Is our past in the past? Have we truly left it there, or do we bring it with us in painful memories, thoughts, conditioned responses and body armouring? Is it contributing to our illnesses today? If we honestly ask ourselves that question many of us will find the answer is that we do indeed bring the past into our present life.
For me, it took five years of healing from disabling CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) to even learn that I had trauma in my system to heal. Childhood and teenage sexual abuse trauma, an experience of being the victim of violence as a teenager, my parent’s divorce and later I realised that I was even carrying trauma from my ancestor’s experiences.
To address this step on our journey to health and happiness it’s important that we are working with our emotions consciously, that we understand more about what trauma is and how it effects the body, and how we heal, including the different types of trauma like inherited trauma.
To be clear, we do not need to resolve all of our past baggage to heal physically, indeed we may not need to resolve any and other steps to support our healing may be enough, such as practicing a lot of self-care like a great diet, good sleep routines and practicing daily meditation and restorative yoga.
However, I believe for a full and lasting recovery, it is helpful to gently explore the roots of our patterns and conditioning, and bring new resources to our younger parts. This will also support us in moving to a deeper place of peace and wholeness, and enriching our lives and relationships in amazing ways for the rest of our lives.
As we heal our past we will develop more strength and resilience than we previously dreamed to be possible, and as I experienced in my journey, we might even experience it as a spiritual awakening.
Trauma and suppressed emotions can be part of the picture of what later manifests as a chronic health condition. For example, as I was healing from CFS and was in the final year of the illness and generally doing pretty well, I went to see my father by the coast. Within a day of being there, I ended up feeling really unwell and barely able to get out of bed for days. As I was laying there in despair about how ill I felt I suddenly had a feeling that my body was calling to me through these horrible symptoms to be really authentic with my Dad for the first time; to talk about how painful it was when I was a child and he split up with my mum, and what had led up to it. Thankfully, he had recently been in therapy himself and so he was open to talking to me about it.
Once I realised this was what I needed to do I had the energy to go out for a little walk with him and from the start I brought up the topic. Telling me more about his story as we sat on cliffs looking out over the sea, we both ended up crying and connecting, and it was a beautiful and healing experience. It was also a moment of reinforcing the link between mind and body, as I felt so much better physically once I’d spoken my truth and been heard. I left feeling so much healthier and happier, and like a layer of what was needed in order for me to recover had been resolved.
Needless to say, it’s not always possible to have these conversations with the people in your life that might have had a big impact on you. In which case therapeutic support can be really helpful and necessary to work through these feelings. Of course, if you’ve got really good friends that you can be truly authentic with, that can be very supportive as well.
For me I believe that sexual abuse and trauma was at the root of my chronic illness, and what led to patterns and behaviours that kept my system in a chronic place of underlying stress, until I got to those roots and started to free my system from the burden it was carrying. As this happens, and all of the energy that was bound up in the trauma starts to free up, we might even experience a shift in consciousness and what could be considered a spiritual awakening.
Wishing you well on your journey into the roots of what is affecting your physical or emotional health, to claim your birth right for health, happiness and joy.
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Frances is a therapist, coach, trainer, speaker, mother and the author of ‘You Can Heal Chronic Illness: The Lotus Process, 8 Steps to Health and Happiness’. Over five years, she went from house-bound with chronic fatigue to running half marathons and she’s since spent a decade dedicating her life to supporting 100s of women to recover their health.
Frances is a Master Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) Trainer and Advanced Practitioner (AAMET Accredited), a Gupta Amygdala Retraining Coach, and a health recovery coach specialising in supporting women to heal from chronic illness.
For more information on working with Frances in one-to-one coaching sessions, visit her website www.francesgoodall.com