When will I be done healing?Mar 04, 2021
By Kimberly Ward
"When will I be done healing?" That's a question I get so often from my clients and one I've recently asked myself.
I thought I had a handle on the old self-sabotaging patterns that in the past kept me from having the life I wanted. After all, I now have a successful career, a wonderful husband and family, and good health. Compared to my life before all the "healing," I have come far. Really far! And I was feeling very confident that the hard part was over. I was "healed." (Ha!!!)
A few months ago, I broke my foot. A nasty break. 6 screws and a metal plate now hold the small bones in my right foot in place. As I heal from the physical injury, I realized that I am not, in fact, "healed" from the old self-sabotaging behaviors that caused me so much pain in the past. These behaviors can show up anytime despite all the years of healing work I've done. Ugh…..
You see, my pattern of self-sabotage involves checking out of my body and tuning into the non-physical realms. I have a remarkable ability to focus inwardly, imagine and create new things. But, it can be harmful when I tune out the world to the point that it interferes with my relationships and health, hence the broken foot.
I learned to check out of my body and tune into my intellect and other non-physical realms to buffer overwhelming situations when I was a child. Called the Leaving Pattern, this is one of 5 common strategies people use to manage stress. These are defensive strategies wired into the nervous system during childhood. We call these patterns the 5 Survival Energy Body Types. Click here to take a free quiz and find out your type.
Due to a traumatizing birth and stressful family circumstances happening at that time I was born, I learned to "leave" or check out of my body to deal with the stress. This is really the only option for an infant because they can't yet respond any other way. They can't run away or fight back when they feel threatened or scared. They can't even tell someone what's happening or ask for help. So they dissociate from the physical world and focus on the intellectual, spiritual, or creative realms.
This pattern served me well as an infant and gave me some excellent skills and gifts. But it can cause severe issues, including being ungrounded, clumsy, and accident-prone, not to mention the relationship problems that can occur from being checked out.
Managing this pattern has required (among other things) regular, intense physical activity for me to feel safe and connected to my body. I don't love exercise. I'm not a natural athlete, and I don't automatically want to move. I want to think, meditate, pray, daydream or do something creative. I find it really HARD to be consistent with the physical activity that is required to stay firmly grounded in my body (even though it feels terrific after I do it).
I have spent many years working on being more aware of my physical body and being more consciously connected to the present physical reality. And yet, I find that when I'm swamped with work or stressed out, I automatically revert back to the old habits because the survival pattern is so deeply ingrained into my nervous system. I can easily be pulled back into destructive behaviors, leading to severe consequences (like a broken foot requiring surgery and a year-long recovery process).
This injury has been hard in so many ways. The physical healing has been challenging and has disrupted my life significantly. But it's also been a great gift. It's reminded me that healing the survival pattern is NOT about being done. It's about understanding and awareness. Understanding that my system is wired into a survival pattern of leaving. It is not a flaw that needs to be fixed but rather a strategy from the past that may or may not be useful in the present moment.
The key for me is to be more consciously aware of myself in the present moment so I can choose how to respond instead of being led by the automatic survival pattern from childhood.
As painful as it's been, this injury has also been a huge motivator to not be complacent with my daily practice of grounding and connecting to my body. To have the life I want, I must stick to my daily routine of physical activity. Sometimes it is easy and enjoyable. Sometimes I hate it. But I've let go of the idea that I am "done" healing or will someday be done and see it as a daily practice of working with my system to stay present and grounded.
Do you want to know what your primary Survival Energy Body Type is? Along with my Transpersonal Energy Healing team, I configured an easy way to test yourself to discover your go-to self-sabotaging Survival Strategy. It's revealed through your Energy Body, and with a reactivity assessment that is fun, funny, fast.
- Discover your predominant Survival Strategy
- Identify your secret gifts, the true essence of your self-sabotage
- Learn a healing technique to help you shift OUT of that pattern
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