Inner Work With MaryAnn Walker

Honoring Personal Healing Timelines

November 08, 2023 MaryAnn Walker Episode 68
Inner Work With MaryAnn Walker
Honoring Personal Healing Timelines
Show Notes Transcript

We all process and heal in our own time and in our own way.

In this episode, MaryAnn expands on Michael Singers metaphor for healing, comparing it to a spike in ones arm. 

Our wounding impacts how we show up in the world, how we engage with others, and how we self identify.

In this episode, MaryAnn shares 4 steps for personal healing:

1: Acknowledge what IS:   It is only when we acknowledge what is that we can become conscious as to what we want to create on purpose.

2: Remove the spike: Distinguishing ourselves from our wound rather than identifying it is key when it comes to healing. We are not our wounds. We are the ones observing our wounding.

3: Tend to the wound: Once we have removed the spike, now is the time to attend to our wound. Clean it. Use ointment. Wrap it in a bandage and allow it to heal from the inside out.

4: Trust the process: Do not compare your healing to others. Trust that you will heal on your own timeline. Surround yourselves with people that can remind you of you journey and how far you have come when you get discouraged.

If you want to connect with MaryAnn either to book a session or come on the podcast, click here.

To get your own copy of Micheal Singers book, The Untethered Soul, click here

Built-in Microphone:

