finding new light and darkness

“I stopped looking for the light and decided to become the light instead.”

This quote is so true to what I feel is going on inside this past month.

Even as I sit here and write this blog, it feels different – there is a newness of this writing and the process of being open with where I am.

Like I shared with my therapist in session last week, “this past month has been the most healing in all the years of being in therapy.” I look forward to what this new light will bring to me as I continue to take steps; allowing myself to be the light, rather than finding the light to lead the way.

One of my biggest struggles in the 10 years I have been in therapy is being open and truthful when I am really going through a hard time, or really struggling with something! Well, doesn’t that sound contradicting seeing that therapy is “made” for helping when you are struggling and going through hard times?

Well, for me, as far back as I can remember, I have only allowed myself to be open about whatever struggles I am going through if I have come up with how to fix it or make it better, and then I ask for support and help as I move through it.

I have always had this fear that if I allow myself to be seen struggling, that I will be rejected or I will be punished or pay consequences for talking about how I feel.

I am a FIGHTER, and I like to show that side of me – not the side that struggles or needs help.

When my therapist and I work together in therapy, we work TOGETHER! I rarely allow myself to say “I need help, and I don’t have it figured out.”

This past month I came to this realization that there is more light in allowing myself to be who I am “in the moment” and allowing others to see me in that light.

I made a decision this past month that allows me to be authentic to the moment instead of always raising a wall to the hard and only allowing the wall to come down once its OK enough to be seen.

The same goes for my writing, a lot of times I wouldn’t write a blog unless there was a resolve or an understanding of something. I would write a blog about positive things that I have overcome rather than letting people know “HEY, I have struggled and I don’t have it all figured out and hey that’s OK.”

What I have come to realize is that, healing happens even in the moments that are not fixed, or don’t feel better. Healing can happen in the hardest of all struggles, and its OK to ask for support in that. I don’t have just to be supported when I have figured it all out – that I am loved, cared for “SEEN” in the darkness.

The past couple of weeks in therapy have been the most healing, the most supporting, the most open, and the most vulnerable I have ever experienced because I have allowed myself to be in both light and dark.

I am finally seeing myself taking steps back into the things that once used to be a huge part of my life. Like the church, writing more, being around my once close friends, and not because I have found the light, but because I have allowed myself to see the dark, and heal in the dark.

I am open to what is next. I am hoping that I am going to write more by allowing others to see not just the good healing steps in my life or the good healing steps in therapy, but being open to the struggles it took to take those steps. Even in the moments of saying “this is where I am, and I don’t have it figured out, and that is OK because I am supported.”

This is such a HUGE step for me because I never allowed myself to be fully seen or supported without me putting up a partition wall to the struggles until It was ok for others to see. This is such a new space for me and I look forward to seeing how it brings me to the places I long to be.

I look forward to writing and connecting with others more in this space and seeing what it does for me and how it heals and meds and where it leads me.

I look forward to writing the blogs that say “I am having a hard day, and ITS OK” or showing up in my life no matter where it is open to the dark, and not just the light knowing healing can happen in both.

So I hope you will all walk with me in both the light and dark and both Good and Hard as I continue to take steps on this amazingly un-perfect journey.

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awaken memories

The past couple of weeks I have been experiencing very strong, vivid dreams and memories of my past when I was a little child, and it’s been incredibly hard to sit with these memories that have come to me in my sleep.

I have written before about “crying wake up’s” that I experience once in a while – dreaming and then waking up crying out of my sleep. Well, its happening again only now it’s happening along with very vivid and strong memories of my past.

The moment I wake up with a dream like this, I try and grab my phone’s notepad app to write down whatever I can remember to capture as much as I can! If I fall back asleep without writing the dream down, I will forget details.

I have had crying wake up’s before! I had had bad dreams before, but this is different, this is vivid, and they are strong and painful even. These dreams have been effecting me and my personal life and connection to self.

My therapist and I have been talking about them more in session and the meaning behind them and what the dreams/memories may be trying to tell me. We have spoken about it, I have written about it, I even talked with someone who knew a lot about dreams from those abused in the past, or from abuse survivors.

