One of the greatest obstacles to healing is the inability to let go and move forward, and yet it is perhaps one of the most crucial aspects of the healing process.
Whatever you may be called to heal – a broken heart, loss of a loved one, a physical injury or illness, emotional abuse – if your energy, attention or focus remains caught or stuck in the pain, trauma or emotion of the situation, the ability to repair and heal the damage incurred is slowed or impeded.
I am reminded on a daily basis, when working with my clients, of this need to continue moving forward for healing to occur, and how easy it is for our energy or part of us to become stuck or caught in the past. Wishing to hit the rewind button or have the chance for a “do-over” is a very human response to a painful experience.
In this world of constant forward motion though – the Earth rotating and traveling through space, our earthly bodies continually growing and changing – it is somewhat futile to resist that forward movement and yet we almost automatically do.
Perhaps that automatic response comes in part from the desire not to make the same mistake again – understandable for, at the time of a painful or traumatic event, we need to take stock of what just occurred, processing and learning from the experience. Our brains create an imprint of the experience so as to avoid another occurrence. That imprint is transmitted to the cells of the body, particularly the area most affected by that event or situation.
Take, for instance, a painful end to a significant relationship. Consider how much energy, conscious and unconscious, you might put into guarding against being hurt similarly again – watching and alert to any potential warning signs, always guarding your feelings, not able to fully trust your intuition. All of these actions or considerations, in the end, keep your energy stuck in the past, tying you up and making it hard to let go.
One such personal experience I have had dates back many years to a recurring illness for which I was hospitalized 3 times. For many years after those acute attacks, I would occasionally experience pain in that area of my body and the immediate automatic response was to slip into the fear that I was getting sick again. However, what I was actually feeling and responding to was the movement and occasional inflammation of scar tissue caused by the past illnesses, together with the energy and pictures that originally caused the unwellness.
It took a long time for me to move forward completely from the memory of that pain and unwellness and so I fully understand the process.
The ability to let go and move forward is unique to each individual and really cannot be compared to any “norm” or generally accepted formula. Often, when working with someone who is healing a deep wound – physical, spiritual, mental or emotional – I will see invalidation or impatience and frustration in their space from those benchmarks of where they should be in the process.
Unfortunately, those negative energies only serve to slow down the process, further adding to the invalidation or impatience.
I have also worked with many clients for a number of years whose progress in healing seemed stuck, only to find that suddenly one day the clouds appear to clear, the wall crumbles and they move into the light.
Continuing to focus on moving forward, regardless of how challenging that is or how slow that movement seems, means that change is inevitable and that is what creates space for healing to occur.