Have you ever heard that phrase before? I probably had, but it never stood out because I couldn’t relate. At least, not prior to my own experiences of “breaking down to breaking through” …
It wasn’t until I turned thirty that I could allow myself to “break down” or let go enough to access and release the pain, sorrow, and frustration that have accumulated inside over the years. I took a strange sense of pride in being “strong”, “laid back” and “easy going”. Well, that meant several decades of allowing myself to get walked on, of not speaking up for myself, and development of a strong armor against anything I had resistance to.
It was terrifying for me to not be “in control” because if I wasn’t, that might trigger something uncomfortable inside and that discomfort was too foreign and scary because it held years of accumulation of “uncomfortable feelings” I was that one who would pretend that everything was fine (while smiling and grinding my teeth) without even knowing I was pretending!
I developed a belief very early on that "everything happens for a reason" and told myself that "things could be a lot worse", I stayed in the light of positivity which is how my seven-year-old self coped with reality. There were times that I knew and felt that some things weren’t quite right, but those feelings sunk to my subconscious and I stayed in the positive light that "everything was fine" and I that "I was fine". I didn’t want to add any weight to what my parents were going through, so I found ways to cope. I prided myself in being so “independent” at a young age, I ignored my own feelings and needs thinking they were minuscule in comparison to what else was going on...
That was the beginning of me focusing more on other people’s problems more than my own.
As an adolescent, my Mom would tease me as "the counselor" as I would receive sometimes three phone calls per night from friends as I offered advice and tried to "fix" their problems.
I set off to College initially following the path of my Dad’s footsteps as a Psychologist. I knew I wanted to help people in some capacity, as to how I would do that shifted over the years. Upon graduation, I knew I was set on the path of the Healing Arts, but I was not quite ready then even though I had the knowledge and the certificates. I wanted to find ways to protect and preserve my own energy because I saw how other Healers I worked with were so drained - despite taking care of their physical health. In the process of learning how to build and protect my own energy through pranayama, yoga, qi gong, and energy work, it occurred to me that I was the one who needed to be healed first before I could facilitate in the healing of others.
I realized that many healers go in to the field wanting to help others, but ultimately they are the ones that need healing and must first help themselves.
My own healing has been in releasing stuck energy in the physical and emotional body as well as a continual unfolding of subconscious and limiting beliefs emerging to be healed. Whatever I have not given myself time and space to be felt and healed has surfaced including memories that I didn’t even know I was holding on to. Now I give myself permission to sit with my emotions as they arise. I take the lessons from children ... when they’re upset – they throw a tantrum, scream, yell, and get it out, if they're sad they cry, happy - they dance.
Emotions don’t always arise in convenient times, and revelations don’t always come in the prettiest form while sitting in meditation under a Bodhi tree. Sometimes they come unexpectedly – like in the restroom of a Mexican restaurant while at dinner with in-laws. (Secret tip: Restrooms have long been a place of refuge for me to get a little respite, to collect myself, or to give my introverted-self a temporary break).
One of the best tips I ever received came from my hair stylist – to shut yourself in the car where no one is around and no one can hear then scream at the top of your lungs. At first, I was super reluctant, then I felt a bit crazy, then after I let myself break free and let it out, it felt euphoric.
After allowing myself to break down my barriers and cry, get upset, or scream (all reactions that don’t come easy for me), I always come out with relief and more clarity on situations.
For me, it’s been an allowance of the little “breakdowns” that have lead to the bigger breakthroughs. If I didn’t allow myself to breakthrough what’s on the surface, I wouldn’t be able to access what’s in the depths – where the reserves of my unfelt feelings, my inner child, and my shadow self reside that are asking to be illuminated. I feel I had to develop a belief in myself and a sense of security that by feeling what I never wanted to feel – not only what I be okay, but I would be better in the end. Throughout the process it’s become easier to clear both big and small limitations, subconscious patterns and beliefs.
I believe I had to first gain enough capacity and energy within myself to hold space for what wanted to come through, and allow it to show up in its own time without forcing it. I know now that what shows up in the awareness of my conscious mind is ready to be cleared -- We can’t heal what we don’t know is there.
Through conscious awareness, I can discern what is mine and what is mine from the past so I don't let myself be ruled as an adult by my seven-year-old self asking for attention when I'm feeling hurt. As an adult, I can give my inner child some love, attention and assurance when she gets triggered. I can sit with what is coming up to be healed and have the wisdom to not stuff my feelings down with positivity or "good” things like ice-cream or chocolate!
Without a higher perception and the vulnerability of letting go, I would not have been able to even notice why things are as they are when "something is just not right". I would be stuck playing victim and blaming others instead of taking responsibility for myself. If it weren't for the series of breakdowns I've had I don't believe I would have been able to breakthrough to what's on the other side -- bringing shadows into light and the subconscious to the conscious while letting go of the weight of the past.
If I hadn't gone through my own "breakdowns, I don't believe I could have held space as a Healer for those in the presence of breakthroughs. To support people in this process has been profound in helping lift the weight of burdens that have been weighing them down for years.
With gratitude to the process of healing that brings more light into life,