Revisiting old emotional wounds may require revisiting old people, places and things — and a healthy dose of self-love and compassion
Do you believe you can you go back in time, revisit relationships and places and collect forgotten pieces of yourself in order to heal?
While there are likely bits of ourselves we’d like to leave in the past, they’re all essential parts of the whole, our whole. Together, the sum total paints the canvas of our story in all of its complexity and allows us to show up as the fullest expression of who we truly are. When we are afraid to do this, when we are afraid to share who we are…we instead spend a lifetime developing tools to hide ourselves. And the path only grows longer, windier and harder to find our way home.
Greatness takes guts — and there’s nothing greater than showing up for yourself, for who you are here to be and to manifest all you are meant to bring forth…and yeah, that can be scary. That kind of stuff doesn’t normally happen in our ‘comfort zones’.
I don’t know if you are anything like me, but I like to know where I’m going whether in the car or in life…I mean all the directions, sign posts, bumps in the road (if only). Aaaah, the Universe sighs…silly girl. Hey, you can’t blame a girl for trying, can you?
I recently returned from a trip to Paris with my Mother and sister. It was our 3rd trip together and yet, I spent many years traveling, living and working there as a young fashion model. So the streets of Paris are paved with the memories of my youth into young adulthood — some full of great anticipation and excitement, many others full of sadness, fear and confusion. It was within this glorious city that I adore, where much of my limited thinking and disempowering beliefs were bred and grew tenacious roots.
Is there a place like this in your life?
Would you go back?
Are there unhealed pieces to reclaim?
It would take me decades to piece it all back together again and see it differently. It would take me decades to forgive that young girl for not having the tools, the information or the support to navigate some tricky life stuff — or to know that that was even an option. It took me even longer to realize just how much I had to thank her for. Instead of seeing all that she did wrong, I had to focus on where it all led, where she had gotten me.
Showing up for yourself requires accountability, self-compassion, trust and a willingness to shift, to cease from replaying the old records in our heads that tell us we aren’t good enough, thin enough, rich enough, smart enough, whatever enough.
Remember, needles were meant to be pulled from records.
It starts with getting real about what’s going on in your life and clear about where you want to go — and what steps you are taking to get there. Part of that is seeing the truth.
Despite the command I have of my life and present day self, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that my regrets of years past still blow whispers in my ears when I visit Paris. All those ‘should haves’ taunt me like bullies on a playground.
On this recent trip I laughed to myself remembering what life ‘back then’ was like — no Internet, no mobile phones, no Google and no Siri to ask, How do I get to Isle St. Louis by metro? Better yet, How do I navigate through this sticky life situation?
Each night in our hotel room, as I navigated my way through information and plotted routes via my computer and smartphone, I was actually quite stunned imagining how in the world I had ever done this as a young girl. How did we operate in a world without constant connectivity? It’s actually hard to even remember.
Constant connectivity doesn’t necessarily equate to connection to self. No one ever taught me to read that roadmap — to listen to my intuition, to trust my gut, to check in at any point and hear what my body was telling me. From goosebumps to butterflies in our stomachs — we need to learn to follow that GPS system.
Today, we’re bound by a text thread…I’m running late, I’ll be there in 2 minutes, I’ve got a table, should I order you a matcha latte?…etc. And at 16 years old with a small book in hand, Plan de Paris, I navigated Paris by myself sans Siri. And somehow I got from appointment to appointment and photoshoot to photoshoot — from adolescence to here.
But I digress.
Though the emotional charge and grip upon me has faded with years, I now see what had been missing. I recognize the lack of nurturing, the missing tools and skills to rely upon and the people to guide me.
My Best Self Magazine journey is a constant on-the-job refresher, rejuvenator, re-booter, reminder. I like to believe it helps me be a better Mother to my 19-year old son and it helps me nurture my wounded inner child. Denying her hurts doesn’t make them go away. Pretending we are something we are not, doesn’t make us so.
I witness pain in people all the time in both my personal life and professional one. And I wholeheartedly believe we need to heal the wounds of our past to set ourselves free so that we can step into that greatness and keep on stepping.
And I know that can sound overwhelming, like undergoing a major house renovation — but it needn’t be. I also know, it can make us want to run for shelter and hide. Don’t be afraid. If something hurts — look at it. It’s calling you. It’s here because you are ready to see it. It has something to share.
Could you take one step in that direction? Remember as a kid when you were afraid of the dark or looking for the monsters underneath your bed? I literally used to take a leap into bed after brushing my teeth at night because I was convinced something would grab my bare ankle. I don’t know how long I tortured myself with this notion, but the moment I muscled the strength to look…I realized there was nothing there.
What’s binding you? What are you allowing to take up permanent residency in your mind that sabotages you? Maybe you should just declare…I’m ready to look. I’m ready to shift. I’m ready to be done with this.
Life doesn’t come with a foldout map to guide us, but there is much we can do to support ourselves and each other through this precious journey. Let’s show up and do this! That’s the stuff that your Best Self is made of.
Let me know in the comments below if there’s a place that comes to mind for you, somewhere you would go to heal some old emotional wounds.