Recently, I have spent time digging into my past, into my unprocessed stories and wounds. It is only fair as I explore these places with my clients and students that I engage in the process myself. While exploring the unknown territory of the subconscious, it is important for to grant permission. We need to give permission to ourselves so that we know we are ready to explore the story at hand. We need to grant permission to others if they are to guide us safely into these wounds. We all need to grant permission to go into the places that scare us, that have been scarred and that are sacred.
It is so crucial that we ask ourselves if we are ready to explore our wounds, shadows and traumas. How can we really know if we are ready? One valuable practice that I have found for discovering the truth about whether or not I am ready to dive deeper goes like this:
- Do I have pretty good awareness of the wound or trauma that I am curious about?
- Can I marry the awareness with a clear feeling of safety?
- If I am not sure or the answer is no, then the work is about acknowledging the boundary and getting comfortable with that boundary.
- If the answer is yes, I can marry the awareness of a wound with a feeling of clarity and safety, then I will ask myself – Do I have an ample support system in my life just in case I delve too deep?
- If I feel completely comfortable about my support system, then I proceed past my boundaries and begin to repel into the wound, shadow or trauma.
When I can grant permission to myself and I have clearly identified the piece of my shadow or trauma that I would like to engage, explore and digest AND I feel clear and safe about going there THEN the quest to delve into the darkness is righteous. When we digest and reframe wounds, shadows and trauma, then we begin the healing process as well as gain access to hidden treasures of freedom on the other side of healing. It all begins with permission of respecting our boundaries and the divine marriage between understanding and feeling.
When we apply this practice to our clients or students, it is important to understand that sometimes they are willing but don’t recognize where the boundary needs to be. Sometimes they trust you so much that they are willing to take a leap of faith. And sometimes, they aren’t ready to do so. In these moments, it is vital that we maintain those boundaries for them. As practitioners in healing professions, we must become skilled at recognizing when a student or client may have the understanding of what a wound is but the feelings may be too much for them to cope with in the moment or after they open up to that wound or trauma. If a client is not ready to feel a trauma, this can cause flooding which is approximately the same as reliving the trauma or wound in real time. We need to avoid these situations as much as possible. Sometimes clients and students grant us permission and we, as practitioners, must hold safe boundaries for them, thank them for their trust and safely hold the boundary right where it currently exists. It is a tremendous amount of work to just get clear about where the boundary is and getting comfortable with its existence is powerful healing in itself.