By Katherine Vilnrotter
So you’ve done lots of healing. You’ve worked with your trauma, and you’ve neutralized negative emotional patterns resulting from that trauma. You’ve had incredible realizations about what past experiences have meant for you in your current life. You’ve learned how those experiences may have activated your limbic system, (your emotional brain) and resulted in unhealthy emotional associations. You may have even reprogrammed some of them (see my previous articles on trauma, triggers, and fear for more information on these topics). You’ve realized all these things that you had no idea were under the surface until you started actively working on them.
I find that many of my clients feel a sort of emptiness after doing deep work to process their trauma. Especially if that trauma started at or before birth.
When you have seen and felt all your life experiences through a lens of unhealthy and limiting emotional patterns, that unhealthiness is all you’ve ever known. When that unhealthy lens is removed or healed, what lens remains? When there was no experience of life or self PRE-trauma, this phenomenon of post healing emptiness is especially common.
What if all you’ve known is painful experiences and emotions that you want to get rid of? Once you process that stuff, what are you left with? You’re left with just you. And what if you don’t know who you are outside of your experience of yourself through the mucky lens of the past?
Even if what you knew was painful, at least you knew it. It was comfortable. It was predictable. Our limbic systems love predictability; that is why change can be so challenging. When we deviate from what we know, our amygdalas go crazy and sound the stress alarm. This is why it can feel less stressful to remain in familiar unhealthy or painful patterns in our lives, rather than making healthy changes. Even though it’s painful, at least you know it.
Now imagine that all those unhealthy emotional patterns were neutralized. Imagine that those things that used to trigger you and fill your life with drama were all gone. What would your life be filled with then?
It can be a strange new feeling for sure. And in many respects, this is the beginning of the journey. At least it is the beginning of a whole new chapter, or new book of your journey. This is where we close the previous book filled with other people’s thoughts, other people’s damaged emotional patterns, painful abuse or negative conditioning that was pumped into our psyche and energy system from the time we were born. That book is closed.
So how do you start a new book? This can be the scariest, most intimidating moment in a journey of growth and transformation, of healing and expansion, of finding your true self. Because our limbic system is finely tuned to recognize and steer us clear of new things and experiences, it can feel unsafe at first. A completely clean slate can be the scariest thing.
Who am I?
What is this world?
How do I fit into it?
What do I like?
What do I enjoy?
Even if you can’t answer any of these questions yet… you’re still in there. For me, this is the most exciting, albeit the most potentially terrifying, step in the journey. This is the point where everything is new. The world is open. And you, like a brand-new child taking your first breath, opening your eyes for the first time, have the opportunity to once again find newness. To see who you truly are without the rubbish from the past. The hardest part of writing the next book of the story of your life, is taking that first step…
…a true leap of faith.
The challenge is to keep going,
to not stop at the blank emptiness,
but seeing that point as the darkness before the dawn.
It’s the stillness before the sunburst.
At this step, trust is very important. But what can you trust? Now that everything you know is gone, how can you trust anyone, anything, yourself, your mind or your body? No one said this was easy.
That first step into the darkness,
in the stillness,
before your eyes begin to crack open,
letting in the first spark
a glimmer of light from your new world.
That first step,
is always the hardest.
But once you take that first step, the second step is much easier, and the third, easier still… the key here is to be infinitely curious about yourself and your world.
Be curious about how everything feels, for it is the first time the real you will truly ever experience it. Use your emotions, your deep calm knowing, your gut feelings, as a barometer.
Take that first step,
as you remain connected to your breath.
Connect to your center,
that vortex of love, acceptance, understanding and authenticity,
as you take this first step…
remain connected to your heart.
That first point of light that emerges in the deafening, thick, velvety darkness.
Cloaking the whole universe, including you, from your awareness.
Trust. That you’re in there.
Trust. That this step will lead you down a new path.
Trust. Yourself as you take each step on this new journey.
Be curious. About everything and everyone.
Trust. Your gut.
Trust your feelings and knowings.
Question them, analyze them, look at them from all angels.
Like a freshly cut diamond.
Rotate it around,
look at it in the light,
feel it in the dark,
pull it into your heart and notice if it makes you feel expansion or contraction.
The simplicity and elegance of this newness can come down to just that. As you take each step, as you try new things, meet new people and expand your world… slowly, steadily, dripping with curiosity…
Allow yourself to notice what each new thing, person, place or situation, makes you feel. Does it make you feel smaller, like you want to shrink, like you’ve contracted… that tells you so much.
And allow that contraction to tell you something new,
to inform your next step,
perhaps away from that thing that prompted contraction.
But if that new thing helps you feel an expansion in your heart,
if it makes you want to spread your arms and look up at the sky and smile,
if it makes you want to know more about it,
if it feels opening to your heart,
take another step towards it.
Allow the simple elegance of your breath…
inhaling peace and relaxation,
and exhaling slowly and steadily,
calmly, and with stillness.
Connected with each new breath, notice… is your heart expanding or contracting? The key to this phase of transformation, growth, and healing, is to have the courage to take that first step, and to have an open heart and an open mind. Be open to seeing or feeling something that you do not expect. I guarantee that you will surprise yourself.
The gift of this phase of transformation is you.
To feel the true interaction you experience with each piece of newness.
Trust your heart as you move through this journey.
The most important journey you’ve ever taken. The journey back to you.
Even if it feels like the first time.
Even if it’s scary.
Allow the sunbursts of expansion to fill your time here.
To fill your one beautiful life.
There was no waste.
There was no missing out on time past.
Those steps were necessary for you to reach this moment.
Find the freedom that this truth offers, as you go bravely and innocently into your new life.
About Katherine (in her own words):
I’m Katherine and I am a psycho-vibrational explorer. Through my wellness practice, The Love Cure, I help my clients navigate their healing journeys to heal themselves through exploring the many facets of their experience and finding balance. I do this by sharing tools that helped me heal from a life-shattering trauma almost 11 years ago. These tools originate from a wide range of perspectives: from neuroscience to social and experiential psychology, all the way to vibrational energetics and spirituality. I hope you enjoy this exploration!
Connect with Katherine:
The Love Cure website: www.love-cure.com
LinkedIn: Katherine Vilnrotter