The 3 steps to profound healing (of your broken heart, bones, spirit).

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“He who saves one man saves mankind”

I bleed.

My heart bleeds out into the lonely night, and only the yearning for daylight; only the memory of a better day gives me hope…

I’m a healer. I work as a therapist, I counsel people, and I heal their wounds (mostly emotional, but also physical). I didn’t ever desire to do this. I tried to do many things, but never this…

When it came on me though, I knew it was my calling. I’m passionate about it.

Healing is the simplest, most natural thing in the world. There are just 3 simple steps that you have to take to heal almost anything.

Of course, not everything can be healed; but most things that are thought incurable can be.

And these are the 3 steps:

1.   Take responsibility for it.

Whatever the problem, it’s your problem. Own it. It’s yours. Not anyone else’s.

Even though you may have thought in the past that it was someone else’s fault.

Even if you wanted it to be someone else’s problem.

It isn’t. It wasn’t.

It’s yours, and yours alone.

Own it.

Face it.

Imagine that this problem is (literally) in your hands. Hold it up before your eyes and look into it deeply. This belongs to you alone. You alone can let it go.

But first, you must own it.

When you have taken responsibility you no longer blame others; and you no longer run away from the problem.

You know that you are responsible for your own change.

Quite often people call me and ask if I can help their partner / parent / friend. I have learnt to say ‘no’ in those situations. If that person had taken responsibility, they would be calling me themselves. If they haven’t taken responsibility, I can’t help them. Neither can you.

You cannot make people change.

2.   Find the cause of the problem.

This is not so hard as it may seem, but it’s not as easy as step 3. It’s not as hard as step 1 though.

Most people don’t make it past step 1. You should know that. If someone comes to me having taken step 1 (having taken responsibility for their problem) then I can almost always help them. And when they do come, I have the utmost respect – because I know what it takes to come to that point. It takes humility, and dignity, and courage. It takes being real. Most people don’t have that courage, and that’s why the world is in the state it is in…but more of that in a moment.

To find the cause of the problem, there is a very simple formula. Trace the problem (to use the analogy of a tree) to its roots. The topmost branches of the problem are in the head. The outermost symptoms are in the head (thoughts, beliefs, idea). The trunk of the problem is the heart (emotions). The roots are in the gut (deeper feelings of trauma, stress, fear, etc)… and the cause is a reaction to those deep feelings of trauma. The reaction is a survival instinct.

Ask the question “how does this problem make me feel?” And then keep on asking that question until you come to the deepest feeling. Then ask yourself: “When I feel that deepest feeling, what do I want to do?”

The answer will be a survival instinct – almost all of our problems are rooted in our survival instincts.

There are exceptions to this rule – secondary gain is the most common one.

But if you clear the secondary gain (the process is almost identical to the one outlined above) then very often the problem falls away immediately.

3: Heal the cause.

This is so easy as to be almost ridiculous.

Yes, that’s right. Healing is easy.

Taking responsibility is hard. Finding the cause is a little tricky, but when you know how, it’s pretty easy too. But healing the root cause of almost all our problems (gut-based survival instincts) is a doddle.

The cause of the problem is a subconscious blockage. To be specific, the blockage is a subconscious association between safety / survival and an instinct (either fight, flight, or freeze).

So if the nature of the problem is that it is subconscious, we heal it by simply making it conscious.

You see, our essence is pure consciousness. Light.

The blockage is like a shadow.

In the same way that you can remove a shadow by simply throwing light on it, you heal the subconscious blockage by bringing the light of your awareness to it.

This is mindfulness in action, and the power of it cannot be overstated.

When I heal a client’s blockage, I bring us both into a state of presence (here and now), and we acknowledge the blockage.

Our combined awareness (the light) bearing down on the blockage (shadow) makes it simply disappear.

The blockage is like an uninvited guest. When he is discovered, he leaves promptly. He is in fact waiting to be discovered, and wants to leave. He has a guilty conscience. He doesn’t belong there.

What belongs there is pure consciousness. When the blockage is removed, pure consciousness flows through the space again naturally, spontaneously and joyfully.

***

This is the most important thing in the world! There is no issue more urgent. Nothing is more worthy of your attention, time, and energy.

The world is in the state it’s in because mankind is motivated unconsciously by survival instincts. In one word: fear.

We behave the way we do as a species (war, abuse, greed, hypocrisy, corruption) not because we are innately bad. On the contrary, we are innately good – our essence is goodness, or God-ness (“made in the image of God”).

However, our innate goodness has been tainted by the very thing that makes us so intelligent. Our higher thinking. Somewhere along the line human beings forgot how to quickly and easily release trauma (wild animals do it naturally). We instead learnt to hold on to our trauma. And those instincts that helped us to survive the trauma stayed locked in place – permanently switched on.

So our lives became ruled by subconscious tendencies towards fighting (conquer, destroy, kill, argue, conflict, win, etc); flight (hide, run away, escape, remain passive, etc); and freezing (numbness, paralysis, stiffness, lock-down, tightening up, etc).

This is why you may be a highly evolved, spiritual person, but have health, emotional, or psychological problems. Because there is something in your subconscious that trips you up and interferes with your essential nature from expressing itself naturally.

It all comes down to survival instincts.

When enough of us heal these blockages, I am sure there will be peace on earth, because peacefulness is the natural inclination of life. War is an aberration, like murder.

Death, killing, sickness – these are not aberrations – they are natural and necessary aspects of life. But war, murder, corruption and abuse are the consequence of un-released and un-healed traumas.

We have the tools to forge a new society, a new earth, a new humanity.

Healing ourselves is the ultimate environmental activism.

It is a political act.

It is an expression of Ahimsa (non-violence) and Satya (truthfulness) and compassion.

Let us heal ourselves and each other.

Let us heal the global heart that is bleeding and crying out for us to stop abusing ourselves.

Please share this widely. You can use the social media buttons on this page; or email the link to people you know. And leave a comment.

 

Relephant: 

Open Up to Healing.

The 4 Universal Healing Salves.

 

~

More Healing:

Image: Sydney Sims/Unsplash

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Ben Ralston

Ben Ralston has been practising personal development—necessity being the Mother of invention—since he was about six years old. He’s been teaching and sharing what he’s learnt along the way for a couple of decades. His main thing is Heart of Tribe retreats—whose very purpose is to help you fall back in love with life, no less. Leading these retreats alongside his woman Kara-Leah Grant—also an elephant journal writer (that’s how they met!)—they combine a deep well of lineage-based yoga teaching experience, with expertise in healing trauma and various other methods of personal development. Ben also works with clients one-on-one via Skype, writes, makes videos from time to time, and is passionate about parenting.
He lives in an intentional, tribal community in the hills of Croatia, where you might find him gardening barefoot and talking to the rocks. Connect with Ben on Facebook or YouTube or check out his website for more info.

