Healing Trauma: Vulnerability Is the New Black

I had a conversation with a woman I adore the other day about healing and spirituality, two of my favorite subjects. This woman is all heart, having been on her own painful journey, so we don’t have to pretend or mince words. These are my favorite kind of folks: the ones who don’t flinch when facing taboo or uncomfortable subjects.

She mentioned that she felt she was on this immensely rewarding spiritual path, going to yoga and blissing out on the love that flowed from the instructors. Recently separated from her alcoholic husband, her life seemed to be moving in the right direction, and she was doing all the right things to become a better person and transcend her previous way of life.

“The problem is, I just feel so exhausted all the time and I have the sense that I am missing something. There is a heaviness in my body that I can’t escape.”

As she was speaking, a strange image popped into my mind of her being wrapped in the fluffiest, coziest and most irresistibly soft pink blanket.

“Have you explored the heaviness?” I asked.

She laughed and said, “Oh no! Do I have to do that? I was hoping to avoid that part.” But she knew enough to know that this was what was holding her back from feeling the joy she so desperately sought.

Ah, yes. The unavoidable, yet extremely necessary exploration of the source of our pain, the part we try to shortcut with affirmations and feel good festivals. Or alcohol and drugs.

I told her about the pink blanket image and suggested that if she were taken to the ER with either an obvious wound or mysterious pain, they most likely wouldn’t wrap her up in a feel good pink blanket and send her home. Well, some hospitals might, but proper triage would dictate a thorough examination of all the possible causes.

The first step to healing begins with the willingness to open up to possibility of what lies within, or so I have found. My journey has led me to believe that the answers we seek are embedded in the dynamic, intricately designed body we inhabit – obliviously, for the most part.

Her frustration stemmed from a series of “unavailable” men who keep showing up in her life, either married or emotionally distant, so I asked, “What do you think that means? What is the universe reflecting back to you, or what are you projecting outward to attract these men?”

When she mentioned that her father had abandoned her family when she was 6, I got chills. We made eye contact and dots started to connect.

“Since the subconscious programs operate outside the range of consciousness, we don’t experience ourselves playing out these behaviors. Therefore, we don’t even see ourselves sabotaging our own lives, and as a result, we don’t take responsibility for the lives we lead.” Bruce Lipton from an interview with Leigh Forston

“How do you think your father’s departure felt to that innocent 6-year-old girl?” I asked.

“I don’t remember, or I don’t think I have any memory, so I don’t think it’s affecting me,” she said.

“Let’s pretend it is affecting you and that these men who keep showing up are really the universe asking you to heal what happened to that 6-year-old you,” I replied, a response stemming from the deep healing experiences I continue to have in examining my own history.

“Oh,” she sighed. “I see. So where do I begin if I want to explore it on my own?”

My very humble suggestions – because I am not a doctor or expert, merely a kindred spirit – were the following:

Breath Work: I am a big believer that we carry all of our experiences around with us. Pain carries a dense energy, the heaviness she feels. Breath work seems to liberate and oxygenate this energy. I had the same experience with feeling tired, as though a dense fog had settled around my body, pulling me ever downward. When I did transformational breath work I actually felt the energy break up and leave my body. It felt as though space was being created for something new: a lightness of being.

The Mighty Pen: I suggested writing a letter to or from that 6-year-old girl who was abandoned all those years ago. Ask: how did it feel, and wait for the answer to bubble up. If that is too difficult, use your dominant hand to ask a question like, “Tell me how it felt to be left?” And then put the pen in your non-dominant hand and see what comes up. Don’t laugh. I have had some pretty major insights using this method.

Watch Brene Brown’s TED talk on vulnerability. Then, read her book, Daring Greatly. Vulnerability is the new black. In my moment of truth, when I stood in the charred ruins of my life, I realized that all my protective armor had been seared off my being and lay in ashes around me. I was for the first time since birth, truly naked. The feeling of vulnerability was excruciating, as though I had no skin and there was no way to filter out the world, but it was the most alive I have ever felt.

Choosing to heal our wounds is an act of emotional bravery. When we take this step, we not only recreate ourselves, we become a part of something much bigger: we are an essential piece in the healing of the collective discomfort and pain in the world.

Are you ready to become a healing supernova?


Who is Dianna Bonny?

Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.

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