Pay attention to your patterns. The way you learned to survive may not be the way you want to continue to live. Heal and shift.

-Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis

In the last two months, I have really been reflecting on how the trauma and wounds that I have experienced (mostly as a child) has affected me my entire life thus far. Especially the significance of how I still let them continuously still affect me despite my best efforts to navigate this world as best as I can.

Listen, you cannot move on from your trauma and wounds if you do not sit in your mess and HEAL. Not only that, but you will continuously use the same efforts in how you respond to your ongoing life in a way that hinders you BECAUSE you have not worked through your shit. AKA, you are holding yourself back because you will not work through your emotions and problems.

Trust me; you think you are doing just fine and that you are thriving the best you can in this messy world, but, for some reason, you are in the loop of the same issues over and over and over again. AHHH!

I get that – I did the same thing for nearly 29 years. But guess what, until you understand why you’re reacting to your life the way you are and getting to the bottom of your problems, you’re barely scratching the surface and are definitely not moving anywhere.

I was excellent about protecting my barriers and ensuring that nobody came too close, which was the trauma that I had picked up as a cause result of humans leaving me that “weren’t supposed to” (birth parents, adopted ones, etc.,)

And that is just one example, but it’s huge! And although I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, sometimes we are conditioned to respond to life based on the things we went through, and that only makes life harder for us.

We are not our traumas, our wounds, our problems – we merely exist to experience and create the life that we want. However, we will continuously be taking the same actions towards everything in our lives if we do not start holding ourselves accountable for the shielding we are doing and the healing we are avoiding.

I recognize now how those experiences affect my responses to life, people, and situations going on around and to me. And how my reactions are directly (and foundationally) connected to these traumas and wounds. And that, although it was once my protective shield that kept me safe, it no longer carries the same role.

Something that helped us when we were children most likely doesn’t have the same role when we are growing up and supposed to be navigating the world differently and evolving. Instead of helping propel us forward, our default responses are hindering us instead.

For example, when I feel vulnerable, rejected, etc., it triggers these old traumas and wounds. And although my automatic response would be to shield myself from my emotions on the problem, my job is to feel those emotions and to navigate my way through and out of them by sitting with them, acknowledging them, and then releasing them when I’m ready. Until I do that, I will not be able to navigate myself through my issues and life (which will continuously hit me with problems as long as I’m alive).

Throughout these last few weeks, I have learned to break those barriers down one by one. However, I also realized something else that I did which played a crucial role in how and why I respond the way I do.

I realized that when I would be afraid of how situations would turn out (aka trying to control life), I would confront the issue by letting it take away a part of me that wasn’t supposed to be taken away to compromise for what (or who) it is that I want/ed. It was just another way of avoiding my own self and my emotions to things around me.

However, we cannot control what stays and what goes. We only control our responses. I learned that what is meant to stay will stay, and what is meant to go will go – but you needn’t compromise the person you are for anything or anyone. You certainly wouldn’t be doing yourself any favors by giving your power away.

Neither of these experiences served me. They were both just ways that I avoided myself and my problems. But that’s why it’s so important to go THROUGH the emotions and triggers and wounds. You won’t know what to do or how to handle anything that is the best for yourself if you don’t sit through your emotional troubles.

Life is a balance of all things. And how you dance – be it too much or too little is not the primary concern. The main point of all of this is that the only way through to the other side of your shadow side (the side you’re afraid of) is working through it. Growth and clarity only come when you do your inner work and take it head-on.

Something important I want to mention is that it’s really important to find support to help you through this. For me, I utilized an amazing coach, Erica Jung, as well as additional help from my soul family and closest friends.

For me, being able to go through my shit means doing it in a way that I felt safe and comfortable to be vulnerable and go through whatever I needed, and it’s important that you keep people around you that help you feel that way.

You will be living your entire life in a default response-state that you think will keep you safe. And although you think it’s helping you survive, that growth you’re avoiding within yourself is actually keeping you from experiencing life magically as you’re meant to.