I often say that "healing" is a journey home to self. It is the development of such a deep connection to self that when discomfort, pain and trauma triggers show up you know what is happening and you have the skills to be able to choose how you desire to respond to. You are no longer simply moving and reacting to things, but there is a process you engage in when things occur that allow you to center and choose.
There are very few of us that will ever be devoid of trauma triggers, ego, anxiety or sadness. These things will show up in our lives in some way over and over and over again. Life is filled with so many variables that will impact us and that will impact how we view the world and behave. But this "journey" of healing is about going inward, going so deep that you know yourself so well and understand your patterns, your choices and what it takes to take care of you so that no matter what happens you don't feel broken.
One of the greatest aspects of self care IS spiritual self care. How do you care for your soul when things feel broken? Where do you place your faith? How do you go inward to understand yourself better so that you make conscious choices instead of reacting to pain points.
When you are consumed by the doing and the knowing of brain and brawn, spirituality helps you to understand that your greatest achievements will come from the eternal and collective knowledge in the soul and the undoing present in stillness.
Spirituality is the connection between the self and all that is around us. It is the understanding that there are forces seen and unseen that connect us to each other and the earth. It is a belief in a higher power and those engaged in spiritual practices are seeking both understanding of the presence of that higher power in our lives and the ways that this power manifests in the self. Spirituality is about the deeper dive. It is about the internal space in a world that wants us to be focused so much on external things. It is about the esoteric and metaphysical in a society that is preoccupied with the tangible and material. When you are consumed by the doing and the knowing of brain and brawn, spirituality helps you to understand that your greatest achievements will come from the eternal and collective knowledge in the soul and the undoing present in stillness.
It is important to note that spirituality and religion are not the same. While spirituality is focused on the relationship between the self and the higher power, religion is about a set of rules that demonstrate that connection to the outside world. Religions have spiritual practices that guide your connection, but someone who is spiritual and not religious may engage in practices from different religions to support their seeking and connection.
It is only when you access this alignment will you be able to tell when you are engaged with things that are out of alignment.
Anything done with intention that allows you to attune yourself to what you desire, what is peaceful, what is aligned, is spiritual. It is only when you access this alignment will you be able to tell when you are engaged with things that are out of alignment. Some obvious examples of spiritual practices are: prayer, meditation, reading spiritual texts, music/sound healing. Some not so obvious examples are breath work, free text journaling, taking a walk, mindfully drinking a cup of tea.
Healing is the forever act of shifting your DNA so that you no longer engage in behaviors that do not benefit you.
Trauma can make pain feel normal and remove you from the innate understanding of how to care for yourself. Healing is the forever act of shifting your DNA so that you no longer engage in behaviors that do not benefit you. Traditional western techniques will teach you all the cognitive behavioral skills to talk your way out of the pain. And while they will work in some ways, they do not teach you how to gain the intimacy in your relationship with yourself needed to do the deeper healing. They do not shift the DNA.
Spiritual practices allow you to both develop a connection with yourself and a connection outside of yourself so that you can get closer to emotional freedom. It allows you to remove the stories that trauma, through the lense of ego, will have you believe are true, even though they are central to the continued manifestation of your pain.
No cognitive-only therapeutic technique will ever be as effective as learning yourself. The best way to learn you is to develop a practice of self care that allows you to dive deeper into you, connect to what is important, use that as a compass and be guided to the path that is best for you. Nothing creates your road map better than spending time with the self, getting curious, learning about the self and trying different techniques to support you in growing that understanding but also changing those things that do not benefit you.
If you aren’t already using some of these techniques in your healing work, don’t forget to ask your practitioner for more guidance and tools to help you dive deeper.