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It's a Wild Ride, But It's Going Somewhere Good

I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you:

The bad news is that a lot of your problems are your own damn fault.

The good news is that a lot of your problems are your own damn fault!

Let’s break it down.

We’ll look at interpersonal conflict, as an example. We all know that no one can get us more rattled and dysregulated than someone we’re close with. Relationships tend to take up a lot of rental space in our minds, particularly when things aren’t going well or we feel we’ve been wronged in some way. This rings true especially when we’ve been wronged repeatedly.

If you’re somewhere along the road on a healing journey, I suspect you are testing the waters if not already fluent in trying to approach conflict with understanding. Perhaps you’re in a pattern of questioning WHY. Asking yourself over and over again WHY someone would treat you this way. And, if you’re like a lot of us, you’re probably offering answers that sound something like “they didn’t have a great day, great childhood, they’re in a fight with someone else…” the list of excuses goes on.

The truth is, it is absolutely beneficial to approach conflict with curiosity. But if you’re only curious about the external side of this equation, you’re not really resolving anything.

I’ve been up, down, and all around in this world and if there is one thing, I’ve learned with a certainty it’s that the bulk of the emotional energy tied up in conflict with other people, when it all boils down, had much more to do with the conflicts within myself. This could look like fear of upsetting someone, fear of rejection, and all the fun (sarcastic) ancillary feelings of shame that go along with not standing up for yourself when you feel you ought to have had. Or perhaps rumination has caused inaction, or analysis paralysis, where you simply feel stuck and can’t decide which way to go.

In order to truly find a resolution, you have to look at the WHAT as it relates to yourself. In other words, WHAT within your subconscious mind is crying out for help? It would be extremely convenient if the subconscious would just clearly state what the disharmony is all about and offer solutions. But that is not the nature of the subconscious mind, therefore we must start digging to find our answers.

Hence the good & bad news all at once, two sides of the same coin.

It’s bad news because it’s painful to sit with yourself and unpack your shadow.

It’s good news because you are actually more in control than you have perhaps allowed yourself to realize. You can change your strategy. You’ve got your work cut out for you, should you choose to accept this mission, but there is freedom on the other side. Freedom of expression, freedom to create, freedom to thrive.

Sticking with the example of interpersonal conflict, it’s important to consider how deficits in the relationship you have with yourself are manifesting in your reality. If you have low self esteem, you may have wired yourself to take everything as a personal attack. If you have low self-worth, you may have trouble connecting with the idea that you are worthy of being treated better. Conversely, if your ego is huge, you may be projecting that you are superior and thus creating conflict. These are just a small selection of possibilities. Our subconscious thoughts essentially become a self-fulfilling prophesy, as every experience we have is filtered through this lens.

It's not enough to just acknowledge that you may have low self-esteem, although awareness is an amazing first step. To truly overcome this, you have to get to the bottom of WHAT has happened to cause your mind to be wired this way.

And herein lies the difficult part. To overcome this, you’re going to have to come face to face with the experiences which damaged your relationship with yourself. There is no magic answer, I promise I’ve tried every form of avoidance you can survive, and the only way out is through.

And since we don’t sugar coat anything here, I will also inform you that if you are subconsciously embodying the idea that you are “less than” in any way shape or form, this is going to continue to play out in your relationships with others. The faces will change but the stories will not.

To be clear, I am not suggesting if someone is routinely mistreating you that you are entirely to blame. They could, at any point, choose to do better and they alone are responsible for their actions. But my challenge for you is to root out the part of you which energetically agrees to be mistreated over and over.

A key element to succeeding here is to be objective, without shaming yourself. Just because we are acknowledging responsibility does not mean right/wrong must be assigned. In whatever situation(s) have caused you to feel “less than”, you were likely doing the best you could with the resources you had.

One pitfall I stumbled across in doing this work that others may benefit from hearing was trying to hold my inner child accountable to the same standards as the adult version of me. Meaning that I felt I “ought to” have done something different as a child, and carried this guilt & shame with me into my adult life. In reality, the mental facilities of a child are much different than those of an adult. So the capacity to reason differently at a younger age only existed in my present day imagination. It was an absolutely impossible standard that I had set, and the shame I created for myself manifested as disharmony in my relationships with those around me.

That was a tough one to digest. And if I’m being honest, I am still coming to terms with the fact that so much pain over the years was absolutely caused by my own imagination. But going that deep with it allowed me to change the way I interact with myself, and therefore other people, and the results speak for themselves. It’s a wild ride, but it’s going somewhere good. And there is nothing special about me, so I promise you that if I can do it, so can you.

I was willing to trade temporary discomfort for the opportunity to evolve. And now I ask you if you are ready and willing to make the same trade: How would your life be different if you could let go of the subconscious patterns that are trapping you in cycles of sadness? What if you could choose to see your value in any given situation, assured that you are in control of how much power you give away to the outside world?

Everyone’s story is unique and there is no prescribed approach that is going to work for everyone. With that being said I offer the following as a few pointers to consider if you’re feeling up for the challenge:

1. Don’t go it alone! Especially if you are feeling triggered just reading this, there’s a good chance you have some heavy energy to contend with. The safest way would be to seek outside help from a mental health counselor who can help you confront this constructively. It’s so hard not to get lost in the weeds with this, and you’ll benefit greatly from some guidance. Don’t be too proud to ask for help!

2. Have a strategy to stay grounded. Identify in advance how you are going to deal with energies that become overwhelming. If you don’t know how to ground, just reach out I can offer some ideas (on the house.)

3. Balance your approach. This can be heavy and no good can come from immersing yourself in sadness all hours of the day and night. Plan more light hearted activities that will get you out of your head, at least for a little while, to have the strength to keep going. You need to keep your cup full to do this successfully.

4. Speaking of full cups, drink lots of water. More than you think you need. Easy on the caffeine and booze.

5. Move. It doesn’t matter if you are simply walking or if you do something more structured such as yoga or working out. The important thing is to get your energy moving to allow for positive things to enter your field.

6. Trust your intuition. If your mind and body are telling you it’s time to take a break, take a break. Always listen to your gut feelings.

Lastly, if you are a Reiki student reading this, you already have a leg up on breaking through to the other side. You have working knowledge and expertise on clearing away negative energy and inviting healing energy to take its place, no matter your current level. My suggestion would be to practice self-Reiki whenever you have some down time, and invite the energy to transform and guide you as you shine a light on to your shadows.

If you’re not a current student and any of this has sparked curiosity in learning, please feel free to reach out. Reiki is not the only option for an energetic upgrade, but I’ve found it to be a comforting and guiding companion in good times & bad.

All my love,

Jill Alders

Reiki Master Teacher

(508) 864-3353

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