Well, hello and welcome back. So there has been a theme coming up in my private practice. And whenever that happens, then I use that as information to think, okay, maybe this is something that we need to do a podcast episode on. So today we're going to be talking about our own personal healing timelines. And honestly, it's a really easy trap to fall into. When you start to do this healing work, it can be really easy to use your thoughts against you. So for example, maybe you're thinking thoughts like, okay, I know that my thoughts are creating this. Why can't I change? Why am I still ruminating on this? Why is this still bothering me? Why haven't I healed? I just want this to stop. Now, when somebody is experiencing hardship, it essentially creates a wound. And oftentimes, these wounds are unseen. Right? They happen on the inside. So these wounds might come from abuse, neglect, a fight with a loved one, divorce, addiction. Now this might be your own addiction or somebody else's addiction. It might be due to financial ruin or childhood wounding, narcissistic wounding. family trauma. It could be any number of things. And each of these experiences are going to require different levels of support when it comes to our own personal healing. And they're each going to have their own individual timeline. We like to think that, nope, it should always take exactly this long for this kind of healing to take place. But really, Every single person and every single experience is vastly different. So even though you might be having a similar experience to somebody, we all come from different backgrounds. We all have different things happening around us that are going to impact how we process that individual experience. So today I wanted to share with you four steps to hopefully support you on your own personal healing journey. And number one is observe what is. Now I have referenced this book before, but I'm going to be taking a few liberties with Michael Singer's example in The Untethered Soul about walking around with a thorn in her arm. And just a heads up, this whole episode is going to be all about metaphor. And so if you're a metaphor person, you're going to love this. If you have a harder time with metaphors, It's okay to come back next week, but today we're going to be really exploring the idea of personal healing through the metaphor that Michael Singer offers, which is this idea of walking around with a thorn in our arm. So when we have been wounded, it is essentially like, yes, okay, I have this thorn in my arm and sometimes it can feel pretty big, right? So today I'm going to kind of be, instead of talking about a thorn in our arm, a giant wooden spike. Okay? So when you are walking around in this world with this metaphorical giant Wooden spike in your arm. This spike is going to be dictating how you show up in the world, right? So think about your own personal wounding and how it's impacting how you show up in the world. Now if this was a physical wound in your arm, you would be doing some pretty specific things. For example, you might cut the left sleeve off of every shirt in your closet so it wouldn't snag your shirts when you put them on. Or maybe when somebody was coming up to give you a hug, you'd say, Oh, Oh, Nope, Nope. Sorry. Don't get too close. I don't want you to bump this big old spike in my arm. It's going to dictate what we wear. It's going to dictate the activities we can participate in. It's going to dictate how close people can get to us. So just notice how your own personal wounding is impacting how you are showing up in the world. And maybe you're noticing how it's impacting you and your relationships and how you dress and how you engage with the world. And it might even limit the kinds of activities that you can participate in. So for example, if you had an open wound in your arm and your friends really wanted to go. So, uh, if you're going to be opting out because, oh no, I don't want to get sand in it. I don't want to get it wet. It might get infected. It's going to prevent us from having all of those experiences that life has to offer because we haven't done the healing work yet. Now, when we have had this kind of wounding, it's really easy to make that a part of who we are and how we identify with the world. And one thing that I keep hearing in sessions is, well, I guess this is just my new normal. But, you It isn't normal to walk around with a spike in your arm 24 7. So I want you to think for a moment about how you are engaging with the world through this lens of trauma because it is essentially a trauma wound and how is that impacting you. Acknowledge what is and work to see it more clearly. This does not have to be the new normal. This is not the new normal, right? But it's recognizing what currently is and becoming really, really clear on that. So that we can together come up with a plan moving forward to get you to where it is that you want to be. So let go of the idea of this is the new normal and embrace the idea of, okay, this is my current reality. And sure, you know, these events, they're generally from things that have happened in your past, right? But you are in here getting coached because it's impacting you in the now. So in coaching, we can get clear on how it is impacting you in the now so that we can come up with that more clear plan to figure out how you want to engage with the world and with yourself and with other people moving forward. So asking yourself those questions, once we identify, okay, how am I showing up in the world? Then we can be more clear about if we want to choose it on purpose. So using the example of the spike, do you really want to continue to cut one sleeve off of every shirt? Or would you like to eventually get to a place where you can wear a silk blouse again without worrying about the sleeve becoming snagged? Do you want to be able to embrace your loved ones? Or do you want to continue to keep them at arm's length out of fear that your wound is going to become bucked? This doesn't have to be your new normal, but it is important to acknowledge what your current reality is. So look at it really closely to see what it is that is needed in order to remove it. And that leads to number two, actually removing the thorn or the spike. And I get it that more than likely you have made this thorn or this spike a part of your core identity. right? So even though this is something that happened to you in your past, you have built your entire life around this and you have a hard time even remembering what life might have been like before this core wounding. And so really get clear and really focus on, okay, so I do see that