There are things we hope to never tell. As the unfolding of some events are swirling right in front of us, we already conclude in our mind that this will never be spoken of to anyone. If I dare you to step outside your present thoughts and venture back into past events, I can almost guarantee you will find something. That event earmarked a moment in your personal history that stirred on a breathless pause and was then swallowed up into the center of yourself, hoping to never rear its head; ever again. Here is one of my events:
Once while at a softball game as a child, I spotted a beautiful yo-yo with sparkles on it abandoned on the bench. It caught my attention because it was something I had asked my dad for and my request was denied. I longed for a yo-yo and this one fit my desires oh so perfectly. No one was looking and so I stealthily placed the bulging item in my pocket and left the game. I quickly sought out the fastest path to my home, relieved that I was not found out. I went to my room and entertained myself for hours on end with my new found treasure. The fear and guilt and shame of what I had done was buried and the fun of experiencing this toy was on full display. I soon “forgot” what I had done.
A kid who was at the game that day saw me a few weeks later playing with the stolen item. He exposed me verbally to the others present. I denied the allegations and spent years carrying the guilt, shame and condemnation deep within. It was in a counseling session years and years later where I remembered that dreadful event and I finally felt safe enough to drop the burden into the atmosphere. What a relief!
This is a common occurrence in counseling. I experience this with every counselee that is willing to go there. They understand the inner damage from carrying toxic baggage and realize it needs to be brought out into the light. In this arena of safety one can become vulnerable with their “stuff”. I find that those who begin to build trust that they will not be judged or ridiculed will let down their guard and expose those things that are occupying precious real estate inside and wreaking havoc. Once the guard is down during our time together their unconscious will often feel safe to bring the event to the conscious level and get it off their chest. As they begin to grapple with vague feelings and emotions that have been buried, they become curious and wonder “why do I feel so_____?”
Maybe it’s anger or maybe it’s guilt. It could be any emotion that is signaling that something needs your attention deep within. I can see clearly the change in countenance as the body, mind and emotions sink into a state of relief like sinking into your favorite couch. It is a moment of freedom. Now that these emotions are exposed they can be processed and healed over time. “You cannot heal what is denied.”
If you have a moment, listen to the “EIS Lives” from the past few weeks. Both Kayla and Ashley-Kate gave us stunning testimonies of how their willingness to expose their “stuff” has transformed their lives. Experience the freedom for yourself.
Anita Arrunategui/Pro Canva