Archive for how we love

Gifts from My Mentors

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From Thanksgiving to Christmas, I like to acknowledge the people who have enriched my life during the past year.

This includes, of course, my personal friends and colleagues. But you don’t know them. You can know and benefit from some of my “virtual mentors,” and those are the ones I want to tell you about.

As I reflected on those whose work has enriched either my spirit, soul, mind or body through sharing their expertise, several people came to mind.

Spirit. The most influential–and healing–approach I have ever come across is the Immanuel Approach, developed by Dr. Karl Lehman, a psychiatrist and the author of Outsmarting Yourself and The Immanuel Approach (which we Immanuel Prayer ministers, and he, refer to as “the big lion book” because it’s exhaustive at 759 pages!). From Outsmarting Yourself, I learned about “implicit memory” and how we get triggered, and how to calm body and mind. Dr. Karl Lehman’s work is all about how to let God come in and be with you in the pain, and thus heal it.

I was trained by Margaret Webb and Jessie Handy from Alive and Well in Immanuel Prayer, and continued with training from Dr. Karl Lehman through his Advanced Training seminar and monthly meetings in which local prayer ministers gather to watch and discuss a video of Dr. Lehman facilitating someone in Immanuel Approach. I also meet every other week with other prayer ministers to give and receive Immanuel Prayer. Read More→

Pivotal Memories

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People often ask me what kinds of memories to start with to get the fastest, deepest healing. 

I always look for the “fractal memories”–those memories in which the core beliefs/feelings will repeat themselves and branch out to affect your life in all kinds of ways afterward. Heal these, and the ripple effects of healing begin effortlessly  to penetrate into all the areas of life affected by that memory.

In another post I talked about foundational memories. They are one kind of important fractal memory.

Another kind of fractal memory is what I call a pivotal memory. This would be a memory, usually conscious, that changed the course of your life. Something happened and you came to believe something about yourself that forever after influenced your life. Such memories can form your identity–for better or worse.

On the “better side,” pivotal memories can be quite positive. One important pivotal memory that shaped my entire future happened in college, when I fell in love with publishing. I was always a bibliophile and a writer, and the field fascinated me, so I decided I would major in English, but not teach. I would make a career in publishing.

Everyone told me, “It’s practically impossible to break into publishing.” Especially since I didn’t know anyone, even by the time I was a senior in college. Also, this was at a time when people with PhDs in English were driving taxi cabs.  Read More→

Have you ever wondered what emotions are good for, anyway?

And what happens when you refuse to deal with an emotion?

Let’s say you feel sad about something, now. Growing up, if you showed sadness or cried, it made your parents feel uncomfortable. Feeling sad made you bad for making them feel uncomfortable. (You can substitute any other feeling you “weren’t allowed” to feel.)

If you were male and you cried, you may have been told, one way or another, to toughen up.

If you grew up this way, what are you likely to do with that present sad feeling?

If you let yourself feel it, you might find guilt being added to it (because when you felt sad in childhood and other people didn’t like it, you came to believe your feeling sad made someone else feel bad). Or shame (“I’m bad for feeling sad and causing a problem for someone else”). Read More→

A Whole New Layer of Healing

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I have been on a healing journey for the past 11 years of doing Healing Codes, and I thought I’d experienced significant healing.

Every area of my life got better: health, relationships, and career.
 
However, since taking a marriage class on How We Love, and discovering the work of Dr. Jonice Webb on Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN), I’m seeing that there is a whole new layer of healing possible. There is a depth and breadth of emotional experience that I had not realized was possible.
 
With The Healing Codes, we focus a lot on healing memories. Eleven years of working on memories got me to the point that I couldn’t remember much more.
 
The new layer of healing opened up when I realized that what now has to heal is not something, but a lack of something.
 
The lack of attunement to my emotions. The lack of validation of my experiences–good or bad. The lack of being shown how to navigate the difficulties of life.
 
The lack of  nurturing. It’s also called Type A Trauma (the Absence of nurturing, as opposed to Type B–Bad trauma such as abuse). Type A trauma is just as bad as Type B, but it’s harder to put your finger on. (And Type A is always present in Type B, so if you’ve had significant healing for Type B, you still need to heal from Type A.)
 
Search your memory. Do you have lots of examples of having your family ask you:
  • How do you feel?
  • What do you want?
  • What do you need?
  • Why are you angry, or sad, or hurt?