I have this in my arm and I am choosing to remove it. Now, maybe it's something that's super simple to remove and you can just grab it with your fingers and it's done. Or maybe as you remove it, you realize, Oh, I can see that it's actually splintered. This is impacting me more than I thought it was. I can see that it has splintered and it's starting to become infected. So now I can see, I have the information that maybe just throwing some Neosporin and a Band Aid on this isn't going to do the trick. Maybe I need a little bit more care. But we need to actually look at the wound and remove the spike before we can see how it is that we can really focus on our healing. And this is the work of becoming that observer of self. It's recognizing that I am not what happened to me. I am the observer of the thing that happened to me and I am now observing how it feels and what needs to happen in order to separate myself from this wounding. It is choosing to become an active participant in your own healing and becoming that physician of self and getting yourself the care that you need. And usually after we become aware of the wound and we removed the spike in our arm, this is oftentimes where a lot of people make the false assumption that they should instantly be healed, right? They're thinking, all right, it's done. I get it. Now I took it out and now I should be able to live life just like I did before this wounding. But then they ask themselves the question, like, but I took out the spike. I became aware of it and I took it out. Why does it still hurt? Why is my wound still bleeding? Why is it still impacting me? And so yes, you have removed the spike and you've removed the splinters. And that is amazing and crucial work. It is so vitally important. And also this is the moment where the healing actually And so then that leads into step three, tending to the wound. So now that this metaphorical spike and all of the splinters have been removed, now you might see that, oh, I can see that there's a bigger hole there than anticipated. I didn't know how deep this wound was. I can see that it's bleeding. And it is in need of care. This is all just using it as information to see what level of care do you need moving forward. And that might be coaching, and that might be therapy, it might be getting this professional help, it might be talking with a friend. You know, we don't really know what kind of care we're going to need until we can become that conscious and curious observer of the wounding so that we can decide on purpose, okay, well, what is it that I actually need? And choose proactively to get that level of care. Now, oftentimes when a wound is really deep, it requires packing the wound. Now, let me tell you a little bit about the packing of wounds. When somebody experiences a deep physical wound, the wound is going to need to be packed. And the packing of the wound, it's essentially putting gauze inside of this open wound and keeping the wound on the top open to allow the body to heal from the inside out. And without packing the wound... and the wound might prematurely close up and hold an infection, and then the wound might begin to fester. It's going to lead to a spreading of bacteria, and it could lead to severe infection. And so we need to really be honest about, OK, how deep is this wound? What level of care do I need? so we can get the kind of care that we need. So, of course, if I'm talking in this stage of healing, I'm going to be addressing those deeper wounds that do require a little bit more care and a little bit more attention. Oftentimes... Healing does happen as quick as a thought. There have been sessions where I've been coaching somebody and they have a new thought and it flips just that quickly and they experience instant growth and instant healing and they're able to move forward through that. And those are amazing experiences. And also, sometimes the healing takes a little bit more time because the healing requires a little bit more care. So, what does the packing of the wound look like? So this takes place in a sterile environment and then clean gauze is pushed inside of the wound. And again, this keeps the wound open and it allows the body to heal from the inside out. And so maybe this wound is still something that you can pack and unpack on your own, but maybe this might be a wound where it requires the help of a friend or a family member or a medical professional. This packing of the wound is actually critical for your healing. So sometimes while the wound is being packed, there's a little bit of cringing going on, right? So it doesn't feel so great to have gauze shoved inside of an open wound, right? And so I'm going to refer to this stage as the grimace stage, okay? So maybe the grimacing is coming from you, where you're thinking, This is so uncomfortable. I hate having my wound packed and repacked. And you might even be wondering if it's helping, right? How could this possibly be helping? It's still an open wound, right? Or the grimacing might be coming from the person who is helping you or attempting to help you where they're thinking, oh, this is so gross. Like, why can't you do this on your own? And so just kind of recognize for self, is there some grimacing happening and on whose part? And again, just use that as information. Maybe if you're the one doing the grimacing, maybe you need a little bit of reassurance from your provider that is coming to tend to these wounds that, hey, guess what? You're actually doing a really good job. Last time I came, it required this much gauze. to fill that wound. And now we only need this much gauze. So even though it's open on the top, I can see that there is some healing happening and that there is some growth happening. And you're doing such beautiful and amazing work. Now use your grimacing as information that maybe you have a need that needs to be met by somebody else, right? Or maybe you're grimacing because you have the belief, but I should be more healed than I am right now. Use all of this as information as to what it is that you currently need in that moment. If it's the other person who is doing the grimacing at this stage, also just use that as information. Maybe they're not the best person to offer you care at this time. Maybe they have some resistance to it. Maybe they need to go and tend to their own wounds before they can be present for you. But use all of this as information. Find somebody who can be a... safe person that can help you with the packing and the unpacking of your wounds. And again, if you'd like support around this, come and work with me. I'd be more than happy to work with you. If you are