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anonymous Oct 19, 2015 1:23pm

Nice. Spot on and Thank you for your effort. What I need. Peace.

anonymous Oct 19, 2015 6:38am

I keep trying to win the love of my parents in relationships with emotionally unavailable people. I push them away and I can’t let go. Its a life or death thing it feels like. Both parents have passed away and I can see clearly what I am doing but I can’t stop it. Its the hanging on and clinging, so desperate to be loved; to have my parents love me. I am well aware but still it boils down to a lot of painful suffering. How do I stop trying to win parents approval and love from present day relationships with people who really are not capable of giving love. It feels like fight or flight when the person pushes me away and I try to cling more, hang on for dear life, when intellectually I know its not me, its the other person who right now is not ready or able for love.

anonymous Sep 6, 2015 9:24am

I like it, in theory. But I’ve got a thorny one I’m still wrestling with.
Why? Because it involves 3 people (myself and two others, who are in conflict — though only one of them knows that).
I’m struggling to find the elegant way forward which doesn’t leave *somebody* wounded and bleeding by the side of the road behind me.

anonymous Aug 13, 2015 5:14am

Dear Ben, your article is great! I ve recently ruined my relationship by being too controlling. Ofcourse I m heartbroken now, so instead of owning the problem, i m paralyzed now and find it hard to pick up my life again. While i know i ve to get to the blockage and heal. What I m saying is, how do i go from knowing what is wrong w me (fear of abandonment cause of adoption) which leads to an inner emptiness, to inner fullness, to selflove? I find that bit hard! And i need to heal to have a worthy relationship which I ult want and need (i think). Thanks so much! Kind greetings, Rania

anonymous Jul 7, 2015 10:51am

My cousin just shared this with me. Beautiful article Ben! Timeless in it’s message. I’m a student of a little book called A Course In Miracles which is all about taking FULL responsibility for your own spiritual healing. In fact it is a very personal, psychological, self-study path. The Course teaches that true forgiveness is the key to deep healing in my practice. It’s not the type of forgiveness we normally practice here meaning we say something like…”well, I’m the better person so I’m going to forgive you — but you’re still going to hell you little bastard!” lol nooooo – The Course refers to that as forgiveness to destroy. It’s about understanding that people are always RE-acting to the only two thoughts there are in reality – love and fear. The rest is manifestation of which thought the decision maker believes. Love and fear are thoughts not emotions – the rest is trickle down emotionomics^-^ We love to have an enemy to point our fingers at screaming “It’s your fault I’m the way I am! Not mine!” We cannot control what other’s do, but we certainly do have a choice and a responsibility as to our reaction to what they do which depends on our perception. We are never angry at a fact. i.e. “that man just cut in front of me” but our interpretation of that fact “that blankity blank! How dare him cut in front of ME!” is where we humans gunk up our thoughts. What we feel about our brothers and how we treat them is the way we see and treat ourselves at a deeper level given we are all literally connected. So when spreading the hate….we need to recognize that the hate is not really being projected “out there” but the message is now ingrained in our own minds and the cycle of attack and defend is in motion, gaining speed and the ego is doing a happy dance at it’s victory! sigh/: The Course’s message is one of ‘don’t try to change the world; change your perception of the world’. In other words – stop spending your time on attempting to change everyone and everything external to you. That won’t heal you. Much more productive to work on changing your perception about what seems to be external to you and that is where you will find peace of mind. Just as you said Ben…you must be willing to take full responsiblity for your personal experiences and healing from those experiences. I’m not suggesting we must condone bad behavior at this level, but in order to move past it, you must look inward, not out. Easy work?? God No! Worth it? God Yes! Thank you for sharing your wisdom my friend<3

anonymous Jul 5, 2015 1:44pm

How does one take responsibility for something you weren’t even aware was wrong in the first place, because you were too young to understand? How is it okay to essentialy blame yourself or own that pain?

I understand that it’s your own, and it’s in your power to do something about it. But to say that you need to out right accept it as your fault and that no one can be blamed is actually ludicrous.

anonymous Jul 4, 2015 8:32pm

Ben,

Thank you for sharing this article with us. I have been taking on some personal issues that have always plagued me.

A relationship that was important to me ended and I know it was the impetus for for needed change. Taking responsibility was very freeing. Important. I felt at peace.

I will be using these steps in other areas that need some work.

This article resonated with me, in a very profound way. I had to convey my gratitude.

I t

anonymous Jun 22, 2015 2:11am

God-ness?
I don't mean to be the cynic, but this article is dangerously over simplified.
Shine light on the problem and it will disapear?
I have no doubt you help some, but I'm glad there are options with mental health 'professionals'.

    anonymous Jun 24, 2015 3:44am

    You don't mean to be the cynic but you are one. Be what you mean.
    And your gladness that there are 'mental health professionals' is really just a big sigh of relief that you dont' have to take responsibility for your own mental health.
    Who is the 'professional' of YOUR mental health?

anonymous Jun 12, 2015 1:08pm

I am wondering how to fix things if you have more than one underlined cause? I mean I have follow these steps in what I think the cause is but I keep finding myself feeling worthless sometimes a waste of space. So can I be more messed up than I imagined?

    anonymous Jun 24, 2015 4:24am

    Listen, healing yourself is not easy. We all need help. It sounds like you've done good work but to really release the deep stuff yourself is hard.

anonymous Jun 12, 2015 12:20pm

Thank you Ben.
You wrote this 4 years ago, but it’s what I needed today.
“”Our essence is pure consciousness. Light. The blockage is like a shadow.”
YES YES YES. Thank you!

anonymous Jun 11, 2015 12:42pm

Recognition is painful for the soul to accept on some level of who we are, and were do we actually belong, which gets us into trouble with attachment. Your article was profound thank you, as I am recovering from trauma but I understand my roll in it better and am taking responsibility for my betrayal to myself. We gotta listen to us before all others. Namastay Ben, may the light of the universe shine through you, and may you always be a conduit to our souls.

anonymous May 7, 2015 7:18am

Without going into to much detail I want to let you know that I have searched for these words for a long time due to a relationship issue that I couldn’t seem to work past on my own. This article just instantaneously helped me realize what it is I need to do to heal my mind and my heart. It couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time. Thank you so much for this Ben.

anonymous Apr 23, 2015 2:39pm

Dear Ben,

This is good analytical advise; my problem is healing others is easier than healing myself. Even worse, the affect this has on others that are close to me. Have you ever encountered this issue and how do you think you would/could/did handle it?

