Self-esteem is a core state of being, a deep knowing of our innate worthiness to be loved, respected and valued, we are sure of our place in the world. Unfortunately, we don’t enter this life with a guarantee that our immediate family will be equipped to deliver a healthy, loving and supportive environment, where we can thrive. In many cases our self-esteem has been thwarted, diminished, and quite literally stolen. Not to cast blame, the ‘culprits’ are only able to deliver on their innate capabilities, nothing more, nothing less. However, the degree to which we can love ourselves, determines the depth of our relationships, and more importantly the relationship we have with ourselves. There’s nothing like unresolved emotional trauma to block our ability to know and love who we are.
A favourite song of mind is Carole King’s “You’ve got a friend.”
I feel such a resonance with this song because, as soon as I listen to it, I feel a familiar melancholy, the sort of feeling that consumed me as a child, a loneliness and disconnection from the world around me. My environment was a hostile one, the culprit an out of control angry father, school bullying and a depressed, unavailable mother. I felt sad and fearful, a feeling that eclipsed all others. Back then I needed a friend, someone on my side. Wonderful friends came later in life fortunately, but as a waded my way through childhood and my teenage years, I was confronted with far too many emotional traumatic experiences, that caused PTSD, anxiety, depression and an alcohol issue. To make matters worse, instead of feeling an iota of compassion, I berated myself harshly for my issues, suffice is to say that my self-esteem was through the floor. If I treated a friend that way, then I would be ‘Sandy no mates’ and rightly so. So why did self-flagellation come so easy?
I lived in the ‘shadowlands’ an existence whereby the concept of self esteem was as alien to me as a million pounds in my bank account, I had no idea what that would feel like, but sure would like to find out someday. I longed to feel worthy and to experience a wholehearted self-love, to make choices that were empowering, friendly and kind. I was determined to escape the shadowlands, raise the vibration of my emotional terrain, to joy, appreciation and love, it felt like a call from my soul and it simply wouldn’t leave me alone.
I was in my early 30’s when I decided that I was no longer a ‘victim of the past,’ I was done, it was time for a life upgrade and attain mastery. I had no idea what ‘mastery’ would feel like, just like I had no idea what it would be like to have a million in my account. What I wanted was kindness, empathy and friendliness from people, but more importantly from myself. Healing was an intention to befriend myself, as I addressed past emotional trauma, which had to some extent sapped my lifeforce. It took diligence and hard work, but eventually I was able to silence the inner critic, to shove a sock in the mouth of the voices from my past, that had robbed me of my self-esteem.
Healing core wounds and emotional trauma takes courage, and it can be painful, but it is more painful to stay stuck and just allow people from the past to determine how we feel about ourselves now, years later. A choice needs to be made, victimization or mastery? Despair or happiness? A lifetime can be spent wondering what life could be like from a self-loving and altogether friendlier place. Life flows better when we are kind to ourselves, it just does.
I have been helping my clients heal from past trauma for 12 years. I see my work as a vocation. I understand what it takes to heal. I also know what it’s takes emotionally and energetically to stay stuck in the past, healing feels like an obvious choice to me, albeit a brave one. Self-esteem becomes ours to actively choose, and to build and harness reaching a tipping point of no return, a place whereby no-one and nothing gets a say in how we feel about ourselves. Those internal harsh voices that echo another’s dysfunctionality diminishes, and eventually disappears completely.
Recently I had a client, I’ll call her Sylvia, who came to see me because she could not continue to live her life feeling so depressed and unhappy. Sylvia felt such despair, stemming from a traumatic past, that she had set a date for her suicide. We had work to do. I shared a part of my experience with her, a ‘wanting to die’ feeling, and assured her that it does dissipate, with doing the healing work. I’m relieved to say that 3 months later thoughts of suicide are behind her, and Sylvia is moving forward with her life and feeling much happier. I used a combination of Trauma Release techniques, Inner Child work and Hypnotherapy.
There are therapeutic processes to release emotional trauma and memories, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing) and The Havening Technique. Both created specifically to uncover blocks in a safe and effective way.
If you would like to find out more, you’ve got a friend in me….so reach out and let’s talk. #HealthePastCreatetheFuture