not sure if a therapist or a coach would be the right fit for you, come and talk with me about it. You know, send me a message and let me know what's going on for you. I am more than happy to let you know if something is out of the scope of my practice here, because it is even more important for me, for you to get the care that you need, than it is for me to have clients. So feel free to message me and let me know what's going on for you. Some people benefit from therapy, some people benefit from coaching. I actually work with several people who are actually utilizing both at the same time. Um, oftentimes people use coaching as they're transitioning out of therapy, or they want to use it as something before they go into therapy. And so you just kind of play around with it. But again, I'm more than happy to talk with you about it and see how coaching may or may not be supportive for you in your particular instance at this time. My goal as a coach is to hold a neutral space for you through this packing and repacking of wounds. It's not going to ruffle me. My job is to just be present for you and help you to reflect back to what's coming up for you, right? To just sit with you so that together we can come up with a plan that feels most supportive for you. and your personal healing journey and I can remind you along the way that yeah, like I get it. This isn't very fun and look how much less gods we're using right now than we did last time. This is working. It's under the surface and so it might be a bit harder for you to see the healing as it's taking place, but look, it really, really is working. Another tendency that we have at this stage is to compare our healing with other people's healing. So we might look at somebody else and think, Boy, well, they got a spike in their arm at the same time, and now they're off hiking in the woods and swimming in the lake, and what's wrong with me? How come I can't do those things yet? And because these wounds heal from the inside out, it's really easy to slip into that comparison. But the truth is, no one's wounds are the exact same. We don't know how deep the wounding is. on our wombs compared with other people. We don't know how wide the gap is. We don't know how many stitches were required. We don't know how long they've had to heal. We don't know what's happening for them. Maybe you have an easier time during the day and they have an easier time in the night. Maybe when you're seeing them in the grocery store and you're thinking, boy, they just look so happy. What's wrong with me? We can't see or know what's happening for them behind closed doors. We don't know if they're crying themselves to sleep. We don't know what's happening for them. So it is pointless for us to assume that because we catch somebody and they're good five minutes, when they felt well enough to go to the grocery store to make that mean that they are somehow doing significantly better than us or that we're doing significantly worse or just telling ourselves a little story that we should be in a different place because of somebody else. So just notice if your brain is wanting to tell you that you are somehow inadequate because of somebody else's healing, because that is a lie. Everybody has their own customized healing journey and your healing is perfect for you. And it may very well happen that just as you think you're making progress, then boom, you get bumped and then your brain wants to tell you, Oh, you're still that person with a spike in your arm. See, you're still wounded. You're still healing. You're still having a hard time. You still are not healed from this. Just remind yourself of all of the progress that you've made. And again, this is where having people outside of you to coach you on this, or friends or family members to show up and love and support for you, where they can remind you of how far you have come. Because your brain is going to say, because it still hurts, I'm not making any progress, but again, this is a lie the brain wants to tell you. So just notice that your brain is probably going to go into freak out mode, but don't make that mean that the healing work that you've done hasn't been working. And also when it gets bumped, again, just use it as information. Is the pain better or worse? Do you need a little bit more care? Do we need to add another professional to your team? Or maybe you just are wondering, Oh, you know what? I recognize it's time to change my dressing. This dressing has been in for too long and I need to change my dressing. Just using all of that as information so that you can meet yourself exactly where you are at, rather than guilting and shaming yourself for not being where you think you should be. And again, I highly recommend that you work with somebody that can remind you of your personal healing and surround yourself with people that can celebrate your progress and point it out to you when you're having a hard time seeing it because you are in fact making progress. And that leads to number four, trust the healing process. There are so many factors at play when it comes to our own personal healing. So trust the process. We all have access to different resources, different equipment, different medications. We all have varying levels of support from those in our household and outside of our household. We all are at different ages and stages of life. We have different diets. that we're using, right? And all of these things are going to be impacting our own personal healing and working with somebody else can really help you to see, okay, what is most supportive for my healing right now and help you to trust that process to recognize when maybe you need to change up your care team, or maybe you need to try something new or switch up your diet. There's so many factors at play when it comes to our own personal healing, but trusting the process and recognizing. All of this is just there to give us valuable information to help us to know what it is that we need for our next steps and our next level of healing can be so powerful. Again, it comes down to that radical acceptance of what is, and that is going to help us to get to where it is that we want to go. This is not the new normal. This is just giving us information to let us know what our next steps are to help us to get to where it is that we want to go. ALl right, I hope this has been helpful for you. Again, if you would like to work together, come and work with me. I do have some spots opening up for the new month, uh, so you can find all my contact information in the show notes. And yeah, let's work together. All right, have a great week and let's talk soon. Bye now.