Archive for My Healing Story

Last time I wrote about my “long siege” trying to settle a very messy estate situation, and how I got through it (mostly) intact.

Now I’d like to share what to do when your “long siege” is over.

Again, your “long siege” might be an illness (your own or a loved one’s, in which you were the caretaker), a divorce, a difficult family situation, or any number of other trials.

For many people, the pandemic and all it entails has been a “long siege” which may or may not be over.

It may feel like any long siege will never end, but it usually does, one way or another.

The time of closure when it does end can be a very rich time of receiving all the gifts from the experience.

It can also be a time of vulnerability.

It’s not uncommon for people to get sick after an especially stressful period, a phenomenon called “the let-down effect.” I was aware of this, and wanted to make sure I don’t get sick now.

(Although I have to say, perhaps God is already helping me in that regard. The very day I knew for sure how things would end with the estate, we took our car into the repair shop. Verdict: we need a new car. So this week was spent on getting that together. But, as a friend put it, “maybe I need new wheels for new adventures.” I like that! And maybe I needed another shorter-term, minor stressor to help me “wind down.”)

So here are some steps I’m taking to provide closure on the “long siege” so I can heal and reclaim my life.

1. Take time to ponder—and celebrate—the lessons. Dr. Mark Virkler says that you know you are healed when you can see the gift in the experience. Looking for the gifts, the lessons, the ways you have grown, can greatly accelerate your recovery.

Photo by Emma Frances Logan on Unsplash

2. Process any unhealed emotions and provide closure. Thankfully, I have been “processing” all along—feeling the feelings, asking for prayer, journaling about my experience, and learning the lessons. But now it’s time to consolidate and provide full closure.

This can take the form of some physical act. I’ve decided that I will go through all the estate files and throw away anything that clearly is no longer pertinent, and remove the other files to the basement in case they need to be accessed. I don’t want them in my office. Stephanie Bennett Vogt calls clutter “stuck energy.” I don’t want to have that energy of what I went through in any space that is about moving forward.

You might do something else to process and provide closure. Writing a letter to someone and burning it might be one ritual, if your “long siege” involved a painful relationship that’s ended. Doing something physical and symbolic works wonders. I had to block certain people from calling me. This did not feel good. However, it felt necessary; all they want to do is continue the abuse.

Intentionally seeking closure will allow you to be transition smoothly, and open you up to new beginnings. I’m so ready for that, as I’ve had some great ideas brewing for so long!

3. Listen to and take care of your body. As I mentioned, after a stressful period is often when people get sick. Your immune and nervous systems have been revved up to deal with the siege.

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Now your body needs some extra TLC, especially if you’ve been ignoring its signals.

Go to bed earlier, take more time to rest. Lover your body by providing it good nutrition. Exercising in short, intense bursts is best, with rest in between. The bursts get the stress out of the body that may be stuck, and the rest allows you to assimilate.

Drink plenty of water. As you focus on healing, your body will be releasing toxins built up from the emotions of your stressful period. Flush them away. Taking baths with essential oils and Epsom salts will also help.

If you do experience a flare-up of old symptoms, ask your body what it’s trying to say. Heed the message.

4. Slow down. Literally. You need to re-calibrate your nervous system and immune system, which have been used to being revved up all the time. It’s imperative to change that now.

This involves listening to your body, yes. It also helps to intentionally do as many things as possible more slowly and deliberately.

Walk more slowly. Chew more slowly. Breathe more slowly and deeply.

Speak more slowly.

This slowing down has, frankly, been one of the hardest changes for me to make. But I feel it’s the step that came from God. When I announced to my husband that I would be doing things more slowly, he almost broke out in applause. Throughout the siege, he kept complaining that I talked too fast. Yes, that’s what I do when stressed.

Now, post-siege, I am consciously taking time to speak more slowly, look at him, and listen better. When stressed, I tend to be half listening, half engaged with the “next thing” I have to be doing. Slowing down everything is the way to break this bad habit.