I didn’t. Actually can’t remember one single time when any of those questions were asked. I do remember a few times when I had experienced a trauma, and it was completely ignored. In fact, in one instance, my mother was concerned more about what my father would do when he found out what happened to me, than what I was feeling from the trauma.

It’s not my parents’ fault. How could they give me something they never even knew they didn’t have?
 
And how could I give my own children something I never even knew I was supposed to have?
 
How do you heal something you don’t know you were
 
supposed to have?
 
You do it through awareness, and relationship, I believe.
 
Now that I’ve become aware of CEN, I can do something about it. And I’d like to make you aware of what you may also have missed, but just couldn’t put your finger on.
 
A friend (who no doubt grew up with CEN) told me she would watch Little House on the Prairie and The Waltons to get pictures of what healthy relationships look like. She was filling her heart screen with images of healthy ways of dealing with life’s crises, images that were not part of her personal experience.
 
I think that’s a great idea. Finding healthy marriages, friends, families and examples from books and other media can “stock the well” of Love Pictures to use when trying to heal CEN with Healing Codes.
 
If you have a vague sense of chronic anxiety, or emptiness, or emotional flatness … or more intense feelings of depression, hopelessness, despair–CEN could be the cause.
 
Good news: You can heal that. Don’t worry about finding memories when doing Healing Codes. Just put in the prayer of intention, “from childhood emotional neglect” or “from never having my feelings/experiences validated,” and find a positive focus of a healthy relationship, or a memory when your feelings were validated, when doing your Healing Codes.
 
And something more: check in with yourself and your emotions periodically through the day. Take the Love Styles quiz and find out what injured  relational pattern you developed from your past experiences. Just start noticing, and healing what you notice.
 
If you do this, I believe you, too, will experience a whole new level of healing and relating. You can come to a place of feeling alive, feeling your feelings, feeling the warmth of connection, and seeing the bright colors in your world. Your joy will increase, along with a more solid sense of yourself and your own value.
 
And if you would like help with this, feel free to check out my Healing Codes Coaching site and consider getting some coaching and custom Healing Codes. I’m forging the trail ahead for you!
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With The Healing Codes, we look for memories that carry the same kind of feeling as the main issue that bothers us. The idea is that what bothers you now is likely attached to something called “implicit” memory (memories hidden in the subconscious mind), and if we find and heal that original memory, the current issue will resolve.

But what if, like many people, you can’t find any memories with that feeling?

Maybe you’ve had that feeling most of your life. Maybe you have very few childhood memories, period.

All the more reason to use something like The Healing Codes, because the original memories are likely so painful, that your Heart wants to protect you from the pain of remembering.

(This why, by the way, a lot of times “talk therapy” alone isn’t very effective. I had a therapist tell me, point blank, “therapy doesn’t heal anything.” We need a way to get at these implicit memories that carry the original lie.)

If you can’t remember much from your childhood, it may well be for yet a different reason. It could be because you grew up with Childhood Emotional Neglect.

Running on Empty

What happens when you grow up in a family in which emotions were not acknowledged, validated, and dealt with?

In her excellent book, Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional NeglectDr. Jonice Webb says that it’s not necessarily what happened to you that can cause problems. What failed to happen for you as a child “has as much or more power over who you have become as an adult than any of the events that you do remember.”

Some call it Type A trauma–the Absence of nurturing. And it can be just as damaging as Type B trauma, where the bad stuff like abuse happened.

Memories are formed when you feel strong emotions around an event. If your feelings were ignored, if no one ever helped you process your emotions, it can have an insidious effect on your life as an adult.

That’s because our brains record events as memories. Things that fail to happen go unnoticed, unseen, and unremembered.

You might struggle with self-discipline and self-care, of feel unworthy, disconnected, unfulfilled. Empty.

If you have the trait that 20% of the population has, High Sensitivity, where your nervous system is wired to process things deeply (including emotions), susceptible to over-stimulation (sensory or emotional), emotionally reactive, and sensitive to subtle stimuli–Childhood Emotional Neglect does even more harm.

When you’re Highly Sensitive, emotions are your native language. That’s a big part of the trait–emotional reactivity. If your language is not spoken or understood in your family, to them you were constantly speaking gibberish. You may have  been shamed or ridiculed. You may have tried to shut down, to turn off those feelings.

