (victim/perpetrator). You need to be clear if you have been victimized that you HAVE been victimized. This means accepting that it wasn’t your fault, and no matter how you behaved in response to the things that were done TO you, those things were survival mechanisms and shouldn’t have had to exist.
Step 3 is to feel the anger/pain of it and allow yourself to process those emotions without identifying with them. (Meaning, don’t define yourself as a survivor or take pride in being strong in the face of adversity — it sets you up to manifest more of it to support your self-definition. ) This also means that you shouldn’t rush to “forgive”. Many spiritual people try to bypass this step thinking they are being more spiritual by doing so, but what you are doing when you skip this step is telling your inner child that you deserved what you got. Why? Because if you didn’t deserve it, you’d be pissed about it. See the problem with skipping this step now?
Step 4 is to find the gift in the experience. This is where you can say it showed you your strength or deepened your resilience or whatever. Just don’t define yourself by it.
Step 5 is to put it into its rightful place as just another experience amongst many in your life. This means pulling your attention away from the experience. This process of reclaiming your attention (and power) from the experience allows the experience to recede into your memory along with all your other memories — not more or less important than any other. It’s also where you do the forgiveness piece above. And before you go into your story around forgiveness, I invite you to see it from Carol Burnett’s perspective:
“Forgiveness is giving up all hope of a better yesterday.” — Carol Burnett
When I say “forgiveness”, this is what I mean.
Step 6 is to see the larger picture of why you chose the experience when you came into this life and to make sure that you got all the lessons available from the experience. This step is only possible when you’ve completed the first 5 steps, but it is important so that you can put yourself back into a position of choice in your life.
Follow these steps and you’ll find your processing will go far faster and more efficiently than ever before.
If you’re looking for support along your healing journey, I’d invite you to check out The Sacred Power and Purpose Mystery School where we use shamanic tools, energetic skills, intuition, personal growth, energy healing, and more to optimize and accelerate your personal healing journey.
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