5. Make your healing work priority. If you’ve been doing this during the stressful period, don’t let up now! In fact, you might want to double down, especially in the first three days, which is the window of most vulnerability to the let-down effect. If you’re doing Healing Codes twice a day, for instance, add a little more time to the sessions, or add another brief HC session.

As you have been processing in order to bring closure, and listening to the messages from your body, use The Healing Codes and prayer to address the issues that have come up, especially if you haven’t been able to do that during your siege.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

6. Reconnect with joy, and your values. You may have jettisoned a lot of pleasures and even compromised your own values to get through your siege. Refocusing on what gives you joy, and recommitting to your own values will center you again in who you are.

If you’ve become distant from God during your trial, ask Him to open your eyes to the graces that I know he gives. (My book, Abundant Gifts, and the practice of keeping a “gifts journal” can really help here.)

7. Reconnect also with healthy relationships. During a long siege, you might have lost touch with people who were important to you. Now is the time to rekindle those relationships. We’re never meant to go it alone.

8. Take time to catch up on all the things you’ve neglected. Clear some clutter. (I cleaned off my desk top and found an uncashed check for $227 from 5 months ago! Shows how long I’ve been neglecting my office, but also that when you do clear the clutter, something good can happen!)

I’m still working on my list of neglected personal and household projectsslowly of course. Savoring each little task completed enhances the “finally it’s over!” celebratory energy. So don’t just complete the long-neglected tasks—celebrate that that too is finally completed!

9. Consciously create your “new normal”–and guard it fiercely. I am even making a list of things I now refuse to do, based on the lessons learned during the siege.

  • I will no longer allow myself to be drawn into anyone else’s “Dreaded Drama Triangle.” (Seeing this pattern has been one of the biggest gifts of my trial.)

  • I will continue to make my healing work, listening to my body, prayer and key healthy relationships a priority.

  • I will continue to slow down and savor.

  • I will continue to remove on a regular basis all clutter (emotional, physical, relational, mental), and seek at all times to Align with my Divine DesignTM by listening to God and choosing to focus on only my Clear Next Step.

I hope these tips have been or will be helpful to you. Pass this on to a friend who is ending a long siege. Or point them to the Part One article, on getting through. Bookmark the link for future reference. L9ng sieges certainly stretch you, but they need not crush you.

And if you would like some personalized help either in getting through a “long siege,” or recovering from one, check out my coaching at HealingCodesCoaching.com.

Every Labor Day weekend it hits me: If what happened on that weekend in 2007 hadn’t happened . . .

  • you wouldn’t be reading this blog.

  • The Healing Code book might never have been published.

  • you and thousands, perhaps millions of others might never have heard of The Healing Codes.

  • and thousands and thousands of people may not have been healed.

What transpired on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, 2007 set off a chain reaction that led to all these things . . . and more.

It showed me how seemingly terrible incidents can lead to much good.

So what happened back in 2007 on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend? Read More→

 

This week we lost power for almost 2 days.

CC BY-NC by sjrankin

The outside temperature was 90°F/33°C, with a dew point of 73°F. (I have learned that the dew point is a better indicator of humidity than “relative humidity,” and anything over 60°F is uncomfortable. I haven’t seen a dew point much higher than 73°F here, so this was nearly unbearable.)

On top of that, the night before the power loss, our kitchen faucet handle was about to break off. I called at least eight potential handymen (before we lost power). Only two got back to me. One said he could come the next day to fix it at 5pm, but then texted me at that time saying he couldn’t make it after all. At 5pm the faucet handle broke off completely. Two and a half hours later, with a lot of dishes to be washed from dinner, the power went out.

It reminded me of the children’s story I used to read to my kids: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst.

For us, it was two days.

I can’t honestly say it was all terrible, horrible, or no good, though. Very bad, yes. But here’s how God helped me, and what I discovered about alignment, intuition and, surprisingly, electricity and sleep.