    anonymous Jun 24, 2015 4:18am

    Hi Sue,
    It is ALWAYS and for EVERYONE easier to heal others than self.
    This is because our problems are rooted in the subconscious – and to be aware of our subcionscious is of course difficult.
    You handle this by asking for, and getting, help!
    Interdependence is the nature of life. Don't only give. Receive, accept, surrender, ask, beg, be humble. And realize that you can help others MUCH more when you are allowing yourself to be helped too.
    Ben

anonymous Apr 22, 2015 10:35pm

You aren’t a healer. There isn’t such a thing as a healer. No body can heal anybody else. An organism can only heal itself, no organism can heal another. The only thing you can do is assist and facilitate. Beware of anyone who calls themselves a healer.

    anonymous Jun 24, 2015 4:18am

    What should one who facilitates healing call themselves Jessica? Any suggestions?

anonymous Apr 16, 2015 8:26am

Thank you Ben for such a beautiful words. For give us light in the darkness. This is a marvelous way to learn other people to do the right thing about their lives and heal themselves to heal the world. Thank you again and have a great life.

    anonymous Jun 24, 2015 4:19am

    Thank you Marco for such sincerely expressed gratitude and good wishes. I wish you also a great life.
    Ben

anonymous Mar 10, 2015 6:20pm

Hello Ben

Thanks for the wonderful article. I’ve shared it on.

However, one thing which I feel strongly about is the opening, framing quote – HE who saves one MAN saves MANkind. It goes beyond wars and murder… it’s about the earth and connection to the feminine… The balance being restored in energy is vital, and these details in language of course are important. This old, patriarchal style of english communication, assuming that the word ‘Man’ can refer to any person, is significant – and not helpful.

Perhaps you are aware of this already and had your reasons on the internet vehicle of sharing, in the highly patriarchal world we are inundated in, and perhaps it’s an appropriate tactic, however I felt it needed to be expressed.

Thank you again for the otherwise really nice communication.

Stephanie

anonymous Mar 10, 2015 9:49am

It took reading the article several times, over the last day or so, to let this sink in. It took fixating on what I wanted to let go of. But, all of a sudden, I’m breathing a sigh of relief. This, in itself, is probably the best self-help item I have ever read. And its beautifully simple. Thank you for what you do. You help people. And you’re doing what I aspire to do. Namaste.

anonymous Mar 9, 2015 11:49pm

I just dont know if its possible….so much abuse stuffed down inside im afraid to open it up…

    anonymous Jun 24, 2015 4:22am

    Tammy. Abuse is what it's ALL about. Trauma is really just another word for abuse.
    I tell you – heal it. Not just for yourself, but for your ancestors, for the earth, and for those that will follow.

anonymous Feb 10, 2015 10:24am

Thank you for this. As a therapist I can relate. As a human being I have lived this. I’m still living this!

All ‘healing’ happens during the journey from separation to oneness. The ME taking responsibility is a form of acknowledging the idea of separation in relation to myself. Finding the cause is acknowledging the idea of separation in relation to the outside world. The healing is seeing there really is no separation. Seeing pure consciousness that is all.

anonymous Dec 22, 2014 3:41pm

Wonderful Article!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

anonymous Dec 21, 2014 10:52am

Hi Ben,

I resonated and connected to almost all of what you wrote here and am glad to see this frame of healing becoming a more public discourse. The one thing that distracted me from your overall message was that you more than once refer to yourself as healing others wounds rather than facilitating their own healing process for themselves. Given the point about taking responsibility for one’s own wounds, this seems contradictory. I’m wondering if you might be open to rewording your role?

    anonymous Dec 24, 2014 3:28pm

    Hi Andrea,
    Thanks for the comment, which is accurate. But as a writer I have to sometimes not care about being too literal. And as a healer, I have to also call myself something! It's an unfortunate thing that we don't have a better word – I've thought about it a lot. I'd rather call myself "facilitator of healing" or something, but it doesn't work does it?!

      anonymous Mar 9, 2015 11:11pm

      Actually, facilitator of healing sounds perfect, to me.

anonymous Dec 16, 2014 11:18am

I feel that I have a disconnect between my thought and my being. I think I might be schizoid. I think I see many of my problems for what they are, and there are many of them. I don't know how taking responsibility plays into that. I'm stuck trying to portray one thing for society while being another thing for myself. How do I become someone who I am not, or I could do the opposite, be someone who is not functional in the world. I waffle between the 2 so often. Most of my life feels meaningless.

    anonymous Dec 24, 2014 3:30pm

    Fix it. All is within. You have the power – and it is your birthright – to feel happy and to live meaningfully.
    No one can do it for you. So take responsibility, and commit yourself to the search for happiness and meaning.
    I did that once (made that decision). It was well worth it 🙂

anonymous Dec 10, 2014 2:01am

Definitely saving a copy of this.

anonymous Sep 23, 2014 8:53pm

I'm saving my own life, the only one I can save. Days like today spent praying, writing, crying, meditating, and yoga-ing would have the mind call a "waste". I know better after reading articles like this and trust the process of healing. Slow and steady does it!! Bless your journey brother.

    anonymous Sep 24, 2014 9:13am

    Everything else is a waste until you've done enough of this work to make the other stuff worthwhile! Keep at it, and remember that underneath it all – you're already perfect.

anonymous Sep 23, 2014 1:21pm

Thank you for this article! The synchronistic wave that brought it to me is surely the work of One <3 Namaste!

I also have a few questions that maybe you can answer? So, when I first began my journey of healing my body and mind, I spent a bit over a year deeply caught up in some dogmatic understandings of words such as "Light" or "Love" and "Oneness" with a deeply dogmatic spiritual teacher, and it is these subconscious blockages that I am working through now which I feel are so twisted into my painful past before I met her (attracted her) and they are so hard for me to identify…

So, I'm wondering if maybe you have some advice about how to best cultivate a compassionate awareness that can bring Light to such deep and even childhood memory repressed shadows?

Because on some level, I can feel that the shadow isn't even there, which is perhaps me feeling the Ever-present Moment of Now, but I can only ever manage to stay in this space for so long, and then I feel sucked back into old confusions and emotional pain, and blind to so other many layers of the world that I so deeply wish to experience.

Are there levels of the subconscious that I dont yet know how to touch? Or just need to keep touching until the blockage is dispersed? Or something else?

I dont know 🙂 I'm hoping perhaps you'll know more about what I'm only just touching upon on <3

Thank you again, I feel so blessed by your article, Namaste 🙂

    anonymous Sep 24, 2014 9:12am

    Doing this work on your own is hard. Step one, obviously, is a solo project (although a skilled practitioner can help you get there).
    But identifying your own subconscious stuff can be hard – you don't see what you don't want to see.
    Releasing it is also a skill – some can do it, some can't (yet).
    So really, my advice is to get help from time to time. I do that also for myself!
    With love

anonymous Sep 7, 2014 8:38am

These words of wisdom have touched my heart and I will never be the same. Thank you. Follow your destiny.

