“We are not capable of healing in isolation. We need other people.
We are hurt in relationships and we heal in relationships.
Our brain and nervous system are not isolated, but interconnected and social.
At our core, we are social beings who regulate through CONNECTION with others.
Being comfortable in your own skin and having tools that help you relax is a really big deal, but learning how to feel SAFE WITH OTHERS is revolutionary.”
-Dr Diane Poole Heller
In the last decade, the concept of shadow work became very popular in new age ‘spiritual’ communities around the world. But there seems to be a lot of confusion about it all.
Shadow work is essentially complex trauma work which helps us heal our wounded parts.
Most of our ‘shadows’ were created as a part of developmental or attachment trauma in our childhood, when we didn’t have the resources to deal with our emotions fully so they got stored in our nervous system.
Carl Jung describes the shadow as the hidden parts of our human psyche, parts we deny, hide or reject about ourselves.
Basically everything that is UNCONSCIOUS, everything that is unknown and scary for us humans to face.
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
~ Carl Jung
When we are unconscious about something in ourselves, we are BLIND to it.
‘We don’t know what we don’t know’ – of no fault of our own.
So how are we supposed to work ALONE on things we are consciously not even aware of, which our ego doesn’t allow us to see?
Because it’s shameful or too triggering to talk about it, due to lack of resources and other reasons, too often people try doing trauma healing processes alone and in this way unfortunately many keep further retraumatizing themselves.
It is very important to know that it can be hard, unsafe and even dangerous to deal with our complex trauma on our own and also that one cannot integrate something without the presence of the caring and compassionate other.
Meditations, books and videos on trauma are great introduction tools but they are often Not Enough.
The main cause of our adult suffering isn’t just what happened to us in our childhood – but being left ALONE in our suffering – without anyone comforting us, meeting our needs and validating how we felt.
And although our friends, partners and family members can help us shine the light on our childhood wounds, they are often too subjective and emotionally attached to us and also can lack knowledge about emotional trauma and its healing.
Taking a therapist role can have a negative impact on our existing relationship as well.
The point of the objective, qualified, trained and experienced trauma practitioner is to help us see our ‘blind spots’ which we could otherwise never see, precisely because they are in the shadow, they are hidden from our consciousness.
And after a painful childhood, the most healing and loving thing trauma survivors can give to themselves and their wounded inner child is to surrender into the loving hands of their chosen therapist who, for the time being, becomes their surrogate mother, a caring and compassionate mother figure they never had.
In a safe, confidential and non judgemental space most adults in their trauma healing sessions – for the first time – Learn to RECEIVE unconditional love, attention, acceptance, belonging, understanding and validation for their pain and their unmet childhood needs, dreams, desires, fears…
So if as a child you grew up being strong and looking after yourself – because you lacked being held and nurtured by your caregivers – you may believe you can do just OK without anyone and you healing yourself on your own is enough.
Your self care in the childhood was enough in many ways to survive, but today, when it comes to your healing and thriving as an adult, please remember – you do DESERVE more.
Much love and healing to everyone 🤗🙏💓
Conquer your mountain!