Healing One Step at a Time

So often we come up against roadblocks in life, a place where we feel intrinsically dis-satisfied with some aspect of where we are within our life; within ourselves. We ask ourselves why is this happening to me, why do I feel this way and get into these situations and with these same old thoughts over and over again. Sometimes the thoughts are familiar to us and we are well aware that they are connected to the hungry ghosts of the past. Other times we have no idea why we are feeling this way we just know it is familiar to us like an old sweater.

What is clear is that we are stuck and that we are not happy about it. The tools we already have to help ourselves shift perspective and feel better are not working the way we hoped. We want to let go, be free and move forward but we can’t because there it is again the roadblock; the feelings, impulses and subsequent thoughts that are de-railing us as well as all the coping behaviours we have developed to avoid our feelings about being stuck. Often, this is when people seek a quick fix solution. We want to get over it already, be on the other side, or let it all go at once in some big moment of catharsis. We want to be healed but not participate in the healing.

What I have learned in my ongoing, healing journey through the somatic therapeutic approach of Rosen Method Bodywork and Movement, as well as Somatic Experiencing, is to embrace the journey itself. And what does that mean? For me it means I have an understanding and acceptance that I am in a process of healing that happens one step at a time. I can only ever take one step at a time, not three or four, not teleporting to the other side, just one step. The one step is everything. It requires trust, both a willingness to move forward into the unknown and a deep acceptance of and compassion for my resistance, my self-protective responses. During a session this step can feel very subtle, like a new awareness of sensation in my body, or more direct such as making a connection between a certain sensation in my body and a feeling. For example, “when I feel overwhelmed with fear I tighten my muscles and fascia in a way that makes me feel like a piece of furniture, frozen, hidden in the background” and then allowing that experience without judgement. It can also feel like an experience of wellbeing and aliveness; an expanding outward from my defences, softening and allowing in a little more support and love for myself than before.

Slowly, one step at a time we can move forward toward love, connection, and fuller experience of our essence in form. This deeper level of healing needs to be slow because our bodies requires this slowness in order to fully integrate unresolved past experiences and build resources of safety and connection in the present moment. There are no quick fixes for healing trauma. There is a process though, if we can get out of our way long enough to be open to just taking one step, being present in this moment in time to what we are experiencing with someone who can effectively support us. This is all that is required for a shift forward in our healing process.

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