The dreams and the wake up’s are the inner young child’s way of telling a story she holds! Sometimes when we work on healing for so long, the inner child begins to trust more, she begins to step away from the wall just enough to let images be visible from the young child’s perspective. My inner child is telling me a story of the past that needs my voice, needs healing, needs to be spoken for her to move on, and grow up to be the adult I am today.

I have been told many times that the inner child is stuck inside, and sometimes it takes years and years for the young inner child inside to finally be free and ready to accept the endured abuse and pain, and the story she holds to be told, to be felt, to be trusted!

I have been in therapy for ten years, and in these ten years, I have talked about my story many times in different ways. I have worked through a lot of the pain! I have worked through a lot of the images and the story behind my past. I have painfully stepped into my past.

But it’s different this time; I feel a different shift happening inside of me to where the young part of me feels present; particularly through these vivid, horrific, painful dreams.

These dreams feel so real like it’s happening all over again! It’s the closest I have been to the abuse since it has happened, and it’s scary and painful in ways I cannot describe.

So what do I do with this? At times I am afraid to shut my eyes to sleep at night. My therapist knows what “I had a crying wake up” means and just how hard that is for me – – but that doesn’t even touch just how painful these wake up’s are or have been these past couple weeks.

My husband has even experienced me struggling in my sleep many times this past month, and he has seen just how horrible it has been for me. The crying wake up’s, the wincing in my sleep, the struggle to get out of the situation I am in during these dreams.

What I have come to realize and understand is, this is not something to hurt me all over again, but more so a way for the young inner child within me to speak and show me what she holds. It’s her way of saying “this is what I hold, this is what I remember – and she looks for healing.

But what about all the years I have talked about my past? What about all the hard work I have done so far in working with the images and stories of my past? I thought I was healing? Why is this happening now? Well, This IS the healing! This is the young part of me healing!

Finally, she has trusted to come out of the dark shadows within and show me, to use my voice to talk about “her” feelings and “her” pain.

We all have an inner child! For those abused as a child, that inner child is “stuck” and “silenced” and driven to fear out of being told for many years that she is not allowed to talk about it!

Me as the adult I am today, I have told the story! I have re-lived the old images of the past- but the young inner child wasn’t ready yet, she stayed dormant to the healing until trust could build just enough to come out from behind the walls.

As the healing has happened within me over the years, the young inner child has finally become awaken to my truth, to the trust of my therapist who holds the story. I have spent ten years showing up and showing her trust, love, and connection. The young inner child has awakened to that healing I have worked so hard through – and now that young wounded child is here – listening and ready to heal.

A physical wound heals from the inside out – An emotional wound heals from the outside in! Think about it, emotional healing begins on the outside and works its way inward, and deep within is that wounded, scared little child stuck, now ready to heal and speak and talk and even feel, and that is what I have realized is happening inside of me.

I spoke with someone recently who specializes in healing the inner child, and she said to me “Karen, you are healing, the dreams and the wakeups are not there to hurt you, but to show you.”

Difficult to think about isn’t it? Doesn’t make it any easier to shut my eyes before bed knowing I could be shown yet another image of my past that is painful or hard to see – – but if I can heal another wound on the little girl inside of me, it’s worth going through the pain again.

It took me years and years to believe that I have an inner child. I didn’t want to believe it! I struggled with the thought that if I admitted to having an inner child, that something was wrong with me. I feel differently now – I welcome this journey, and I embrace whatever the inner child wants to show me, because I know, from the outside in, she is healing.

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my therapist; someone I admire

Andy Dishman Therapist
Andy Dishman

As a part of my Tuesday at Ten prompt “Who do you admire/who inspires you” it was so easy as to who I would write about as “this someone” has had such an impact on my life for the past 10 years.

This person who I admire and who inspires me is my therapist Andy; someone who has taught me so much, and has helped me to see the things I could never see before I took the steps to healing.

Andy is such a wonderful person who has so much to teach and give others; someone who uses that god given gift as a way to help people heal and live – just as he has done for me.