Peace and love.

anonymous Sep 7, 2014 8:21am

Wow, you sound EXACTLY like my therapist (some sentences are like quoted)…. which makes me so happy I have him! I've been struggling with eating disorders for 5 years and he's my third therapist; when I first saw him and he just said hello, I was like "I simply KNOW he is the one to heal me" and I want to believe in that, because after a year there's no improvement in my eating habits, but a huge difference in the way I see the world now.
By the way, in your scheme, will behaviours be the leaves of the tree? 😉 If so I'm waiting for the autumn to shake them off…

I AM SO THANKFUL FOR PEOPLE LIKE YOU. You are the real world-healers. And by spreading your wisdom so easily you make others healers too 🙂

    anonymous Sep 7, 2014 2:33pm

    I suspect you're already healed Sylvia. Sometimes it just takes time for the behavior to just fall away… maybe it's still Summertime 🙂
    And try to find something that replaces the feeling your eating disorder gives you – the comfort of it. Some routine, like medtiation / yoga every morning.

anonymous Sep 7, 2014 6:36am

Great article. Have you read Pete walkers book the Tao of fully feeling? He suggests fawning as the fourth reaction to survival instincts. Fight, flight, freeze and fawn. For those who need to recover from codependency and learn the proper boundaries of love, understanding how fawning as a survival technique helps eliminate the confusion about what love is- how to give and receive proper love.

    anonymous Sep 7, 2014 2:30pm

    I haven't, but I LOVE the fawn terminology. I used to call it 'tend and befriend' – now it's Fawn! Thank you 🙂

anonymous Sep 6, 2014 7:33pm

Beautifully said 🙂

anonymous Aug 26, 2014 5:38pm

I find it VERY synchronic that I touched up a short poem and article I wrote on "The Uninvited Guest" relating to my own healing process and dealing with my inner demons. When you wrote this, "The blockage is like an uninvited guest. When he is discovered, he leaves promptly. He is in fact waiting to be discovered, and wants to leave. He has a guilty conscience. He doesn’t belong there."…I complete understood where you were coming from. Well done. Beautiful article. Here's my blog post if you wish to read it ~ http://madhupamaypop.com/2010/01/06/an-uninvited-

    anonymous Aug 27, 2014 6:34am

    Thank you, i read your post with pleasure (noticing more synchronicity – I've been thinking a lot about courage lately) and commented.

anonymous Aug 26, 2014 1:47pm

Muchas Gracias – Thank you very much!

anonymous Aug 25, 2014 5:35pm

Thank you for writing this article Ben! I'm not exactly sure how yet, but my intuition tells me thisis the answer to my problem.
You see, I was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer in 2012. I am only 44years old. I feel so sure the cancer came about due to emotional blockages I believe I created because I didn't know how to observe and let go. I have held on to my "stories" and responded to everything in my life from that "wounded" place. I have been trying to change that behavior for years even before I knew what to call it.
Reading your article today has helped clarify some things and brought up questions simultaneously. How do I trace back deep seated feelings of not being "enough"? I would really like to be free of my emotional blockages before I transition on.
If you have time, could you offer further insights?
Namaste:)

    anonymous Aug 26, 2014 1:04am

    Email me please Kathy: info(at)premcenter.si

anonymous Aug 24, 2014 6:06pm

I am sure there is much we can do to identify and take responsibility for ourselves. But we are living in a culture where it is so self absorbed and feeling like we are the answer to all of our core problems. A new age where you are the universe and you can take all the credit for your own being and happiness. On one level which is the superficial level, we can help ourselves, but there is a level we can do nothing about in our own power. It can be found and we won't need to keep searching for the next enlightenment. Interesting to me how we must exclude the most important reality, of which will be the most important reality to everyone some day.
I don't believe this will be approved,and posted, because He is most often rejected.

anonymous Aug 24, 2014 5:23pm

I am sure there is much we can do to identify and take responsibility for ourselves. But we are living in a culture where it is so self absorbed and feeling like we are the answer to all of our core problems. A new age where you are the universe and you can take all the credit for your own being and happiness. On one level, which is pretty superficial, we can make ourselves feel better, but I have noticed, the constant search is never over. People are onto the next thing to enlighten themselves. And one crucial thing is missing in all of these conversations. God. He is the only one who can heal and make us whole. So instead of looking to ourselves and to healers who are making a profit off of their healing, there is One who only requires us to come to Him and ask for true advice and direction, and when we take His lead, our search is over.

    anonymous Aug 25, 2014 12:42am

    God is within Jean. God is within.

anonymous Aug 24, 2014 10:36am

How beautiful it is. Thank you very much! I really needed to read this at this present moment.

anonymous Aug 24, 2014 9:39am

Ben, thank you and thank you once more. I have been sitting, wallowing teary eyed in projection, self-belittling and blame for all the bad and inability I’ve been feeling recently towards my job, my marriage, being a father, and trying to find ways to apologise for being such. All this in spite of repeatedly training my self to take responsibility – and when I do it does bring clarity back on through the fog. And then, all too easily, the clarity drops. This article flashed up on my wall via EJ today and your words brought me back into the deep truth. Your words softened my mind, held my heart and gave me peace for the moment.

I have read other articles from you before on EJ and I always enjoy , and find so useful, your pesrspectives and offerings to your audience. It is real and uncomplicated.

Thank you, truly.

    anonymous Aug 25, 2014 12:41am

    Thank you Bruce for such a sincere and beautiful message.

anonymous Aug 24, 2014 9:14am

Thank you. ~Rebecca

anonymous Jul 26, 2014 7:50am

Incredible. Just this spring I healed myself of what I believed to be a permanently broken heart. All it took was the final conscious decision to do it. Hearts do heal—I'm proof. You put the process into words beautifully. The sure way to have peace on earth is to be at peace with ourselves. Thanks Ben. xo

anonymous May 6, 2012 9:27am

[…] […]

anonymous Apr 5, 2012 10:41pm

Beautiful piece Ben as always..For many people it's hard to take full responsibility of their problem. They usually hang on to their sad pitiful story of their lives and hang on to it because it gave them a sense of identity; and the more they hang on to it, the stronger the problem rooted in their lives. I like your words when you said "But first, you must own it" That's powerful!

    anonymous May 13, 2013 5:40am

    Thanks Lucy! I only just saw this comment, er – a year after you wrote it, but yes, I think that sense of ownership is the best way of taking responsibility. People often ask me what it means to take responsibility, and it's a hard one to explain…

anonymous Feb 28, 2012 8:44pm

Dear Ben,

Thank you for an absolutely brilliant article that gets to the heart of things. I really appreciate it!
I will be reading this many times over the next few days and weeks to develop a plan to get rid of my own inner "shadows".

