The onion-ness of healing.

Ok so I am just going to get right into and say it - I was famously (or infamously as the case may be), renowned for not being a "heart" person. I would go so far as to say I actively cultivated not being in my heart space. To me, that was weakness; in my family, that was considered a weakness. Tears were a no go. I better have had a damn good reason to be crying or I would for sure - and I quote - "be given something to cry about".

I also come from a single parent household, where my mum was the head matriarch of 5 children, plus plenty of neighborhood kid stragglers, and had no time for anyones shit. So as you can imagine, I inevitably grew into a tough outer shell of no fucks and no tears.

Fast forward a few years and I’ve been thrown out of my house at 16, spent time living in hostels whilst trying to complete my further education at 18, add in a couple of long term relationships where I am frequently told I am a cold-hearted bitch and here I am - figuring this heart stuff out.

A couple of years ago, whilst doing a full moon ritual, the facilitator asked us to put our hands over our heart and hear what it wanted to tell us. Cue me, all - pulease, my heart has nothing to say vibes - and to my astonishment, it did! I could clearly hear it say to me; why have you neglected me? You don't love and care for me as much as you do the other organs. I need your attention too. Please don't leave me out. I want to be there for you. I love you.

Well... I couldn't believe my [inner] ears!?! I was instantly overwhelmed with guilt and sorrow and resolved right there, to make a conscious and concerted effort to lean into my heart space more and let the logical side of my personality take a backseat.


That decision has led me on quite the journey. A journey that never fails to surprise (and delight) me. Even when I’ve ended up in uncontrollable tears after a seemingly innocent breathwork class/women’s circle/cocoa ceremony.

The layers of healing that I have since undertaken are deep, vast and wholly necessary. To me, healing feels like an eternal pickled-onion core unveiling, that I used to relish so much at Christmas. It's what I like to call: the onion-ness of healing.

From what I’ve come to understand, healing is really about unlearning. It’s about accepting, facing and shedding. It’s about looking at and working through the trauma that is imprinted in our souls, to the point where we feel it as part of our personality, but it’s actually a trauma response.

Annoyingly not all healing is even of our own doing, rather it’s our shoulders that were chosen to also heal ancestral traumas. Because we’ve been given the strength to do so.

My calcified heart was spawned from the need to protect myself. To keep myself safe. You see, despite having 5 kids, my mother is a narcissist (and an alcoholic in denial). The kids were had for men who subsequently left her and she was “stuck with us” or so we were often told. In her eternal quest for her Prince Charming, there were various men who came in in our lives over the years, some of whom weren’t the best choices and as a child I encountered situations where I had to protect myself both from her malicious tongue and the potentially wayward hands of lustful men. From this, I built a wall around me to ensure that - firstly no one messed with me and secondly, I was too emotionally unavailable to be hurt.

Deep down though, I was hurt, and angry and lacking in love. Everything involved a fight and a struggle. This manifested as me being defensive at all times and quite frankly - a bitch.

“Struggle…changes an ordinary human into a spiritually awake person”. Swami Kripalu

On my healing journey, what I’ve come to understand above all else, is that struggle is part and parcel of life. The lesson, however, is how do you overcome the struggle?

Are you willing to look it dead in the eye and work with it? What you resist persists after all. Through resilience, willingness and a dash of hindsight, we can approach painful parts of life as joyous as we would a celebration. From this realisation, I have been able to show compassion towards my mum and see the human-ness of a woman who was really just seeking love herself. Empty promises that led to a full belly and an ever increasing household of mouths to feed. Her pain was passed onto us. I guess part of my soul contract with hers was to heal that pain. I was blessed with the strength to be able to face and heal it.

We can’t just hide from hurt because it doesn’t feel good - trust me, I’ve tried - because the truth is, the rewards and lessons that are gained from the pain endured, is some of the most beautiful and soul enhancing experiences of life.

Spending time in the glorious and magical lands of Guatemala, more specifically, Lake Atitlan, I cried more than I have cried in the last 10 or so years. They have been the most cathartic, releasing and healing tears I have ever cried. The sheer amount of anguish and unresolved emotions I had buried deep inside me was a total shock. The parts of me that I was so sure of and seemed so resolute about, seemed to slip away from me like silk over skin in the different healing modalities, or plant medicine ceremony or on an ecstatic dance floor. Some of the memories that surfaced to be cleared would often times surprise the hell out of me and make me wonder what else might be stored in my “trauma trunk”. However, I was always grateful to be peeling another layer off of my eternal onion.

What I have come to discover, is how strong the illusion of “I” truly is. In fact, we are not an “I” at all, but merely an array of patterns and functionings that have been programmed into our consciousness from our various life experiences and traumas. These then become synaptic track marks in the mind that appear as a “self”.

This “self” masquerading as a single entity, is really a federation of interacting patterns that serve only to keep us separate from our true nature and state. Which is Love.

The good news is; once witnessed, this “I”, can be reprogrammed. It must be faced in order to do so though - warts and all. This is also known as Shadow work.

As said by Buddhist monk Mu Soeng: “It is through delusion or distorted perception that we project a permanent and substantiated self, in a separated and autonomous relationship with the world”. The task of practice is to see that.”

Finding the beauty in healing and the lessons in hurt, sets you free. Free to fully allow consciousness to explore all the crevices of a human experience. The shadows and the sunshine. A duty we are all bound to fulfill.

As time goes on, I truly understand and have a deep respect for the lessons we asked our souls to endure. The soul contracts we previously made that play out in this timeline as great injustices, are actually great teachers.

A wasted life is a life you were too afraid to truly live. Hurt and healing is as integral to this life as joy.

So how do we put this into practice you may ask? By seeing the journey of life from an observer point of view. By living life as a ritual practise and embodying the classic spiritual phase that "life happens for you and not too you", you are able to see past the initial responses of victimhood or whatever it may be, and see the lesson that you needed to heed or the pattern that you need to look at in order to rewire the synaptic response and alter your reality. From this perspective, you can truly be on a healing journey as a lifelong quest.

Don’t get me wrong, shit happens, you’ll fall and stumble and make mistakes that will make you wonder what the point is, but within that, shift happens also and you’ll start to be able to decipher your patterns and habits easier; from there you can dismantle them.

At some point, you’ll be well equipped enough to catch the patterns earlier in their formation and from that place, you can heal them by creating new patterns.

In this way, slowly but surely, the onion layers peel and you get closer to the sweet core of self. To the true essence of being. To love.

Know that wherever your journey takes you, is exactly where you need to be.

Sending love, as always.

Sim xxx

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