I look to his wisdom as a way to see things that are sometimes hard to see, and he inspires me to be a better person everyday because of his wisdom and the person that he is.

Andy and I have been working alongside each other on this amazing journey for a little over 10 years now. 10 years healing alongside someone who inspires me to keep my feet on the path of healing moving forward on days where the path seems impossible to conqueror.

When I was as little as 6 years old, I remember sitting and rocking alone in the closet and praying to God that I wished I had someone I could trust telling all my big secrets to; the secrets that had me living in silence for so long. The secrets that kept the pain hidden deep within.

I remember asking God in a prayer for someone who could hear and help take away the big scary feelings that I was holding alone. This was an everyday prayer in between the abuse, pain and loneliness I endured day-to-day.

I imagined having a person who would hear my story, and keep that story in a safe box so I didn’t have to hold it alone; someone who would believe when others told me “no one ever will”.

30+ years later, God finally answered my prayers. I look at it as, God knew I was strong enough to heal by taking those steps that lead me to this healing path – –  and awaiting on the other side of this journey was a God chosen therapist who would have such a huge impact on my life, and my healing journey; someone who is very near and dear to my heart.

From the moment I walked into the therapy room a little over 10 years ago, Andy has truly made me feel like this space of healing is mine; a place where using my voice would never be a consequence – yet met with love, care and support.

He has taught me so much about safe connection when connection didn’t feel safe. He has helped me to find and use my voice as a way to heal, and become the person that God created me to be.

He was someone who taught me what the touch of  “his finger to my finger” meant in connection and how that was the beginning of a safe connection and a safe relationship, and the beginning of big steps towards internal healing.

Taking that step into therapy was one of the most vulnerable scariest things I have ever done in my life; but because of the therapist and person Andy is, I found a place of true healing, and I still continue to every day as I take more and more steps through and forward.

Because of him, I found what connection to life meant; no longer being a prisoner behind walls of lies from the past.

I believe God chose my therapist Andy for this role he has had in my healing, and I am so grateful that God chose him.

God has truly given him a gift … I imagine so many other people have been touched and healed by his big caring heart and wisdom filled teachings – I know I have and I truly am honored to walk this path and continue to walk this healing path with him.

Thank you so much Andy for your wisdom, insight and guidance – – for your support care and big heart. God truly had a plan for you and you are living that plan by helping others to heal.

Therapy is a hard vulnerable process, but a process that I know has taken me to many different places on this journey that I could not do alone, and I am healing every day as a result of that ..

thank you so much Andy for being who you are. You are truly one of my favorite people.

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therapy helped me find my true self

When I began therapy almost 10 years ago, I was scared! I was vulnerable, I was unsure of what the process would be. I was afraid to let someone else into the part of my life I had locked up deep within for a very long time.

But I took that step 10 years ago, and I took that step because it was something I needed to do for me for that scared locked up little girl inside that never had a voice to speak without consequences.

I was told by “other people of my past” that going to therapy wasn’t going to help – that all therapy was about was paying someone to listen to my problems, and that talking about my past would be digging myself a hole I would never be able to get out of.

I was even told that I would be abandoned in the process, and if I took this step, no one would be there for me if I came back.

I was told that once I took that step into therapy, I would have to become dependent on the process; dependent on my therapist and change into a different person.

I was told that it wasn’t a good idea to open old wounds, that life is about handing everything over to God, and old wounds belong in the past.

The phrase “the past is the past“, yep I was told that time and time again by many – –  “the past belongs to the past” – –  “you can’t change what happened!” oh and let it go Karen.” – I have heard it all.

Well, they were right about some of those things – – –

I did change – I changed in ways that I never thought was possible. I found a voice inside that even I didn’t know I had. I changed – I changed into the person I always wanted to become – a person who can speak and use my voice in so many ways.

They were also right about something else – I did dig a hole, a big one, and in that hole what I found was a way to release the pain, and the hurt, and that lost little child inside who was silenced for way too long.

In that hole I dug I found a light – a light to healing; a light to a place where my voice would heal the hurt and the pain I held.

