Healing Deep Wounds

The pain will release on its own when the thought patterns and behaviors are no longer present. That's not to say that we won't trigger the pain sometimes. But it shouldn't be this big, awful dredging of the bottom of the river.

Healing Deep Wounds

Have you ever run into an ugly old wound within yourself? You know the ones that are particularly fugly and you kind of wish you didn't have to pay attention to it? Well, I found one of those. Honestly, it's been screaming at me for a bit, but I had my attention elsewhere so it got ignored, until now.

The fuglier they are the more fun they are to work through. At this stage of the ballgame for me, nothing is really that bad anymore because I have all the skills to handle it. I just have to decide to do it and that really is the hardest part of the whole thing these days.

So what's the wound?

This goes way back to feeling victimized by other people who I thought were trying to take my power away from me. I've made my peace with most of this, but I'm still hanging onto this bit of distrust that's causing me some grief. The distrust is showing up in my work because somewhere I decided that people were flaky (nice huh?). That isn't true it's just a self-protection mechanism I have in place. How are people flaky? Well, the minute I trigger even the slightest bit of pain via private coaching, they are going to ask for a refund and run away screaming. Cool story, right?

I actually triggered this wound originally when I put the refund policy in place a couple weeks ago. It triggered the idea that people would just up and leave the minute I upset them even slightly. It made me fear that every single person I worked with would want a refund within a couple of sessions because they didn't want to deal with their own pain. They were just looking for a magic pill that I simply don't have. The minute they realized that I didn't have a magic pill they would leave.

What this lovely story causes me to do is want to either fight for the relationship or defend myself in the relationship. Neither of those are helpful in case you were curious. I'm more likely to chase people away because I'm the one being a nutcase more than anyone else right now.

The wound wasn't a problem when I didn't have a refund policy in place because I was protecting my wound. A no refund policy is pretty standard in the coaching industry. By putting that refund policy there, I'm having to deal with my own wound, which is totally fine. What it reflects back to me though, is the number of coaches that use their refund policies to protect their own wounds, and for a while I was one of them.

The idea that everybody is out to get me is a lie. The idea that people are flaky is a lie. The idea that people will run away screaming the second I upset them is also a lie. I've proven this false in multiple one-to-one sessions over the years. People actually do come back for more pain. hahaha

Why am I protecting myself?

Fear of loss of power or control. Fear of never making a penny because everybody will want a refund, rendering my private coaching packages pointless. Fear of having my refund policy used against me. Fear of being rendered powerless again. Fear of not being good enough.

This thing is particularly fugly because it's really a core issue for me. This is right at the heart of what the powerlessness and fear created in my life. It's a deep, scabby, ugly, old wound that's right at the center of what I do and why I do it. It's had a lot attached to it for many years. Over the last 8 years I've been slowly detaching from it. Cord by cord, I've been cutting through this thing to reveal this core wound. There's nothing really left of it anymore, it's just an old behavior pattern that can go away now.

It feels like I'm disarming myself though. I've talked a bit about putting down the sword because that's what I feel like I'm doing. I'm learning how to use my power without the need for weapons or shields. Can I really do my work and live my life "defenseless"?

There's actually a story attached to that question if you think about it. The idea of being defenseless implies that I can't take care of myself, that I'm opening myself up to my fear of being rendered powerless again. But is that true? Is it possible to stay in your power without needing weapons and shields? Yes, as long as you trust yourself and you're confident in your own power. It actually has nothing to do with other people.

If I put it outside of me and make it about trusting my potential clients or the people around me, then I need to defend myself. Now I need a no refund policy. I need the swords and the shields because I can't control other people. It renders me powerless within myself. The fix is to put my power back inside of me where it belongs. When I do that, I can trust myself, not worry about what other people are doing, and know that I never need to worry about defending myself. I have the power to handle what happens without needing shields and swords. When your power is within you there is nothing to defend.

The bigger story is that I am at the mercy of other people. Everything is dependent on everyone around me. Independence isn't completely true because as independent as I am, I can't make people work with me. I can't make my business be successful. I don't have control over the things that would allow me to remain completely independent of other people. Regardless of how much I don't like it, I can't do this by myself.

My business requires me to gain an audience or a following. I need those people to be open to doing the work. I don't have control over whether they are or aren't willing to do the work. If I can't make it happen by myself then I'm not independent. That dependency has the potential to render me powerless again. The fear of going backward is real.

This is the core of my powerlessness. It's right here. The deep need for independence comes from a deep fear of dependence. The deep fear of dependence is rooted in the deep fear of being rendered powerless again. The powerlessness is at the core of everything else around it. So this is what it's like when you bust through to the middle of a massive wound. Fun.

My strategies still work though - massive wound or paper cut - it makes no difference to how I manage it. Let's review the strategy one more time for those that need a refresher.

