“Are you sure you’re being honest with yourself?” Carlene’s eyes were kind but intent. “It’s never made sense to me why you married Gabriel. You saw the red flags, right?”
After some thought, I answered honestly. “Sure, I did. But he was kind to me. I was sure he loved me.” She pressed. “Maybe you need to look a little deeper. There’s got to be something you’re not seeing.”
I think this is true of most of us. We’re so busy with our lives and responsibilities that we take only a cursory look at the things that hurt, bother, or infuriate us. Why? Well, generally I believe it’s because we become emotional in the moment, and when our emotions get involved, our brains aren’t asking questions. The result is that we don’t dig down to examine why we feel the way we do. And besides, it can be scary digging into those dark places. Or is it? Stick with me as I explain.
If you’ve been following my blog with any regularity or have read my book, Let My Legacy Be Love, A Story of Discovery and Transformation: Tracing Adult Issues to Childhood Hurts, you know that I uncovered the source of my adult challenges in incidents from my childhood. Up until then, I had been blind to the results of the insidious words, thoughts, and feelings that were holding me as an oblivious prisoner. I was ignorant of the fact that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) were the culprits for my bad body image, difficulties with close relationships, my mystery illness, and more. You also know that it wasn’t until my very close and trusted friend, Carlene Nolan, began asking me questions about my stories that it even occurred to me to think about it.
How did it happen? It was all just a happy accident. Carlene is very comfortable asking probing questions, so her inquiries were direct. I’ve often been called “a truth warrior,” and am fearless in my honesty.
As we continued to work together, we naturally fell into a simple but incredibly effective process. The following is how we did it:
- I shared my personal stories, and after either reading or listening, Carlene questioned details that didn’t make sense to her. Because we knew each other so well, when she probed to gain clarity on my reactions, behavior, and responses in a recollected moment, I was rarely uncomfortable.
- The direct result of my comfort was that I answered her honestly. (There seems to be a theme here, right?) Sometimes it took a while. We always knew we had finally hit the heart of a story when the tears came. To see the light of truth that could change my life and the way I viewed myself and those around me was emotional. Anyone would cry.
- Once the tears subsided, I blew my nose, we shared a hug and usually a good amount of laughter, and then I would go home to rewrite the story using the new information gained through our heart-to-heart conversations.
It wasn’t long before I had plenty of insight and could delve into my stories without her help. The reason is that I had learned to ask “why.”
Through the entire process, I literally rewrote my life story, and the great news is that you can, too.
There are three ways you can do this.
- You can use the book and the workbook within to spark your thoughts and memories to begin your examination.
- You could work with a close and trusted friend. Using the Discovery Process on www.letmylegacybelove.com, you and your friend can follow the guidelines Carlene and I used. It’s an amazing experience that will bring you even closer than before.
- Or, you could work with a professional counselor or therapist. It would be my advice that those who have suffered significant trauma work this way. But be sure to bring the completed ACE Test that is in the back of the book, and you may want to use the workbook as your framework.
There is a downloadable excerpt from the workbook on the site for your use. I hope you find it helpful.
I am speaking from experience when I say that healing from the results of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) can change your life. When you think about it, if each one of us would take the time to examine and heal ourselves, we will not pass our patterns on to the next generation. We could even be the force that changes the world. Let our legacy be love!
#adversechildhoodexperiences #healing #advice #trauma #ACEs