I found that the hole I dug, the hole I worked HARD to dig, also had something on the other side, a way out into a whole different life that I never knew was there for me. A life with connection, a life with healthy boundaries, a life where I could connect with god and people in ways I could trust.

They were Also right about being dependent – only what I learned in this process of therapy is that, the only person I would become dependent on was myself in a good healthy healing way; a way to where I could finally accept support from others without me having to give anything in return.

I learned that the therapist listening to my truth and supporting me through it, was there for me freely – no consequences or hurt – but to help me find myself behind the wall pf pain and hurt.

They were also right about something else … I am paying someone – but not for the reasons they believe, because what I also learned on this journey thus far is that, the financial part of therapy – the money I put towards my healing – is about a healthy financial part of this therapy process that honors me and my therapist.

I began to hear being told many times that no price spent, no amount of session time, no amount of years in therapy equals to the value of who I truly am – – – realizing that money was something others did to control me in my past, but this was about my worth and the worth of the time of my therapist in a healthy caring supporting way.

They were also right about something else .. the past IS the past, and how this process of healing has helped me and the young parts of me to see that the past is no longer here, and those who hurt me can’t hurt me anymore! The past IS the past, and boy how therapy has helped me to define the difference in a whole new way!

Therapy isn’t only about healing wounds of the past, but also about finding my true self under the wounds of the past. I found that I don’t have to be the person others expect me to be, or want me to be, that I am my own true person and she is still healing every day – every step – on my terms.

I won’t lie, when I first started therapy, I feared that I would be “seen” to be dependent on the process of therapy, or better yet, fear my therapist would feel I was dependent on him (like others did in my past) – – but what I really learned the most in these past 10 years is, I am the one who is in charge of my healing, and my therapist is the one that helps to guide me each step of the way.

Therapy and this process of healing is not a time frame, but a process of movement, and each day I continue to move and change, and continue taking steps out of the much-needed hole that I dug 10 years ago into my past, so that I could take steps into what lies before me.

SO when people wonder or ask “are you still in therapy? are you still on this journey to healing? I proudly respond “YES I am”, and I will continue to take these steps until the steps turn more into the steps of the life God intended for me, and only I will know when those steps change from a process of healing, to a process of being whole, and I feel it happening EVERY DAY”.

No one can do that for me but ME.

So YES I have changed, and yet I am also still the same person in many ways, only now I continue to find freedom from the wounds and the past by giving myself the voice I never had;only now I know I have the choice to move where I want to move, and how far and how long.

Truthfully speaking, In this process of therapy and healing I have struggled, and I have celebrated, and I have cried, and I have laughed!I have had moments of wanting to give up, and I have had moments of big changes and wanting to continue this amazing path of goodness! I have been through all of it, and that is what healing is! it’s ALL of it – the hard and the good!

I have found the locked up wounded self inside, and I have become a person I never thought I could become, and yet there is still the same sparkle of me inside as well –  It’s there – for those who truly know me, I’m still here.

Therapy is not just a process of the past, but the process of the now and how to live in the new life uncovered. Remember that if anyone ever wonders about your process of healing.

When I was 8 years old, I sat in my closet night after night and prayed to God that he would find someone I could talk to about what I was holding inside.

I needed someone other than God who could hear me and help me make sense of the confusion and pain I was holding. A voice I could hear back saying “Its OK Karen, I hear you and your OK, you didn’t do anything wrong” I longed for that, I longed to no longer hold this pain and secrets I held for so long.

I was a little girl all alone scared of what was going on, and I had no one to talk to about it. I prayed about this every night! So you see, I did hand this over to God, and he sent me into this process of healing 10 years ago – he knew I was ready, this was my time and God has walked along side of this journey with me every single day since.

God sent me on this journey with a bag filled of uncertainties and fear, and a whole lot of pain and stories to be told, and I couldn’t have done this without my amazing therapist Andy who has gently helped me  to unpack that bag in a healthy, caring and supporting way. Thank you ANDY, thank you so much for being the wisdom and the ears to my voice.

My therapist who has walked this journey with me almost 10 years now is the kindest most caring person. He is truly an amazing person inside and out. I thank God every day for him and his guidance and wisdom.

