Sometimes, especially when we are recovering from complex trauma, the “shadow” work is in learning to be happy, feel nourished and nurtured, and to trust the natural abundance of life.
Not in a bypass way, but in a grounded and true way that embraces all that we are and all that has been, rather than waiting for some elusive destination.
Your path of flourishing honors your past pain more than your suffering does.
A great deal of healing arrives through the form of grief opening up the aperture of the heart. Grief naturally takes care of a lot of things along the way.
We don’t have to suffer until we’ve done “enough” healing work that we will finally feel/have those promised things.
Often, the deeper healing of complex trauma comes from burning the vows around not deserving to be happy and leaning into the learning of how to feel joy, love, purpose, and cultivating a conscious, devoted relationship to the divine now. It’s in the learning of how to trust our life now, in the mess of all of it, possibly for the first time.
We get to be happy and free, even if we are carrying wounds or softening deep scars, or even when the world is falling apart.
There are often contracts we made with ourselves, and the generations that came before us, to not be happy, to be dedicated to our pain and suffering as a loyalty to the past.
We internalized the unhappiness around us and punish ourselves if we expand beyond that. We learn from the reactions of others to not be too happy, or we were abused, neglected, or punished, and our grief overlooked. We got sent away to our rooms, told to shut down our expressions, be seen and not heard.
We decide we aren’t allowed to be happy.
It’s a thing with most trauma.
So, we get high or get addicted to people and processes that give us a feeling of being alive. But, it’s not real. We are fed too many toxic mimics in a technological society.
Then, it’s possible that our trauma “healing” can take on the energy of our past trauma. We think that we need to attack all our trauma with tools and diagnosis. We think we have to heal ourselves completely to be free of it, to be happy, make money, find our purpose, and move on. We think we need to be perfect to deserve our own love.
It feels more sane to find some benevolent balance of nourishing the wounds with curiosity and the healing balms of grief and love. And to give ourselves permission to learn how to be happy now.
This is a great freedom.
A place we get to experience a whole other aspect of ourselves and trust that it is just as real and true as the hard stuff.
The expansion in our nervous system comes when we show up and decide our inner parent is no longer allowed to torment us. We claim that we are allowed to be happy.
You can be happy, free, loved, abundant, and serving in the world, and still have wounds and not be perfect.
This is a beautiful thing.
The unconscious of the human psyche is a vast, infinite ocean of mystery. It has no end, so there is no way to ever fully metabolize everything we have tucked away in there.
In a dominator culture, we are sold the idea that we need to clear all the beliefs in order to attain what we want, get x, y, and z, or be loved the way we are sold “lovable” is.
A dominator culture cancels people who aren’t perfect, so we think we need to be perfect. This complex trauma keeps us in the trauma loop, rather than freeing us from it so we can be safe people in a world that needs more safe people.
This, in itself, becomes a great shadow that prevents our innate well-being, happiness, and general positive regard toward the totality of ourselves as humans.
We learn to see ourselves as construction projects, not alive human beings with hearts that have been hurt by hurt people in a world built on the idea of separation from nature and the Great Mother.
If we think that we don’t have what our ego ideals have been conditioned to want, we think we still haven’t done enough “work,” and as long as we think that, we stay stuck in complex trauma because this culture is seeped in this idea in order to maintain a certain level of productivity, consumption, and capitalistic gain.
Sometimes, what we really want has nothing to do with what we are told we are supposed to want.
That’s not to say that trauma healing isn’t a real thing. It is, and needs to be held in a tremendous amount of tenderness and sacredness, but with balance and kindness, motivated by a desire for sanity and not things outside of ourselves.
It needs to be balanced with nourishing our own happiness now, in this present moment…enriched with ceremony and prayer, daily practices that nurture us and support the foundation of our being to feel content and good with ourselves as we heal the deeper layers of trauma consciousness we developed in, or were conditioned into us via the society we grew up in.
You deserve to be happy even if you have trauma.
Forgive your past selves so you can be free now.
You deserve to thrive—right now.
In learning to thrive, trust life, lean into love, and expand your capacity for more good in your life, the true shadows and wounded bits arise for integration and you don’t have to go searching as much.
And, you are building a beautiful foundation that can hold it all with compassion for all you survived.