Hunting for the Graces

Because of what I had learned about how gratitude fosters resilience, I kept looking for things to be grateful for.

First: the storms that knocked down trees and power lines did not dump a lot of rain. With the power out, the sump pump would not have worked. Had it rained heavily, the basement could have flooded. That potential disaster did not happen, despite the storms that hit both nights our power was out.

Second: A handyman came that first morning after we went dark. He installed the new faucet my husband bought the night before. He did it in the dark kitchen, with a flashlight (bless his heart!). He left his phone and a screwdriver behind because it was so dark he couldn’t see that he’d set it down. Soon enough, we had a functional kitchen, which lessened the stress a little.

Third: A neighbor said we could put our frozen food in his freezer.

Fourth: We have a gas stove, so I could cook.

Intuition

As soon as we lost power, I went up to shut down the computer correctly. I have a BackUp Universal Power Source that is a surge protector and a battery backup. It allows your computer and peripherals to keep going in a power failure until you can shut it down properly.

Here’s where the intuition part comes in. Read More→

Jul
17

When God Flips the Switch

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The voicemail was less than two minutes long. It was intended to hurt and to arouse guilt and fear.

For a few hours, it succeeded. In that time I felt, thought, and prayed my way through it all.

Then God stepped in and “flipped the switch,” giving me the miracle of several shifts in perspective.

(I wrote before about how we can deliberately “flip the switch” from positive to negative. But sometimes we need God to do it, because we don’t know how or we’re too upset to remember to do it. That’s the time to pray and ask God to open your eyes to a different way of seeing.) Read More→

Jul
17

Flip the Switch

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I was talking to my friend the other day, telling her about the two current big stressors in my life.

With one, there is an end in sight, though when exactly that will come about is uncertain.

With the other, there is no end, at least not a good one, unless some miracle happens. (Which I believe is entirely possible.)

I told my friend that what produces the most anxiety is that I never know what’s going to happen–when some unexpected thing concerning either of these two things will hit me. Seems like I’m derailed daily by things out of my control.

But then I remembered some of the unexpected good things that happened to me in the past week. And it hit me: Instead of living in dread of the unexpected bad things, I could “flip the switch.”

CC BY-SA by Marcus Q

Many mornings these days I’d wake up feeling anxious, with that sense of dread over “what might I be hit with today?” Some of it is no doubt “emotional inflammation“: me as a Highly Sensitive empath picking up on “what’s in the air.” But what if I could counter the automatic response with something deliberate?

What if I intentionally switched the “I wonder what will hit me today?” to, “I wonder what unexpected good thing will happen today?”

(You may recall that I wrote about how the same circuit in the brain where anxiety and fear reside, curiosity also dwells. You can’t be anxious and curious at the same time.)

Intentionally activating curiosity, and anticipating that good things will happen unexpectedly, totally shifted things for me. I become very excited about the day. My mood, my creativity and productivity skyrocket.

I’ve already been in the habit of ending the day by looking back at what went well, keeping a “gifts journal.” It is a good way to end the day.

This new practice provides a great way to begin the day as well. It’s done wonders to decrease anxiety levels.

It’s not just “positive thinking,” either. It’s based on truth and initiates a shift in perspective. God does give us many gifts in a day, if only we open our eyes to see and receive them. (I published a whole book on this, Abundant Gifts.)

Try it, I think you’ll really like it!

And if you’d like a custom Healing Code and some coaching to help you heal those things that stress you, and integrate this practice into your life, check out my coaching packages at HealingCodesCoaching.com. Also my Abundant Gifts blog, where you can find instructions on how to keep a “gifts journal” and a couple of ways to do it.

Jun
12

The Nature of Things

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I planted my flowers and plants a few weeks ago, and I’m amazed at how they have grown so quickly.

This was a tiny parsley plant just a few weeks ago.

