We believe we came here on purpose to experience and learn from life, including our flaws, and all that we consider bad, or what has been referred to as our Shadow.
I, Reese, need to share some aspects of my healing and background as part of this piece, and our work. Our journey together is our service to others. Coming out of a very fundamentalist religious background, knowing all aspects of life are sacred and purposeful has been a salve for my soul.
I now understand my addiction, dysfunction, anorexia, narcissistic tendencies, and PTSD from being in a cult, were part of the purpose and service of my life path. Karen has been teaching me how to heal myself, and supporting me and walking me through healing by being a living example of a grounded, authentic, spirit-led human life.
In our work together, Karen’s presence has been compassionate, intuitive, and empathic. This showed up in a big way, when she guided me through healing from PTSD caused by my year and a half involvement as a young adult in an intensely controlling and abusive cult.
Part of what was so healing was her capacity to fully empathize with and reflect back what I had experienced and felt. No one had ever been able to feel and understand in depth what this had been, and she could feel this too, how it had all been locked away unseen.
I had done a lot of surface processing of these events, but had then closed the door and never really felt the trauma. I did not even realize I had trauma, even though I was exhibiting PTSD symptoms, triggered when talking about anything spiritual or being in any spiritual setting.
I had left the cult through an intense deprogramming initiated by my family, literally snatched off the street and put into a van and taken away to a safe-house. This was nearly 30 years ago. I have a brother who is still in this cult today, totally brainwashed, having cut off ties to his family all these years, and then even his own wife and children.
This is to give a picture of the depth and breadth of one aspect of my trauma and dysfunction. In Karen addressing my trauma, this was a time and place, where empathy, compassion, and grace were aligned responses and created healing. My PTSD symptoms are healed.
However, there are times where a different approach is needed for healing. My addiction, big ego, arrogant and deviant persona, habits of enmeshment, people-pleasing, narcissistic tendencies, victim story, and game-playing tactics--all of these elements required a different set of healing exchanges and methods.
I had a Ph.D in manipulating others and hiding my issues. I was so good at managing all my dysfunction, I fooled every counselor I ever worked with, making them believe I was well-adjusted. These counselors and therapists were reputable in their fields, and from a wide variety of backgrounds and specialties.
Not only did they see me as well-adjusted, they praised me for how together and wise I was. The same thing went on in my higher education in psychology with professors and counselors there. No one saw through my games. They praised me for my wisdom, depth, and spiritual maturity. With this depth of deception and multi-layered self-cons, addiction, and dysfunction, it takes a sacred sledgehammer for most people to break this stuff up!
In our work we are trying to help people understand there is more than one way to be in the world. More than one way to heal. In expansion there is more than one way to do everything, even in everyday life there are a multitude of potentialities, possibilities, and methods. There is not just one right way. ~Karen
I am glad that in our work, we walk in expansion, using many ways to heal. If our work used compassion, grace, and softness only, I would not be healing right now. I would be dead.
My insanity and all its impact on my children would have driven me to suicide by this time. I had already thought about suicide, going through long periods of wanting to die, which I hid from everyone except Karen. I know I would have followed through with that by now, if we had not walked together through my healing.
Part of our work includes Karen mirroring people, helping them feel and see themselves and what they are actually doing, speaking the truth to them so they have the choice to wake up and heal. This is what she has done with me in these hardcore areas of my life, where tough love has been needed. After gently helping me through the earlier parts of healing from trauma, she began to help me see myself.
This was Spirit-led laser truth, speaking to and awakening my authentic self underneath all my layers of bullshit. Part of me wanted the truth. And I know I could never have found my way through all that I had created--50 years of this masterful con--without someone unflinchingly holding the truth before me.
And when this truth-telling is taking place it does not look or feel “nice” to our human selves.
Instead, it triggers all the parts that need to be seen and healed and again, this feels terrible to our human self. Our souls know what to bring up and when to bring it up, so these areas can be triggered, felt, seen, and healed if we choose to.
