Like shedding an old layer of skin that no longer fits, when we allow ourselves to grow and heal inside we release a dead part of us that we have been clinging on to. Some of us (myself included!) walk around with these old skins in an attempt to keep ourselves safe and small; to avoid the temporary pain of growth.
We don’t dare to let ourselves deal with certain things, situations or people as we would lose part of our identity which we have been subconsciously holding on to.At other times we are desperate to rip it off and like a scar that hasn’t quite healed and then we bleed.
It is only through telling our stories that we grow and heal and can unpeel that old layer that has been holding us back. We are no longer trapped or forced to stay small in ways of being that no longer fit. We can unpeel that old suit and step out of its non-serving constraints.
Here are 7 steps to help you heal –
1.Write it out. Free-write for 3 pages on the person, incident, memory that upsets you. (you can come back and do this exercise over and over again for whatever situation still triggers or hurts you). Don’t worry about grammar, spelling, creating paragraphs or if it is coherent. Be as free as you can. Swear, use capitals. Scribble, draw, score through words. Get it all down on paper.
2. Grab some cushions or pillows and set a timer for 3 minutes. Allow the feelings that arose from your free-write to stay at the surface really feel them, don’t swallow them down. Release the anger, sadness, fear, pain onto the cushions. Punch them, bash them, hug them; cry into them.
3. Take 10 deep breaths in and out, breathing deep into your stomach. Try now to feel some compassion and forgiveness for the person, situation, or memory (it could even be yourself you have to forgive) See the person as a little innocent kid who didn’t know any better. Hug the pillow or cushion as if you are hugging a child and tell them you forgive them, that you love them, or even that you are willing to forgive them.
4. Write a letter to the person who hurt you. Write from the age where the hurt happened for instance;
Dear Daddy, I am so upset tonight. You came and asked for my pocket money so you could go out drinking. Then left me at home alone. I feel so… (fill in how you feel)
5. Take your free-write (from 1.) and rip it up and flush it away or burn it. Tell it you no longer need it and you are releasing it to the Universe.
6. Using the following prompts, write a paragraph on each.
- Now that I am free I can…
- I am so grateful now that I can…
- I learned so much from what happened and now I can help others by…
- I feel like a new person who can now…
7. Now imagine yourself unzipping a suit of old dried up skin take each take each arm out, then step each leg out of it. Watch as it crumples to the floor. (You can give it a little kick if you want to!) Now gather it up in your arms and scrunch it hard, keep scrunching it until it is a tiny ball, then until it has gone, disappeared, evaporated into the Universe.
Do you feel fresh, new, a little revitalised?
Like you have now become more of who you are, no longer hidden or constrained.
By combining writing with healing we can become braver in our lives, be more willing to trust and connect with others. I know this has been true for me. Following these steps has allowed me to step out of old stories I was telling myself. It has made me stand up for myself more and not let the past dictate the here and now.
It can do the same for you, let me know how you get on with these exercises. I’d love to hear from you!