He has shown me what safe and healthy connection is, and he has walked this journey with me in the struggles and the celebrations.

Thank you Andy for being a part of this journey along side of me and God.

So you see – there are a lot of things people were right about – but they were right in their OWN beliefs without asking me first what this journey is TRULY about – – this journey that I took and continue to take –

Yes the past is the past, but you can’t live in the now or the future without taking a step back and healing what keeps you from going forward.

You can hand everything over to God, but what he hands back to you is just as important, this is what God handed back to me – the ability to heal and use my voice not only to live the life God intended for me, but to help others in the process.

This is my journey …. my journey to healing …. changes and all.

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continue; making my way back

As I sit here writing, putting words to this blog, it feels weird as I haven’t written in so long – – but at the same time it feels familiar.

I took a backseat to my writing and many other things this past year, but the one thing I didn’t take a backseat to was my healing, and continuing to fight and put one foot in front of the other.

For the past year or so, I went through emotional and physical isolation, I pushed away my writing, I pushed away people who I was once close to, I pushed away things that really defined who I was.

I pushed away out of fear – – but what I have learned the most these past couple of months is, those things I pushed away and backed away from, never went away – that my writing, and those people who love and care for me are right here waiting as I continue to take steps forward and out.

My therapist and I have worked so incredibly hard this past year, and continue to work hard to help me put one foot in front of the other as I took, and continue to take steps out to find my way back – and for him and this journey I am so grateful. I am so grateful that he helped me find my steps, and even sat with me in the moments of still.

The one thing I have learned the most about myself in this past year is, no matter what steps I took whether it was steps back, to the side, steps paused out of fear, or even moments of sitting still,  I was always going forward even when I didn’t see it or feel it.

The funny thing about healing is, no matter how hard things get, you can move forward in the hard. You can move forward even in the pauses, you can even move forward when you take no steps at all. I have really come to understand that – which is what gave me the courage to write this blog today.

I have missed writing so much! I have missed connecting with others on this journey to healing. I have missed putting words to this blog and really connecting with those who also know what this journey is about for me, and for them. . . . . so that is why today – TODAY – I have decided to take another step and let the words be seen; let this journey be seen thru my writing and thru the steps forward.

Even as I sat here writing this blog, there were moments of pause, moments of not being sure if I wanted to continue to write to post it, even moments of deleting some words and putting them back – but all of those moments is what makes THIS step what it is.

I look forward to sharing thru my words what the healing process has been for me this past year, so I can connect with others and create more steps not only for me, but hopefully for others like I once did.

I am truly blessed for finding my way back to this blog and many others things that I isolated from.

There is this quote that I have really embraced as I have taken steps and that quote is

healing doesn’t completely eliminate a person’s pain. It removes the fear of entering into the pain

I have learned to enter “into” the fear and “into” the pain – – as a way to move out of it

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9 years – My Place of Healing

IMG_7677This month, this week, this year marks 9 years on this amazing journey of therapy and healing. This is my place of healing, the room that holds the story, the pain, the joy, the truth of so many things I kept hidden inside me for 30+ years.

This is a photo of my therapy room, the room I stepped into 9 years ago and began my healing journey with an amazing therapist who has guided me into the life I never thought I could live.

9 years ago I began this journey with one foot out the door out of fear, and today I claim this room as the place of my healing and the place that has changed my life, and has healed so many open wounds.

I have sat in every chair in this room – made my way around the room in anger, tears, laughter, joy, excitement and many other feelings and emotions that I have had through the years!

The room [ . . . . . ]

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walking thru many changes

bigstock-New-you-old-you-48073835-e1426973137874As I sat in session yesterday, There was a moment I made a strong eye contact with my therapist when he asked me a hard question, and in that moment I felt a trust I have never felt even in the 8 1/2 years I have worked with my therapist on this healing journey.

I felt this newness in me, I felt like the young part (in that moment) let go of all the old messages and all the old fears and just allowed TRUST to be present and I felt heard, and I felt supported, and I felt a letting go in that moment – another change on this journey.