Thus you may have few memories, a feeling of emptiness and more likely than not, problems with your health, relationships, and/or career.

Emotion is energy, and that energy has to go somewhere. If it’s appropriately processed, it goes to a memory that becomes part of your life.

If it’s not properly processed, it becomes hidden trauma, and it goes into the body and mind and causes illness and disease. More and more scientific evidence points to emotional issues as the source of many if not most physical problems.

Then of course, there are the mental, emotional, and relational problems that show up because of hidden, unhealed memories. In How We Love, Milan and Kay Yerkovich identify five “injured Love Styles” that can show up in families where there has been emotional neglect or other circumstances that interfere with a strong, secure emotional bond with caregivers early in life.

What’s the solution? How to you begin to heal what Jonice Webb calls “the invisible force that may be at work in your life”?

Reconnect with Your Emotions

First, you may need to relearn the language of feelings. Just allow yourself to name the feelings, to yourself and others. For some, this may not be easy. You may feel shame for having certain feelings, or having feelings at all.

Or you may have trouble even identifying your feelings. Running on Empty includes several pages of feelings words, and so does How We Love by Milan and Kay Yerkovich.

Ask yourself when you felt that way earlier in your life. If a memory comes up, heal it with The Healing Codes and/or healing prayer.

If no memory comes up, don’t sweat it. Just say in your Healing Code Prayer of Intention, “… from the childhood emotional neglect.” Assume that’s the source.

If you have any fear around the idea of welcoming emotions into your life, start with healing that fear. We always start where we are. Ask, “What’s bothering me? What exactly am I feeling? When did I feel like that before”? If the answer to that last question is, “All my life!” then that’s what you put into the prayer: “from a lifetime of emotional neglect.”

These questions will help you move forward in your healing journey.

And if you ever need more help, e.g. with finding hidden memories, just contact me at www.healingcodescoaching.com for some coaching.

 

 

 

Have you ever had anyone say to you, “Why can’t you just get over it?” about something that upsets you?

You try to “just get over it” but … you find yourself mulling over it and over it, working it through from all angles. Other people may get exasperated with you. Now, on top of the original issue, the old “what’s wrong with me, that I just can’t move on like other people?” kicks in.

You can quit beating yourself up right now. (Please!) The answer lies in one of the key traits of High Sensitivity: depth of processing.

Highly Sensitive People process pain deeply. That’s how

we’re wired. Hence, we also must process the healing

deeply.

I believe that everyone must process the pain as deeply as they experienced it, if they’re to truly heal.

Those people who can quickly “move on” are those for whom the pain was not that deep in the first place, or they are what Milan and Kay Yerkovich in their How We Love book term Avoiders–people who developed a style of avoiding pain and emotions as a result of how they grew up.

It could well be the Avoiders who are telling you to “just get over it.”

Of course, one can truly fall into the trap of ruminating over a hurt and never getting anywhere toward healing from it. The difference is whether you are moving through the healing process.

That means being able to name your feelings, preferably in the presence of another person who has the capacity to listen and empathize, and not try to fix you. What you want to get to is the place where you can have compassion on yourself for having suffered this, but also perspective on how you have become wiser because of this incident/relationship/problem.

Take as long as you need in this process. If you can find another HSP who is able to listen and perhaps provide perspective, that’s ideal. But often even journaling by yourself can yield that enlarged perspective that you seek.

Then you won’t have to “just get over it.” You will be over it.

And if you need a little extra help along the way, I’m always available for a coaching session and a custom Healing Code. For notices when more articles on High Sensitivity are published, click here.

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Do you struggle in your relationships, especially close relationships?

The key to why lies in your childhood, in how you learned to love in your family. You learned patterns of relating that became “imprinted” upon you, including how to deal (or not deal) with feelings and needs.

An excellent book that explains all this is How We Love by Milan and Kay Yerkovich. My husband and I took a marriage class based on the book.

The authors have a free Love Styles quiz that tells you how you learned to love in your family. The patterns that you experienced will, without any kind of intervention, determine that “core pattern” of how you will relate in close relationships.

I recommend you take the Love Styles quiz, and find out what yours is. If you are part of the 75% of the population who did not learn a secure attachment style, you will be either an Avoider, a Pleaser, a Vacillator, a Victim, or a Controller–or any combination thereof! Read More→

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