Childhood. During childhood, and often adolescence as well, we don't have a lot of control over the shape our life takes. We entered the world, the world of our parents, just the way it is in our vicinity. We are trained and edited into the local and family paradigm. We are fed in a certain way. We are allowed certain things and forbidden others. We are damaged in certain ways. We are loved in certain ways. We are just learning and absorbing the corner of the world we entered and creating memories, beliefs, dramas. Our energy state--our body--is being shaped; and thus the experience that is possible from that body.
Toxic and Unaware. When we leave childhood, some of us are quite damaged and thus have dominant pain and shame (and etc) experience. We are unhealed and broken-hearted, broken-bodied. Basically, one way to describe this part of life is "childhood on replay ad nauseum", except now we are engaging out in the larger world and we aren't children (just stuck there energetically). We are still using the paradigm, rules, dramas, beliefs, energy we learned in childhood--but we are with a wider number of people who may not share these. We encounter more and different paradigm and expectation and energy--much that we may not be prepared to deal with. Other humans we are engaging with may be more damaged than we are, or they may be 'on their way'. We get hurt more, and we hurt others with our toxicity. Even if you had a lot of blessings in childhood, and feel that you are mature and energetically healthy, this may be even a more difficult position to be in because you are 'sure' that you have nothing to heal. You can't as easily see opportunities that may have come down from your family and genetic line that need to heal through you.
Breakdown. Most of us have to pass through this, although I wouldn't say it's ultimately necessary if you learn to be proactive in your healing. The breakdown may be tinyish and relate to a specific area of your life. Or it may be overarching to your entire life and body. And anything in between. Some people live in a constant state of breakdown. The experience of breakdown is that your life isn't functional the way it is, you and your body aren't functional, the level of pain and overwhelm isn't functional, everything you thought you knew and should be doing--all of it just loops back to more pain and mess, over and over again. In a breakdown, you get to a very painful point where a lightbulb goes off inside of you somewhere: there has to be something more than this! I can't and won't go on like this. Some people in breakdown make the opposite, tragic conclusion: there IS nothing more than this. But I'm telling you, breakdown is a very important part of your healing, and is your gate to healing, and, yes, there is healing and peace ahead for you if you keep going through the cycle. Breakdown is the point where the pain of your current state exceeds your discomfort of making new choices.
Awareness. Awareness can be described in many ways and is an ongoing attitude. Even the most healed of us learn to slow down and listen to our body so we know what else we can do to bless ourselves and others. To always be seeking blessings. And breakdown is definitely a moment of awareness. But I want to point to a very essential awareness that most people on this planet never arrive at; and which is why they never can really heal but remain stuck. It is the awareness that my pain and my healing is my work. Not everything that hurt and damaged you was your choice; much of it was from childhood. But, embarrassingly, much of what continues to hurt you is up to you. Again--embarrassing to admit. But it has to be done. As long as it's someone else's job to rescue you, fix you, support you, love you, keep you safe, free you, heal you, comfort you--you will be waiting forever, it's a job that will never get done. You have to know in your deepest energy that YOU are IT. You may not have put yourself in the cage (although maybe you did)--but you are the ONLY person who can get yourself out of that cage. (This doesn't mean you have to do it by yourself, but you do it from and for yourself.) This is the reality of a benevolent universe--the universe that places the key in YOUR hand. No one else can keep you in your pain if you want out and are willing for the journey. You are in charge of that. So blame and giving away authority is never the healing pathway. Taking more and more responsibility for your life IS.
Coping. When you first begin a healing journey, the pain (etc) is still there. But you learn to relate to it differently. You begin to practice your healing muscles and slowly gain strength. You learn and practice a toolkit of new choices: new beliefs and new responses to the same things that are still happening in your life. You learn to function differently with new strategies and honor yourself, even if you still are in the middle of your problems and pain. Again, no one is handing you anything, removing anything, waving a magic wand. It's hard. But you choose to do it anyway, because you've decided on your own worth and of those you love; and because you know it has to come from you.
Grieving. As you learn to cope, you start to trust yourself a little more. You start to get an inkling of how amazing you are and how many gifts there are in the world and universe. You start to feel a little safer. As you feel safer, your body is going to start releasing energy. This may be a crazier passage than even the breakdown. Because you will feel old feelings, suffer old memories, be triggered even stronger into old dramas. You'll think: healing doesn't work! And you might want to crawl back into your old shells. Try to remember that your body (energy state) is reshaping and it has to start by getting rid of the old, putrid stuff. You are experiencing it, yes, but it's on its way out. My suggestion for this passage is to continue with your coping toolkit and to grieve. Cry, scream, hit pillows. Allow your feelings but without moving to toxic responses--be diligent in choosing your new responses. Because we stuffed all this energy away within our body so we wouldn't have to FEEL, so now it's time to do that FEELING. Allow the feelings and memories and thoughts to be without thinking something is going wrong. Mourn. Rest. Get support from a safe person.
New Creature. I'm not going to lie. The coping and grieving stages of healing may take years. They did for me, anyway. But I promise you if you keep going, some little rays of peace and laughter will start to break through in moments. Allow those. And pretty soon the drops turn into a small stream then a river. And then one morning, you wake up and think, "Wow. Hey, I'm all right! I'm so blessed! Can't wait for this day!" It will be a day and a life without suffering and with no or greatly eased pain. Your body (energy) is completely new, and thus your experience is completely new. It's more second nature now instead having to consciously work at it grueling every day.
So if you see yourself in any of these parts of the healing cycle--don't stop! Keep going! Learn what you need to learn for the current and next part of the cycle, and trust yourself to do it. LIFE AHEAD!