Warm regards,
Suresh

    anonymous Mar 2, 2012 11:16am

    Thank you Suresh for another enthusiastic and energetic comment!
    With love,
    Ben

anonymous Feb 28, 2012 6:37pm

whoa, you dont heal a broken arm by bringing your consciousness into light. You get medical attention, possibly a cast and adjust your daily lif emovements as you allow for time fo rhelaing and other treatments. You get physical therapy and move safely and refrain from your athletic practices when needed. Healing psychologically takes your 3 steps, yes. Physical healing needs other steps. Your title is very misleading.

    anonymous Mar 2, 2012 11:19am

    There are many ways to heal a broken bone. The way you describe will one day be considered barbaric, in the same way that surgeons would have just sawed it off not so long ago. Many native cultures have been healing broken bones much faster than the way you describe for many thousands of years.
    But yes, I am talking more about 'bones' as an analogy for general physical healing, and as such, it is necessary to ask deeper questions: why did I break my bone?
    I do apologize though for any confusion re: the title. Titles for blog posts are not easy things 🙂

      anonymous Mar 2, 2012 11:36am

      Barbaric seems a bit strong.

      However re title.. insert "faith" for bones or use "bones of spirit' as title.

anonymous Feb 28, 2012 6:03pm

Well, first, steps 1 and 2 make sense to me, but step 3 doesn't. Although, I found step 1 to be 'easier' than step 2 because step 1 occurred as a (perhaps idiosyncratic) reaction to a deep trauma (relationship loss) that triggered my original childhood traumas, and stripped me down to the bone, totally naked. Taking responsibility was not hard, after that, it just took some time and the will to recognize the truth. But that truth was accessible once I wanted to see it.

On the other hand, step 2 has been much harder for me, because (thanks to those selfsame traumas) I had trained myself throughout my life to NOT feel my emotions – to live largely in my head, in the world of ideas. So I would maintain that for those of us who exit childhood with an avoidant attachment model, step 2 may well be harder than step 1, simply because it requires a retraining of the brain to feel emotions, body sensations, etc. Not a simple nor easy process at all.

Yoga, BTW, is immensely helpful in this regard, as is Vipassana meditation.

As for step 3, I fear I may be raining on the parade, but – with respect – I have some problems with the notion that this step – heal the cause – is quite as easy and rapid as it's been made out to be here:

"Our combined awareness (the light) bearing down on the blockage (shadow) makes it simply disappear.

The blockage is like an uninvited guest. When he is discovered, he leaves promptly. He is in fact waiting to be discovered, and wants to leave. He has a guilty conscience. He doesn’t belong there."

In fact, this seems contrary to what modern neuroscience tells us about the way trauma exists in the brain and how it can be healed. In 'A General Theory of Love' the psychiatrist authors point out:

"Psychotherapy's stubborn span of years remains. Limbic templates form when the brain's plasticity is fresh, when neural networks are young and malleable. By adulthood, durable Attractors roll on with the easy momentum of a bowling ball. The process capable of deflecting lives in flight operates by the progressive, painstaking transformation of one intuition into another. And so therapy consumes time."

The (to-be-)affected networks of neurons require time (typically, years) to be reconfigured via the psychotherapeutic relationship, a la 'moments of meeting' between the client and therapist. This is a neurological process, not merely a cognitive or conceptual one. That is, physical changes need to occur – simply recognizing the 'blockage' and shining the light of awareness upon it will not alter the neural networks' patterns of activation and inhibition that underlie and reinforce the trauma (i.e. they will not stop that 'bowling ball'). It seems to me crucial to recognize that the 'blockage' model in fact translates to a physical construct – patterns of neuronal firing (or non-firing), that don't just change in the blink of en eye – or so current neuroscience insists. Rewiring the brain takes time, and the older the client, the less plastic the brain, and the more time it will take.

Since the claim is of a quick-fix that seems to defy the science, I think it's reasonable to invoke Sagan's Law here: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I'm curious to know if any studies on the long term impact of Reference Point Therapy have been conducted? I was unable to find any peer reviewed studies in the literature on this modality.

    anonymous Mar 2, 2012 11:15am

    Hi Ozz,
    When you consider what it took to 'strip you to the bone', a relationship breakup that you describe as deep trauma, then you see that actually step 1 IS very hard. You just happen to have taken that step already, so it appears easy. Would you be healing without taking that step? I doubt it.
    All of these things are written *generally* by the way. You're right – step 2 can be hard, especially when there is a safety issue with *feeling*. But when you know how, it's possible to help a person heal the Secondary Gain that prevents the *feeling*. Trust me, it's much easier than step 1.
    You're not raining on any parade – whether you believe me or not is of no consequence to the parade! (sorry to burst the bubble!)
    Modern neuroscience that you refer to (as trauma existing in the brain)is not modern anymore. It's out of date. Trauma is not in the brain, it's more in the body, and specifically in the gut. Psychotherapy and it's 'span of years' is redundant in the face of this new approach to healing trauma. That's the truth. I have had many, many clients who have had years of psychotherapy, and have healed deep trauma in a few sessions. Sometimes only one. Many times, only one.
    Your perspective depends entirely on the idea that the brain is all-important. It is of virtually no importance in this matter.
    It's not necessary AT ALL to 'rewire the brain'.
    Look into epigenetics. Watch the documentary Ghost in Your Genes. You will see that the old brain-centric model is totally redundant in the face to this modern research. There is your extraordinary evince, if you choose to see it as such. The point is – consciousness is not seated in the brain.
    There are no official studies – RPT is only 3 years old. But it does look like there is something happening on that front – it just takes time, expertise and money. I'm sure that in 5 years there'll be something though.

    Hope this doesn't seem too curt or abrupt. I'm short of time, and just answered your many interesting points one by one.
    Thank you for your comment.
    Ben

anonymous Feb 28, 2012 5:25pm

Love. Shared. : )

anonymous Jan 16, 2012 2:12pm

[…] on my body and psyche. I learned about taking responsibility for my own bullsh*t and thus how to take responsibility for my own healing and personal growth. I learned what it’s like to truly love and be loved by learning how to surrender myself to […]

anonymous Jan 11, 2012 9:34am

Ben, when you say that not everything can be healed does that include broken trust? Or is that something that is incurable? There is a lot of blame in my marriage and my husband has been diagnosed with clinical depression and refuses to take any medication. He also doesn't feel therapy has helped him heal, he says he no longer cares or has the desire to create any positive thoughts and he does not like to express his feelings. Is trying to help him useless if he doesn't want the help? I am willing to try anything at this point, will this 3 step process be effective?

