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Heart Healing: On the Other Side of Traumatic Stress

Orange sunset over a field of green grasses and purple flowers

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”
—George Eliot

“Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion.”

For many of us, warm spring weather means heading outside to tend to our gardens. In all likelihood, we will find a host of weeds waiting for us that need pulling. Some weeds, with shallow roots that run close to the surface, are easy enough to yank out. Others, with deep roots that go into bedrock or hard clay, can be challenging to remove. Yet we know if we don’t dig up harmful plants by their roots, they will grow back, perhaps spreading to other parts of our yard and to our neighbors’ yards.

Our lives also contain unwanted weeds. Some may be small daily annoyances or minor aggravations that we can easily set aside at the end of the day or that we can work though with our usual spiritual practices. Uprooting our deeply rooted emotional weeds, however, is going to require more effort on our part.

Sometimes, even after we think we’ve gotten rid of these destructive influences in our life, they reappear. Experiencing unexpected anguish may be an indicator that troublesome roots, possibly from buried childhood wounds, are resurfacing. During intense emotions, old issues may suddenly arrive with a vengeance: feelings of abandonment, rejection, or reminders of unmet childhood needs, as well as negative self-written storylines regarding our worthiness or our right to happiness and love.

So, what deep-rooted weeds in your life need some attention?

If we’ve been doing our healing work for a while, we know we have to go deeper within to dislodge damaging stories, beliefs, and behaviors.

Continuing with our nature metaphor, it may be useful to identify what poisonous plants and invasive species are crowding out the healing herbs we want growing in our yard. In other words, we might need to learn what we do not want in our personal landscape, as well as what is necessary to cultivate a beautiful interior garden.

In tending our heart’s wounds, we might ask: What are the causes of our emotional triggers? What unhealthy behaviors are we engaging in? How can we replace those with healthier actions? Are we using “I” statements during disagreements? If not, are we blaming others, engaging in name-calling, and justifying hurtful actions rather than asking ourselves what work we need to do in order to heal? Do we know how to set healthy boundaries to keep poisonous words and harmful behaviors from entering the sacred space of our lives?

Most importantly, do we understand, on a very deep, intimate level, that we are loved and we are miraculous? No person or event can ever take that away from us. Ever!

None of this inner “weeding” work is easy. We will need to be compassionate with ourselves and take whatever time and space is needed to heal.

But know that deep inner healing work is some of the most important work we can do right now. It will make not only our lives more peaceful and happier but will also help future generations.

The healthy garden we grow today will greatly benefit our families, our communities, and our world.

Today’s affirmation: I am worthy. I am loved. I am healthy. I nurture my spirit.


Peace & Love, 

Diana Ensign

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