If you grew up in a family with abuse, neglect, alcoholism, or other trauma, you might have learned that you are not enough or that you are broken. You might often feel shame or self-hatred or you might have a very active inner critic who constantly tells you the many ways you have screwed up. The influence of our parents is enormous on our young, innocent, vulnerable selves. The impact on our understanding of who we are can not be overstated. Watch a young child with their parent and you will see it. It will take your breath away.
( I am sorry to tell you this if you are a parent. I know you are already anxious enough about the huge responsibility you’ve undertaken. But notice, I’m talking about abuse, and not normal, everyday parental blunders that you address and repair and that build resilience in your kids. I’m not talking about normal parental overwhelm, frustration, or exhaustion. OK? )
I take a lot of time explaining this impact to my counseling clients. They are gifted. They expect to move quickly through the stages of grief (one way to describe the structure of therapy) because they move quickly through most things. Right? (except when they move slowly because they are thorough and precise or anxious or 2e…you know who you are) Some of you even think you have to “know it before you learn it” because that is how it was in school. Many of you have been told that because you are “so smart,” you can figure anything out on your own. But in this work, we are repairing the core issues of safety and trust– that were very possibly tampered with or, well, ok, obliterated. Not to mention fears, anxiety, depression, shame, and self-hatred.
So, why does deep healing take so darned long?
Because it is deep. You are deep. Complicated. You are not in it for the quick fix or the cover up. You are not into water skiing therapy or even snorkeling counseling. You are in it for the scuba dive. To examine “the wreck” on the ocean floor (and to find the buried treasure). Sure, symptom relief is important, but you don’t stop there. You seek healing, self-acceptance, self-love, ending the legacy of abuse in your family line, and true peace. Perhaps even transformation, transfiguration, evolution. That just might take some time.
It’s not for everyone. Some people need the non-scuba approaches. Some need to focus on emotional regulation and creating healthy routines and structures. Some need concrete solutions and positive affirmations. Some need communication skills and yoga classes. Some need 12-step groups and self-compassion programs.
Maybe you need some of those things, too. But you may need more.
So, it is important to find a trustworthy counselor who knows how to scuba dive and has examined their own “wreck.” But you may notice I said “therapies” in the title. Happily, the healing path is wide and includes more than traditional therapy. For example, I have had different counselors over the years as each of them provided what I needed at the time. I have experienced other practitioners and modalities, too, including energy work, acupuncture, breath work, journaling, meditation, massage, Argentine tango and the Evolutionary Collective. You will likely need a variety of approaches and many guides along the way, too: This link will provide more information. This link has some ideas on where to find a good therapist.
As a rainforest-minded soul, then, you might always seek ways to grow, heal, evolve, and expand into your fullness, your authenticity, and your raison d’être! You may have many layers to examine, unwind, and unravel. But you will gradually create a new foundation built on safety, trust, and self-love. You will bounce back faster from adversity. You will blossom and find more fulfillment, meaning, and healthier relationships. You will transform, transfigure, and evolve.
I know this is true because I have seen it in my clients. I have seen it in myself.
And I see it in you.
To my bloggEEs: Do you put pressure on yourself to not need help because you are “so smart?” Are you frustrated because you think you ought to be problem-free by now? Let us know the different paths you have followed to healing and to finding your fullness! Thank you for sharing. Your comments make this blog so much richer! (And just an FYI. I am only licensed in Oregon so can not practice therapy outside of the state. I consult worldwide but consulting is not the in-depth therapy I’m writing about. The focus in consultations is understanding your rainforest mind and the issues that come with it.)
And just in case you need a reminder, my latest book is available now! It’s a guided journal especially for your rainforest mind. It sounds like you will now be able to order it at your independent bookstore. If they can’t find it, it is because the distributor has not processed it fully. But it ought to be up now or very soon. Thank you to all of you who already have it! And thank you for writing a review on Amazon. Much gratitude and love to you all.
(Note: If you click on the “transfigure and evolve” link, you will be taken to the evolutionary collective. It is a powerful, fascinating community you might want to check out. It will transfigure and evolve you.)