   As I look at how life busts out all over every spring, I’m struck by this truth:

It’s the nature of things to grow.

When connected to the Source of Life, as nature is, what happens is growth. And as you get more in touch with that Source of Life by healing the heart issues that block this flow of Life, growth is inevitable.

As inevitable and natural as an apple tree producing apples once the blossoms have been pollinated.

However, there’s another thing about “the nature of things.”

That is: it’s the nature of things to fall apart as well.

This is the Second Law of Thermodynamics, one of the fundamental laws of the universe. Everything decays. Disorder always increases.

Without a gardener to tend the weeds in the garden, enrich the soil, water as needed, the weeds tend to take over. Or the other plants take over, as sadly happened in this garden.

Yes, things grow, but they need to be tended to reach their full potential.

And so, of course, do we. We need to expend energy to restore order, create beauty, and foster growth.

The key to your growth is commitment to “tending your garden.”

Then growth will happen naturally. You can’t force the growth, you need only create the conditions for growth to happen naturally.

Doing Healing Codes regularly, praying often about everything—these two things are the cornerstone of my own healing and growth.

When someone confronts me about how I’ve hurt them, I need to acknowledge that “weed” and pull it out by the roots. This is painful, but when I do, I receive the blessing—and so does the other person. There is now space for new growth to happen.

How well are you “tending to your garden” these days?

Do you want it to look like this:

Or this?

It’s your choice.

And if you’d like some help in “tending your garden,” check out my coaching packages at HealingCodesCoaching.com.

Apr
24

Are You Too Nice for Your Own Good?

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I always thought it was a good thing to be a nice person, and strove to be a nice person myself.

Until I read this article by Jason Henry.

Henry says that people who are are “nice” (as opposed to “good”) are people who don’t want to hurt others because they were so hurt and traumatized in the past and didn’t heal, that they make a vow (perhaps unconscious) to never make others feel the way they felt.

Perhaps those who possess the trait of high sensitivity are even more susceptible to this. I’ve often thought that HSPs were the nicest people in the world. Because we feel so deeply and take in so much, including our own suffering and that of others, we often bend over backwards to make sure we don’t cause suffering to other people.

Sounds noble, right? Even, perhaps, “Christian.” Do not do unto others as they have done unto you.

However, Henry says that when you dissect this vow for its ramifications, there are several big problems. Read More→

Have you ever been under so much stress that you just couldn’t get your brain to focus on even the simplest task at hand?

I’m sure you have. Perhaps it’s even a daily occurrence, given the amount of stress many of us have endured for so long. It hasn’t really abated, has it?

Today, I needed to write my weekly article, and my brain just wasn’t working.

Normally I am full of ideas; knowing what to write about was never a problem. I texted my best friend, Louise: “Pray for me please. I can’t think of a thing to write about.”

Louise knew exactly why my brain wasn’t working. She is the only one, aside from my husband, who has been privy to all the twists and turns of this estate I need to settle as co-executor. Several lawyers have agreed our situation will go down in the annals of lawyer lore as The Most Complicated and Messy Situation EVER.

Twists and turns, delays and roadblocks, unpleasant shocks . . . Every. Step. Of. The. Way.

And now we were facing a deadline, and there was dead silence from all the people I needed to hear from.

Louise texted back, “How about writing about when you can’t think due to stress? Explore what it’s like and how it happens and why there are times when you need to give yourself an extra large dose of grace.”

So here goes. Here’s what it’s like, and what I did to get through it to a place of calm. Read More→

I’ve been doing something for the past 25-30 years, and I’m just now realizing that it’s the most important thing I do, and the subsequent skill developed is the most important skill I’ve cultivated.

It’s been responsible for any success I can claim, any effectiveness and even joy I experience.

The practice is spending time every day when I tune in to my innermost self, and to God (not exactly the same, but uses the same faculty, perhaps).