We feel there is a common misconception that in healing we should never be triggered, we should always feel good, nice, comfortable, and safe. Our issues and traumas are energetic charges waiting to be triggered--so we can then know we have a problem or issue.
There are different potentialities that can show up from having our “stuff” triggered. We again want to emphasize our being triggered is a necessary aspect of waking up, to show that we have issues within us that need to be addressed or healed. ~ Karen
Compassion, softness, and “nice” cannot break through this level of dysfunction. It never did with me. It was a joke. I could easily manipulate and con anyone operating this way, and actually got off on doing so. I felt invincible.
It took someone who would be fierce when needed, confrontational when needed, and non-negotiable in truth-telling. Someone who would hold me accountable. Someone who would say, “Enough!!!” And call out my bullshit and victim stories for what they were. Someone who was ready and able to get to work and heal all of it, encouraging me to fall in love with my Shadow, teaching that it is all here on purpose, and is sacred.
Even though these parts of me felt so triggered and attacked at times, in hindsight I see the reality that this only characterized a small fraction of our encounters. When truth is delivered with the genuine intention to heal, a little goes a long way.
Part of what I want to share about walking in Spirit-led teaching and healing, context and intention always matter. Spirit shows me, along with my own life wisdom, what is needed moment by moment. ~Karen
What I have experienced in my personal life, my education and learning, and with different counselors--when people tend to limit themselves within the confines of compassion, acceptance and understanding, it is ineffective.
Even when therapists or counselors challenged me, it was still within the parameters of being nice and compassionate. I was rarely even nudged out of my comfort zone. Instead I took it more as a challenge to perfect my stories and make them more convincing.
As a parent, I was always trying to be compassionate, accepting, and nice with my kids, not wanting them to feel badly. I thought I was being so loving, but I was not gifting them at all. This was my narcissism, addiction, and persona, wanting my kids to adore me. I was not thinking of their needs.
I was totally ineffective in teaching them about life or themselves. I did not hold boundaries, or really hold them accountable, or speak real truth to them when they needed it. I now see how this pattern in parenting or in other relationships can create ineffectiveness, entitlement/victim stories, addiction, and narcissism. No boundaries or limitations create chaos.
This tough love, hardcore truth-telling when it has been needed, has saved my life. I know nothing less could have broken me free from my own web of deceit and dysfunction. It is continuing to serve my recovery as we write this. Walking with someone who will hold me fully accountable is a lifeline to sanity.
This is not an exaggeration. My sanity and my life have been on the line many different times in the last several years, as my years of dysfunction had gathered momentum. The truth of my life was beginning to catch up with me, and break through my delusion. The truth was so far from the lies I had told myself, I couldn’t cope with this looming reality.
The craziness and addiction has felt so intense at times, so physically and emotionally overwhelming, I felt like I was walking on the very edge of an abyss. And I could fall over into complete insanity, into being totally untethered in any second.
This has required learning to walk moment by moment, holding onto the truth. This is okay, and needed. The truth is the lifeline, even when the truth is incredibly painful to see and feel.
The truth heals when we are open to seeing that the truth is here to help us wake up and learn, to create depth and wisdom, compassion, understanding, humility, and ownership of our lives and our power. And to embrace the truth, we must be willing to have great love, respect, and honor for whatever that truth is showing us.
In our work together, I have been guided and supported to embrace the truth, what is real, even if it is not pretty, and even if it seems absolutely terrible. Seeing the truth still heals. What is real can heal us.
Facing the things about myself that seem the worst have been the most freeing and grounding for me. This is how I am getting my power back. I am growing into loving and honoring these aspects, which before I ran from and spun myself into near-insanity trying to avoid.
I am so appreciative from the bottom of my heart for how Karen has helped me shift into seeing these as my beautiful lessons and wisdom, giving me clarity to see my life and the life around me.