    anonymous Jan 11, 2012 2:01pm

    Hi Jessica,
    Lots of questions, I'll take them one at a time:
    "Is trying to help him useless if he doesn't want the help?" – I can't answer for 'him' (I can't be specific), but in a general sense, yes, trying to help 'anyone' that doesn't want to be helped is useless. Actually, it's worse than useless, because it just creates tension – in them, in you, and between you both. Why is it a waste of time? Because the person who doesn't want to be helped is avoiding step 1.
    "will this 3 step process be effective?" – I find it to be almost 100% effective in healing the cause of most problems.
    "when you say that not everything can be healed does that include broken trust?" – Jessica, I think that trust is not something to be healed. Trust is there or it is not, and in either case, there is good reason. If trust is broken, what must be fixed is not the trust itself, but whatever caused the trust to break in the first place. Infidelity? Abuse? Deception? And what was causing those? – it probably boils down to a lack of self-esteem, and probably in both of you. In a relationship it's never about one person – it's always 50 /50. The self esteem issues can be healed for sure, and then trust can be rebuilt. But of course, both parties must be willing to take responsibility (step 1)…
    With love

anonymous Jan 11, 2012 9:06am

Hi Ben, I find your perspective interesting. I'm curious about RPT- is it something that you have to get a degree from an accredited institution to do? Or is it more of a certificate? How long does it take to become qualified to do it? Sorry for all the questions and thanks for your time:)

    anonymous Jan 11, 2012 11:39am

    Hi root,

    Simon (the founder of RPT) set out to create a technique that was highly effective, but also extremely simple. Obviously, those two are kind of non-complementary, so the technique of RPT is a compromise between the two.
    It's a series of certificates (3 levels).
    To become a qualified practitioner requires the first 2 levels – 5 days fairly intensive training altogether.
    Hope that answers your questions, but if you have more feel free.

    Ben

anonymous Dec 12, 2011 9:46am

I really love and respect the basis of what you say here Ben. My only pause is that YOU are not the healer. The healing comes from within the person seeking healing.

    anonymous Dec 16, 2011 3:50pm

    Kathy, you are right, and at the same time, you are wrong.
    The healing comes from the source, which is pure consciousness, and the essence that we all share. It is actually beyond I and they. Words are tricky…

anonymous Nov 25, 2011 8:46am

Very lovely, succinct and all rings true except the part when you write, "I heal their wounds" as what you wrote in your job description. Why the "I"? Is not all of what you write and explain related to the one needing healing taking full responsibility? By you saying that "you" heal them is that not a complete hypocrisy? I can see that you are a holding love, acceptance, encouragement, but do you heal them? Who is the "I"?

    anonymous Dec 11, 2011 10:49pm

    Hi Jessica, thank you for making an interesting point. It's a point that comes up again and again, I'm asked it frequently.

    Who does the healing? Some would say the healer, others would say not – that the healer is simply facilitating the healing process in the client (so the client does the healing). Others would say 'God'.

    I don't see any distinction in any of the above. I see the client as an extension of myself, and both of us as pure, perfect expressions of divine consciousness.

    so the "I heal" is really just a way of describing what i 'Do'. I don't think that there is a hypocrisy, or ego there, but I see that it is easy to think so, and again, thank you for a cool comment 🙂

anonymous Oct 7, 2011 10:59am

goodarticleben,thanks,ithiinkyouwouldlikethisalsolol xhttp://www.youtube.com/user/BuddhaAtTheGasPump#p/c/B39DEE56CE2C7C6A/0/WqdfdSI_TAI

    anonymous Oct 7, 2011 5:21pm

    Ithinkimightbutthelinkdoesntwork 🙂

anonymous Oct 5, 2011 6:50pm

Ben,

This is fantastic.

Best thing I've read in weeks.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Will be passing it along as much as I can.

Did I mention, thank you?

    anonymous Oct 6, 2011 2:19pm

    When a writer I admire likes my writing, I'm a happy bunny, so thank *you*!
    Love,
    Ben

anonymous Oct 3, 2011 6:48pm

I can appreciate the gesture to simplify what ails us, and what heals us. I think there can be value in taking responsibility, and looking for the root cause. In the process, though, it can be easy to miss that perhaps we need to learn more from the ailments themselves, and the slow, sometimes laborious process of healing. I've found in myself and in my clients that certain insights can come only when a certain amount of psychological or physical pain is reached and/or sustained… that it takes this amount of pain or frustration to break through to a healing reaction. Rather than valuing only insight, clarity, understanding… sometimes there is benefit to allowing for lostness.

    anonymous Oct 4, 2011 3:12am

    Hi Teri,
    You are right, of course, but what you describe is 'the old way'. It's simply not necessary to go through the 'slow, laborious process of healing' anymore. Why? Because this 3 step process (of course it's sometimes necessary to really know how to apply steps 2 and 3 – by learning Reference Point Therapy for example) accelerates the process many, many times.
    Lostness and the old way is only useful to bring us to step 1. After that, why not do it all a lot faster and easier?

Bob Weisenberg Sep 30, 2011 1:10pm

Just posted to "Popular Lately" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

Bob W. Editor
Facebook / Twitter

anonymous Sep 30, 2011 4:03am

WOW Ben! Totally adding this to the Counselor's Bible as an essential part of the New Testament. It's one of your best articles. Quoting you all over the place.

Point 2 made me think of a quote by Blaise Pascal: "The heart has its reasons which reason knows not of"

    anonymous Sep 30, 2011 4:19am

    Great quote. Love it.
    Thank you.

anonymous Sep 30, 2011 1:17am

Thank you a lot for this article!! This is so helpful to face so many problems in this world. And it is a political act! Great!

Bob Weisenberg Sep 29, 2011 8:42pm

Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

Bob W. Editor
Facebook / Twitter

anonymous Sep 29, 2011 5:47pm

Very nice! Sometimes healing takes a long time, but I can see progress from day to day. I own it. It's my problem and I can solve it. I am he that sent I, as Lee Scratch Perry says.

anonymous Sep 29, 2011 11:33am

Nicely written… I just disagree with this part: "Death, killing, sickness – these are not aberrations – they are natural and necessary aspects of life." I would say that the simplest form of peacefulness, which anyone can adopt to heal themselves, is to go vegan. The vegan lifestyle is the counter-argument to the belief that killing & sickness are natural or necessary. Death, OK that part is right.

    anonymous Sep 29, 2011 2:21pm

    You may be Vegan my friend, but your distant cousins the eskimos need to kill fish to survive. And your not so distant cousins the cats will not stop killing mice. So no, veganism is not a counter argument to what I wrote about killing.
    Sickness also goes on, throughout the animal kingdom, even if sometimes it's just a gateway to it's brother, death. So no, sickness is also not an aberration.

    I too was vegan. I too thought at one time that it was the solution to all our problems. It's not. It's just a way of eating, and it's also a bit of a distraction from the real work – healing yourself.

anonymous Sep 29, 2011 8:57am

Thank you Ben, a friend of mine shared this article and Blog with me.