Through this, I’ve learned to listen to God, so that hearing his voice comes naturally to me. Read More→

Feb
13

The Final(?) Chapter in the Cat Saga

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I thought this would be another story of grace in my ongoing cat saga. Perhaps it is. Just not in the way I expected.

If you followed my cat stories, several months ago we lost Joey, our beloved black cat (the best cat ever), and also became petless for the first time in decades.

After months of not having a cat, and a couple of negative attempts to bring another pet into our lives, a few weeks ago I was really, really missing having a cat. Yet, I didn’t know if I was ready for a full commitment to a pet at this time (vet bills, food bills, and dealing with possible destruction of furniture as we had with the last brief cat visitation). I just entrusted the longing to God.

Not two hours later, I was checking my Nextdoor chat group, and someone posted that they needed someone to take care of her 14-year-old cat for 6 weeks. The cat loved to sit on a lap (and wasn’t picky about whose), she was front declawed, and used her litter box religiously. Bingo!

I private messaged the owner, Zadie, and told her how we’d lost our last cat, who was an older lap cat, I wasn’t ready for a full commitment to a pet yet, we did not have any pets and would love to take care of her cat.

I didn’t hear back from her right away, and let it go, figuring that she chose one of the other volunteers. But I was wrong. Zadie had actually called right away and left a voice message (I often don’t get my vms right away), and said, “You sound just like someone sent from heaven for me and my cat. Please give me a call. I can’t tell you how perfect you are….”

It did seem perfect. Zadie provided all the food and litter. We just needed to provide the love and care. I looked forward to having a lap cat again (who wouldn’t wreck our furniture).

So in came Kaya, a gray Manx cat whose lack of a tail weirded us all out at first. But she was sweet and friendly. All went well—for a couple of weeks.

Soon, however, I began to get concerned. Kaya wasn’t eating much. When she stopped drinking and eating, scorning even her special daily treat of shrimp (I spoiled her as Zadie did), I began to worry.

When Kaya threw up, I contacted the owner. It took Zadie a day to get back to me. She was very thankful that I had contacted her about the problem, and I’m sure, very worried about her beloved cat.

Zadie had her daughter come and take Kaya to the vet. After a couple of days at the animal hospital, during which time I did Healing Codes for Kaya, I got the report that Kaya was eating and doing better and could go home.

This time “home” was not my house. Zadie was sensitive enough to pick up that I wasn’t crazy about taking care of someone else’s sick cat, and had her daughter-in-law take the cat.

What happened, in fact, was that I was triggered into grief about Joey. I remembered that in the last couple of weeks of Joey’s life, the same things happened: he didn’t eat, drink, and he messed outside his litter box (which he never did, and neither had Kaya previously). I could not deal with another sick or dying cat.

I realized I’m still not over grief concerning Joey. I’ve had a lot of grief in the past year or so: Joey, my mother, an ongoing private grief, and other past unhealed losses I didn’t realize I need to work on. They are all melting into each other it seems, and I need to create space to heal it.

With every loss, there is a subtle diminishment of identity. I am no longer a pet owner. I am no longer anyone’s daughter.

Recovering from grief is a journey, and healing grief is more complicated than I thought. Though I’ve been working on it for a while now, I find you can’t rush it.

The outcome of taking in this cat was not what I expected. Instead of the comfort of having a cat purring on my lap (which happened exactly once with Kaya, before she started acting sick), unhealed grief was stirred up.

At this point, it’s like, “three strikes you’re out” concerning cats. Kaya was my third strike. At least for now, I’m not interested in any pets. I need space to heal more of this grief and deal with the recent new challenges that crop up unbidden. I’m in a mode of subtraction, not addition.

When I saw on Nextdoor that another cat “desperately needed a forever home,” I wasn’t even tempted.

This may or may not be the last chapter of my cat saga. If it is, I’m OK with it. There is a time and season for everything. This is a season of letting go. There can still be peace in that.

If you need help in healing grief or any other heart issue, check out my coaching at HealingCodesCoaching.com.

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