Happy Autumn from the mountains of Western North Carolina! I welcome this time of year because we have an opportunity to slow down, get cozy, and turn inward a bit to reflect on our own growth and healing. Making space for that is really important in our technology-driven, caffeine-fueled lives!
Most of the people I love have had difficult life experiences at some point. Difficult relationships that range from a wrong match to significant attachment misalignment to emotional or physical abuse; the unexpected loss of a very close family member, friend or partner, or the expected loss that hurt just as much; miscarriage or stillbirth; a major health crisis; or chronic stress, trauma, and discrimination interpersonally and institutionally that have lead to depression, anxiety, and deep fear. The list goes on. All of us have experienced something difficult before. What matters most is how we perceived those events. Did we feel that we had some power, some control? Did we feel we were able to make healthy choices for ourselves and do what we needed to take care of ourselves? Or did we feel lost, ignored, disempowered, shamed or taken advantage of? How we feel about our difficult experiences matters. In fact, it’s what matters most about a difficult event. My trauma is not your trauma and vice versa. We all experience the world differently.
That being said, as a society, I believe we are seriously lacking in resources and opportunities for people to do good healing work. For all of the difficult experiences we all have, we certainly don’t talk about them a lot. We tend to have to seek out support rather than it being offered to us without question. And I’m sure you know that when you are feeling overwhelmed, depressed, or anxious, seeking out support doesn’t feel easy.
And then there’s the stigma around healing: that we shouldn’t be trying to feel better. That we don’t deserve it. That we should suffer and struggle through, get over it, get back to our routine, and pretend like nothing happened. Something did happen, and it changed us—probably forever. Should we not give that space? Should we not honor the moments that irrevocably change who we are on a cellular level?
We don’t give ourselves room to feel and heal.
To some extent, I believe healing happens naturally. But oftentimes, we need more than what happens naturally over time if we want to feel whole and fulfilled. If we don’t share, we don’t feel, we don’t talk, and we don’t process, then we don’t heal completely. We might always feel as though we have a wound that could open at any moment, and we walk through the world with our shields up to protect ourselves from potential hurt. When we do this, we block out other possibilities, too—like love, connection, vulnerability, and shared experiences. We are effectively keeping ourselves from a better life because we are afraid we are going to be hurt again.
Earned secure attachment is possible for all of us, regardless of our primary style throughout our lives. Earned secure attachment is the set of new relationship patterns and beliefs we grow into as adults when we do our own personal work. We can always increase our feelings of safety and security. None of us must be resigned to our attachment styles or old patterns—only if we choose to remain unaware, unchanged, or apathetic will we continue to experience the same unsatisfying relationship patterns. We must learn and practice something more secure in order to achieve more security.
Healing work doesn’t come for free. But I don’t believe healing should be a privilege. In my life, my ultimate goal is to support as many folks in healing as I can possibly can. I want all of us to feel better. I want us to be able to experience joy and love in as many ways as we are able. I don’t think it’s too much to ask that we all have equal access to good healing opportunities.
This line of thinking and feeling inspired me to create the 28 Day Commitment to Healthier Relationships. Just as much as our difficult experiences and trauma come from unhealthy patterns in relationships, our healing comes from experiencing healthier relationships. We learn to rebuild trust with ourselves and others. We learn what hasn’t worked and we choose to leave that pattern behind. We give ourselves time and space to feel. Then we learn about how to create healthier patterns. We practice. Doing this work is sometimes uncomfortable, and we can feel unsure. That’s why we are doing this work in community with a group of folks who are doing the exact same work in different ways.
We all deserve healing. We all deserve healthy relationships.
This program costs $39, and I am giving you my best and most tried and true strategies, information, and resources about healing and creating healthier relationships. You will get a daily email from me with information and strategies you can practice right away. You will also have access to a Facebook community where I will drop in daily to offer support and suggestions so you are getting exactly what you need. Registration closes THIS Friday and this program will not be offered again until 2019.
If you are part of a marginalized community, queer, or a person of color and you would like to be part of this program but are not able to pay the full fee, please reach out to me so we can talk about options. I want you to have full access to healing.
I have realized over my years of doing this work, both personally and professionally, that the healing opportunities we need tend to show up right when we need them most. If this resonates for you, I would love for you to be part of this with us.
To our healing,