Like Mark's friend I am also suffering from a recent traumatic loss. This article has really helped me, even though reading your words made me connect with what I'm working with and cry; I plan to re-read it often. Any insights would be helpful.

    anonymous Sep 29, 2011 2:23pm

    Mindy, if you would like to email me I would be happy to try to offer some insight into your situation, or to help somehow, if I can. (premjogacenter at gmail dot com)

anonymous Sep 29, 2011 5:01am

[…] ElephantJournal […]

anonymous Sep 29, 2011 1:40am

Ben, I love you. I know you know that this piece resonates HUGELY for me based on past comments you’ve made on my articles. This is music to my healing heart. When you read my posting for this week, you’ll gain even more insight. Awesome, incredible, necessary, timely. Namaste, Nadine

    anonymous Sep 29, 2011 1:51am

    Thank you Nadine! It would be 'praise indeed', but coming from you, even more so. I'm truly honored!
    ps – let me know when the new post is out!

anonymous Sep 29, 2011 1:22am

Thank you, Ben:)

anonymous Sep 28, 2011 6:25pm

Ben, this was absolutely amazing. You laid out the process of healing (and the need for it) simply and beautifully. Thank you for being so direct and thank you for sharing this important message.

    anonymous Sep 29, 2011 1:52am

    Thank you also for reading and sharing.
    Love

      anonymous Sep 23, 2014 3:44pm

      Thank you, it is an amazingly deep and clear article, I agree with you. There is no concept like "mental illness", theories are misleading about natural human suffering and disappointment in life, that's why is so easy to stay "sick" for innumerable years in life. Psychotherapy should redirect the road to healing…..I'm a psychology student, 54 years old, and therapy have not convinced me…….they say it's about the patient….I don't think so
      Namasté

anonymous Sep 28, 2011 2:53pm

Killing and sickness are aberrations of the physical body or the “trunk of the tree” some ppl internalize problems or continue to function with a misaligned mind-body-spirit. Cells, biologically are not meant to age but do as a result of external factors such as stress due to this misalignment. I’m speaking for ppl who die young. Apoptosis rather than killing is a more natural way for a cell to elect to die, just as skin cells exfoliate. Knowing that our body constitution is always changing as Deepak Chopra says, last year 98% of body cells were replaced. So we constantly evolve if living in alignment with our authentic selves or ‘devolve’. When our whole body goes (as in exfoliate – exfolia) we fear it bc we’ve been thru it before – how else would we know to fear death if we never experienced it. So, indeed so-called death is as you say not an abberration but once that klesha is transcended, we realize there is no death (non-duality). We are purushas (Souls) eternally existent and through mind-body-alignment with the Universe or G-d, Alllah, Buddha, Krishna, Yahweh we escape the Samsaric existence of this world (or return or become an enlightened being)

Thank you for posting your insight and my observations. Freedom of speech

USAF vet.

    anonymous Sep 29, 2011 1:56am

    I believe we don't fear death Sam. You don't fear it, but only your ego fears it. The ego is made only out of what it knows. It doesn't know death, therefore it fears it.
    When we truly connect to the present moment, and to the totality of our being (as opposed to the very limited ego aspect), and from that perspective think on death – it's nothing to be afraid. Because deep down we know that the only thing that 'dies' is the body. We don't die – we just experience a big change.

anonymous Sep 28, 2011 12:44pm

I love the essence of your article here Ben. I am curious though… Are you a healer or a teacher? I believe if you are working with people that have the courage to heal and are ready to take responsibility for themselves then you are a teacher showing the way across the bridge. To me a healer is not always empowering the person but making them feel good and needing a feel good reward of a result as part of the process, perhaps doing some kind of behind the scenes magic to enable healing to appear to take place. In you I feel a true teacher…. To me a teacher leads by example, shows the way but allows the person to then be fully responsible for their own healing… through initiation and empowerment true and lasting healing takes place… I have been exploring these ideas as I personally step into my role as a 'teacher'! Blessings and love…

    anonymous Sep 28, 2011 1:49pm

    Hi Fleur,
    Thank you for a very interesting comment.
    I'm both.
    I heal people (in the sense of solving a problem – I don't do 'making feel good' or 'rewards'! I do solve problems permanently though, which to me is what 'heal' means.)
    I also teach people how to heal themselves, and most fulfilling for me – how to rise above the need for healing: how to be truly free.
    And I would love to hear a little more about your journey please?
    Love 🙂

anonymous Sep 28, 2011 9:56am

So well said Ben! "Healing ourselves is the ultimate environmental activism." Yes, the world needs more people that work on their own inner peace. Thank you for sharing, and being a guiding light.

    anonymous Sep 28, 2011 11:47am

    Thank you Claudia, and please share 😉

anonymous Sep 28, 2011 7:39am

Wonderful as always, Ben! "Healing ourselves is the ultimate environmental activism." That my friend, is a bold truth you have there. I needed this. Thanks.

    anonymous Sep 28, 2011 7:42am

    Thanks Kate! Your comments and support always make me feel good 🙂
    You must have a very healing presence?

anonymous Sep 28, 2011 6:56am

"Healing is a political act." one of the most lucid things I've ever read. Thanks.

    anonymous Sep 28, 2011 7:19am

    Thank you 552. I'm honoured.

anonymous Sep 28, 2011 6:06am

great stuff as usual Ben although I have a doubt on step 2. I find that finding the true cause of a problem is often easier said than done. Our mind tricks us into thinking we have identified the cause, and we are successful in finding consequence-causes (meaning secondary, derived causes) while often the true cause keeps eluding us. As an example, I may find that somebody really upsets me and think this is the cause, while in fact that person just embodies something bigger that I do not lik, a certain situation, or a particular environment. So I keep trying to solve the smaller cause (finding better ways to deal with that person) while the bigger one is still untackled. This still helps, but ultimately is only a temporary cure. That's why I guess often an external help is useful, to drill down into us with a new mind, I guess?

Love
chiara

    anonymous Sep 28, 2011 6:28am

    You bring up something interesting: is it possible + if so, how easy is it, to work on ourselves.
    Personally, I say that it's possible, but more difficult. Since our blockages are subconscious, how to find them?!
    It is possible, and the more you practice, the easier it gets, but still sometimes to work on my own 'stuff' I need outside help. We RPT teachers and graduates do 'swaps' with each other regularly, and it's very, very helpful.