There have been so many changes going on inside of me the past couple of months. Some are noticeable, and some are only ones that can be felt and seen by me’ changes that only I can experience that have no words to explain.

One of the biggest changes is the work in therapy and the connection I have been able to hold onto – even from the younger part side of me that holds all those old messages from the past. I feel CONNECTED even in the hard days. I feel the old me fading and the new me emerging – but it doesn’t go without a fight to keep this going. It takes work, it takes trust, it takes consistency.

My therapist has used this quote to me the past couple weeks and that is “Nothing changes and yet everything changes” .. meaning as he said to me – “as you move through the many changes going on inside of you on this new path you are walking through, nothing changes in our work together, nothing changes in the support, care and love for you in this work, nothing changes in the connection and trust in our work together, and yet everything changes in such a good connecting way as I seek new ways this path is moving for you

So, what has changed? For me what I have noticed the most is the ability to trust the connection outside of therapy without disengaging out of safety and protection for self. Before I would create a wall outside of therapy out of fear of depending on the process of therapy an my therapist – making it really hard when I had my next session because we had to re-connect all over again, and the work became about connection and not healing.

I have/had this HUGE fear of dependency for such a long long time, and now for the first time ever, I am allowing myself to be connected even outside of therapy, to the process, to myself, and to the connection our work holds inside and outside.

One of the things my therapist says to me at the end of every session in a gentle way is – – “if you need any reminding or you need any support outside of session, lean in, all ways of connecting are here for you

Before – I would completely disconnect myself from that out of fear it meant I was dependent, and if I DID lean in, or reach out outside of therapy, there was such guilt and shame that it would disconnect me and we would have to work hard to re-build that connection

Now – I feel a new kind of acceptance, I feel I can now reach out anytime I need to and accept that it doesn’t mean dependency, it means I am struggling and its OK to ask for help, and nothing changes, because I am still my “independent self”. I have learned that a part of independence, is allowing myself good healthy attachment, connection and support, and the difference is, when I come back into therapy the day after, or after I lean in outside of session, there is no disconnection or shame – connection is already present.

This is a HUGE step for me; even writing about it is a huge acceptance to change and letting others see this change.

This is probably one of the biggest changes, because from day 1 in therapy – almost 9 years ago – the first thing I said to Andy my therapist was “The day I depend on you, is the day I quit this therapy” hahaha I remember the look on his face even today. I said to him “I am NOT dependent on you nor will I ever be, I am my OWN person!”

To this day, we still laugh when we talk about that, because it’s the one thing I truly feared the most. It’s an old message from my past – I was feared into depending on those who abused me and since then I feared ever going through that again.

This fear of dependency got in the way a lot in our work in therapy when I needed to lean on his support or accept talking about really hard things. It created a lot of projection in our work as well. We called it the “D” word! Didn’t even want to say the word Dependent!

“Healing is a process that takes time”

Now, I am not going to say its easy.. it takes work to continue with these new changes.. some days are harder than others. I still struggle with a battle going on inside of me between the young beliefs and the new beliefs. Some days the old messages from the past are louder than the truths I know today, But it’s here and I am working so hard to continue holding this newness in acceptance.

There are so many changes going on within me as I continue to work with the younger little me who holds the pain and wounds and old messages that  get in the way of living the way I want to live, and its a process! but as I work with these changes, its allowing me to seek these deep wounds and feelings I have never been able to reach because of those old barriers!

Emotions is another change for me. I am beginning to FEEL emotions for the first time and yet I am noticing there are some things I am NUMB to – but the difference is, I know when I am feeling and I now know when I am numb – where before I would disconnect and project those feelings on others. I feel present to all the things going on inside of me. I can’t say emotions is something I accept as I still struggle with that, but I can feel and understand what it is I am feeling now.

I am still struggling with isolation that I have been stuck in for a couple of years now, but I truly believe as these changes emerge within me, I will continue to take more steps out of that . . . .

The work between my therapist and I have been amazing, and I am truly blessed to have a wonderful therapist who is open and patient to all these changes emerging within me. He has really inspired me to find the trust in this journey, in the process, and in him. I don’t even have the words to express what a good kind-hearted person he is! Truly a blessing that God has placed on my path to healing.