First, we find all the stories the mind is telling, consciously or unconsciously. I used the blog to find most of those. Since my brain no longer yells obscene craziness at me, I don't have to spend time quieting it down or getting control over it. You may have to and that's okay. Take the time to understand what your brain is trying to tell you. What's the story? Is it true?

If emotion comes up, it is not a tidal wave. You do not have to be swept away by it. It is actually more of a distraction than anything. It's one of the ways the mind keeps you from healing those wounds. If you're distracted by all the emotion, then you won't bother to heal. Other than a heaviness, I don't have much going on in the way of emotion. But if the tears were to appear, they would run their course and I would continue doing what I'm doing. Note to self: The stories the mind makes up while you're crying are more crazy than the stories it makes up the rest of the time. Just trash whatever the mind creates during any emotional release you experience.

I add a third layer to this now because I look at my behavior and how it is affected by those wounds. When we control the mind and the emotion, but we still allow our behavior to reflect the old pain, we end up stuck. It's like to trying to drive the boat with the anchor still in the water. It's hard to do. Your behavior is the anchor and if you don't change it, you stay stuck in the pain. I see where my behavior is affected. The way to correct that is to be conscious of myself the next time I have an experience that's related to this wound. That'll happen sooner rather than later because that's just how the Universe works. You can shift your own behavior by being aware of yourself and making conscious choices in the moment. It's not as hard as you might think it is.

When you're able to manage all three of these healing becomes relatively easy. The problem we run into is we're afraid of what we're going to find. The interesting thing is that I don't go looking for big emotional releases. I'm not actually trying to trigger emotion. I can accept it when it shows up, but I don't go looking for it. Why? Because it's not helpful most of the time. It's what keeps you distracted. It doesn't let you heal and it doesn't let you see what you're actually working with.

You're better off to stay in your head. But to stay in your head and have that be effective, you can't be bought into all the stories. You have to be able to have the clarity to recognize when the mind is offering you nonsense and then rationalize yourself out of that stuff. If you conjure up a memory that happens to trigger some emotion, it's fine. Anybody can look at a sad picture and cry. It's not a big deal. Just recognize it for what it is and don't allow it to sweep you away.

We're not trying to relive anything. We're not trying to cry it out (these strategies are based on the idea that you've done that already). We're trying to understand what we're holding onto and why so that we can figure out how to release it. To understand how to put down a water bottle, I have to understand that I'm holding a water bottle to begin with. Once I understand that I'm holding a water bottle, I can figure out how to put the thing down without spilling the water that's in it. Mental clarity is your key to success if you can wrangle your brain and emotions long enough to get it.

Staying in your head doesn't mean you're avoiding anything either. Sometimes we get told that when we're in our heads too much, we're avoiding the pain. We're not trying to heal pain. Did you know that? We're not healing pain. We're healing behaviors and thought patterns that cause us pain but we're not actually trying to heal the pain directly. We're using a more indirect approach to do the work.

The pain will release on its own when the thought patterns and behaviors are no longer present. That's not to say that we won't trigger the pain sometimes. But it shouldn't be this big, awful dredging of the bottom of the river. We're actually going to drain the river first and then go see what's on the bottom. We're not going scuba diving.

When you find a wound, your job is not to stick a knife in it and poke around. Your job is to understand what the wound is and why it's there. You do not need to go deep sea diving in that wound to figure it out. You can stay out of it and still get what you need to heal. If it happens to be a little tender and it causes some tears, that's fine. You let that flow, recognize what it is, don't buy into the stories of the mind, and then when it stops you continue on with trying to gain mental clarity.

I found a wound, it's actually the core of the powerlessness that I've been working through for years. I've used the blog to gain mental clarity around it. I see what's left. I see how it's affecting me. I see how I need to shift my behavior and my perception to release the last of it. I don't need to cry it out. I don't need to go diving. I don't need to do anything else other than simply pay attention to my own behavior the next time I'm put in a situation where this is a thing. That's it. There's no more work to do.

Why make it harder than has to be?

Unwinding all this over the last 8 years was hard because I didn't have all these tools yet. But now I have all the tools and I'm not afraid of myself and what I might find. So I'm happy to go figure it out. Sure, I complain sometimes and I avoid things sometimes. But the truth is, it's easy work to do. The hardest thing I have to do is write a blog because the minute I have mental clarity, the pain stops.

Once you get good at this strategy, healing will be this easier for you too. The reason it hasn't been is because nobody told you that mental clarity was a good thing. Nobody told you that it was okay to not relive the experience. Nobody told you that you could stay out of the big emotions and still heal yourself just fine. Nobody told you to get control over your brain first.

I continue to share my experience of healing with the hope that it offers you the ability to understand how to do this for yourself, or if you need some help from me, that you don't have to be afraid of me. I probably will poke at some pain sometimes. You probably will feel it. But I can show you how to manage that so that it doesn't have to be overwhelming to you. You can stay in control of your thoughts and feelings even while healing. They aren't mutually exclusive things. Trust me on this. I've done it and I can show you how to do it too.

Love to all.