    About what you say regarding causes: it's easy when you know how. The cause is never the situation, or the thoughts, emotions, beliefs, ideas, etc. The cause is a subconscious association between a survival instinct (fight, flight, or freeze) and safety. So what happens is that the person makes you angry because deep down in you something is being 'triggered', and it feels safer for you to react in that way. It's very hard to explain in writing. You need to come to Slovenia or Croatia and do the course with me 🙂
    The method makes it simple actually…

      anonymous Sep 28, 2011 7:37am

      ah Ben! I would come in a rush as the more I read about what you are doing the more it feels it could be the next step for me in my own healing/healer path. But since I have just said no to a well-off life as a manager to dive head-on into a life as Yoga teacher, you'll have to wait until I feel a bit less guilty about having my husband Russ paying the mortgage… and can at least start contributing to the household with paying the house bills! 😉 then, we'll see!

        anonymous Sep 28, 2011 7:45am

        Wonderful!
        I'm taking that as a promise 🙂

anonymous Sep 28, 2011 5:10am

Thanks dude! Good stuff!

anonymous Sep 28, 2011 5:09am

Killing and sickness are aberrations of the physical body or the “trunk of the tree” some ppl internalize problems or continue to function with a misaligned mind-body-spirit. Cells, biologically are not meant to age but do as a result of external factors such as stress due to this misalignment. I’m speaking for ppl who die young. Apoptosis rather than killing is a more natural way for a cell to elect to die, just as skin cells exfoliate. Knowing that our body constitution is always changing as Deepak Chopra says, last year 98% of body cells were replaced. So we constantly evolve if living in alignment with our authentic selves or ‘devolve’. When our whole body goes (as in exfoliate – exfolia) we fear it bc we’ve been thru it before – how else would we know to fear death if we never experienced it. So, indeed so-called death is as you say not an abberration but once that klesha is transcended, we realize there is no death (non-duality). We are purushas (Souls) eternally existent and through mind-body-alignment with the Universe or G-d, Alllah, Buddha, Krishna, Yahweh we escape the Samsaric existence of this world (or return or become an enlightened being)

I love your article, and the tree analogy is genius.TY, Namaste

    anonymous Sep 28, 2011 6:29am

    Thank you Samantha. I like the tree analogy too 🙂
    Love

anonymous Sep 28, 2011 4:33am

My reaction, simply put…Wow. That really touches deep down, and I plan to spread it like wild fire. I only hope others take it to heart as I have. Thank you for this article.

    anonymous Sep 28, 2011 4:54am

    Thank you so much for being open to being touched April, I'm so glad you get it 🙂

anonymous Sep 28, 2011 3:52am

Ben-Ralston you have a genius truth here that can heal

    anonymous Sep 28, 2011 4:04am

    Deborah, it is a genius truth, and it does heal elegantly and efficiently. Thank you, and please spread the word.

anonymous Sep 28, 2011 10:59pm

Thank you Temple, that means a lot to me.

anonymous Sep 28, 2011 11:02pm

Thanks Heather, for sharing, and I'm glad you get it.
It's true – trauma is the cause of 90% of these blockages, although I didn't want to go into that in the article. Our own trauma, and more importantly, ancestral trauma, which lingers in our bodies cellular memory.
The revolution is coming… I feel it.
Love

anonymous Sep 29, 2011 10:43am

First, let me just say that I have no real experience, nor am I qualified, as a grief counsellor.

This is a very difficult one, because the issue of 'responsibility' suddenly becomes much more complex.
Your friend is not responsible for her husbands actions, even though it's inevitable that she will feel so.

She is however responsible for her own grieving, and the pain of that grief is hers alone. In my experience a certain time is needed to process the loss. And it's difficult to say how long, because it depends on many things. However, I think that sometimes people grieve too long and too hard…

There can be a secondary gain to grief – the loneliness is eased by the sympathy, attention and so on that the bereaved gets from friends, family etc.

I don't really know what advice to give you except that it's a tough one.
One thing I would probably do is talk to her about death and what happens. But I can't really advise you how to do that – because I don't know. I would explain about my experience with death and loss and grief, and offer some perspective (as you say).

I have found that the most comforting thing one can say to someone in that position is that in death, only the body dies – so the one who has died has in many ways become free. But that's also difficult, because some people don't want to hear it, so it comes back to the individual and the particular circumstances.

At the end of the day, there is very little you can do for someone in your friends position. Ask her how she feels, and guide her through the deeper feelings, that will help.

As I say – I'm not a grief counsellor. I wish I could help more.

anonymous Sep 30, 2011 12:51am

Hi Fraggle,
Thank you for your comments. I'm sorry that you felt I overreacted – I didn't, I just wanted to point out that killing (violence) and sickness are actually natural, ubiquitous parts of life as a whole (as opposed to only human life).

I take your point. However, my long experience researching and experimenting with diet has told me that veganism is not the answer to any global problems (even human only problems). I do agree that it is a noble, dignified choice. I also agree that for many people it's a very good personal choice that will benefit their health, whilst at the same time benefitting billions of our cousin animals worldwide, and also benefitting the environment. I wrote an article about it called "The 3 reasons to give up meat (and 1 not to)" Google it and you'll find it.

anonymous Sep 30, 2011 1:55pm

The Revolution is definitely coming, I can feel it in my chest! 🙂

I never really thought about the ancestral trauma and how that would live on in our DNA…it makes sense, we're all energy and energy can neither be created or destroyed.

Much love!

anonymous Sep 30, 2011 2:17pm

Yes. it's one of the reasons why trying to Heal past lives is a total waste of time.
I am going to have to write an article about that…

anonymous Oct 4, 2011 3:08am

"Everyone's doing it!"
I live for that day too 🙂
It's coming…

Jasmin Henschel Jul 19, 2018 11:05pm

Yes to everything! Wonderful article. So I owne it, I know the root but I am unable to heal... I still want to freeze or run...

Lale Javaheri Jul 30, 2017 4:59pm

I wish you could be my therapist.

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Kelly Vincent Feb 10, 2017 6:12pm

Ben Ralston thank you for your reply! Good point, I'll think on being ready

Ben Ralston Feb 10, 2017 5:43pm

Because you weren't ready yet for change... Are you ready now?!

Tracey Marie Fletcher Jan 30, 2017 7:00am

Thankyou �

Kelly Vincent Jan 29, 2017 7:51pm

But I am aware of my trauma, the cause, how I feel. I've been aware for ages. But it's still there.....

Aleks Slijepcevic Sep 9, 2016 3:09am

Just what I needed to read. The secondary gain just blew my mind. Holy shit! What a new perspective? Will there always be a secondary gain, tho?

Ben Ralston Jul 20, 2016 9:53am

Yes. All. The. Time :)

Ben Ralston Jul 20, 2016 9:53am

Thank you Stephen!

Tom Marino Jul 7, 2016 2:30am

When you know the truth of who you are, there's nothing to fear. The truth will set you free.

Gordana Goga Dolic May 17, 2016 9:26am

To the point Ben! Need to keep in mind all the time.

Stephen Fraser May 3, 2016 5:56pm

As a psychotherapist with more than 3 decades of practice, this is one of the most succinct and wisest pieces of writing on the topic of healing trauma that I have read. Thank you.

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