I have always said this through the years of writing in my blog about my healing journey and around therapy and the work I do with my therapist and that is “healing is a process that takes time“, there are surface wounds, and then there are deep deep wounds that take a long time to get to, and its a process of getting there, and in that process comes changes – changes both good and hard, scary at times, painful and hardening – yet all those are healing!


 

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thinking back – looking forward

forwardbackAs I look back on this past year, it was a very hard year for me on so many levels! But it has also been one of the most connecting and self changing years on my healing journey.

It began with the death of my mom last January 6th 2015, which set the stage for the beginning of a very hard year for me.

I was already struggling with self isolation from many things that happened a couple of years ago, and in that hard work of trying to move out of the isolation, adding my moms death was just another reason to pull back even more.

But then there is my healing journey, my work in therapy and the amazing work my therapist and I have done this past year has been absolutely amazing!

As we sat in therapy Tuesday, my therapist and I did a lot of reflecting back and forth about the good work we have done, and how blessed we both are for each other and the strong bond we re-built over this past year, and for that I am blessed that I can walk this amazing journey with so much trust, connection and acceptance.

As I look back on this hard hard year, I have seen where the hardness has changed me! I have seen the changes and for the first time in almost 9 years of therapy now, I can see how much I have changed and how connection to self, the work, and to my therapist has grown to a new acceptance.

My moms death opened my eyes to a new acceptance and healing for me. The self isolation made me see the places I can go and where I am stuck.

My therapist and I have re-created what “connection” means and what that looks like in our work! I have learned to accept connection more and when there is acceptance, there is healing, and in the healing I have learned to accept my worth!

I look back and I can’t believe how different I feel inside around connection and acceptance and learning how to “feel” my emotions and not be afraid of them – BECAUSE of that acceptance, BECAUSE of that connection I can finally feel worthy of.

Just a couple of years ago, connection was hard for me to accept, because I felt if I accepted connection like (leaning in for support, writing an email, or sending a text or whatever it was) it meant I was dependent or “too much” .. well I don’t feel that way anymore, when I lean in and connect, I feel a new acceptance that “I am worthy of being in connection” and that has made such a HUGE difference in my healing this year.

That has been the biggest change this past year, and because of this new found acceptance, it has made the bond between my therapist and I stronger, and that has made the healing take a really good turn on so many levels!

Looking forward I can see how this new acceptance is going to open doors for me to take more steps out of this self isolation! When I say self isolation that means “going back to church” “going out more without fearing things” “being open to being in the company of friends again like I used to” .. and then there are others things I am not ready to be open around this yet, but that time will come.

The self isolation also touches on many of my past hurts and triggers and that is also something else I am working so hard with – and will continue to as I take steps into the new year.

Emotions have always been a huge struggle for me, I am finally learning how to “FEEL” for the first time, really feel and that has opened many new healing paths for me as I talk about the hurt I still hold.

So, as I look back, there are many things that were HARD about this past year around the self isolation and self inner struggles and yet at the same time, this past year has been the year of learning to accept and trust the healing relationship and the healing journey!

As I look forward, I am scared and yet so excited to see what is next on this path to healing! not only are changes happening here at home for the good, but I am really looking forward to what my therapist and I are working so hard on in helping me out of this self isolation and more accepting support, love and care while learning to work with my emotions and feeling them more.

Someday I will be able to tell the story of what began this self isolation – but for now it’s good enough to just say “this is where I was, this is where I am, and this is where I look forward to being!

You will see a lot more writing from this year as I plan to take this new found acceptance and start writing more about my journey and not fear writing about it. I look forward to the connections I make in that.

I hope all of you have a HAPPY NEW YEAR! I love you all and thank you for the support this past year in my journey of both HARD and HEALING!

** WORDPRESS.COM READERS ** if your reading this in the READER, you wont be able to respond with a comment unless you go to the link of my blog, I run a SELF HOSTED so you have to go to my blog to leave a comment .. go here to the link to read and leave a comment
http://www.findingthegracewithin.com/thinking-back-looking-forward

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