For a lot of us, when something traumatic happens (and this could be a big or small trauma) we want to shove those bad feelings deep down and move on as quickly as possible.

No one wants to feel anger, shame, guilt, rage, sadness or any of the other feelings we associate with “bad”. And a very important lesson I’ve learned is that feelings are not good or bad they just are. It’s the stories we tell ourselves that make feelings good or bad.

We’re programmed that feeling angry or crying are forms of weakness and we should just get over it. And we do, or so we think we do.

We “get over it” by shoving it somewhere deep down inside of us. We don’t talk about it and we move on as quickly as possible.

But what begins to happen is those feelings start to manifest themselves in different ways. They start to leak out into different areas of our lives.

So for example, if you grew up and were bullied at school, you’re going to internalize those feelings of “I’m not good enough” or “I’m lonely” or “I don’t fit in”. And as much as you try to suppress those feelings and try to get over them unless you really allow yourself to go there and heal from it, the feelings will start to manifest in different ways. That could mean holding yourself back at work and not going for that promotion. Or not putting yourself out in the dating world because of your fear or being rejected. Or not feeding your body healthy nutritious foods because your sense of self-worth is low.

If we don’t know where it comes from or why we’re doing it, we won’t be able to create lasting change.

Those feelings are never going to go away unless you break open that box and really feeeeeeeel into them. That means allowing yourself to go back to that time in your life when you experienced the trauma and allowing your body to feel how it needs to feel.  Journal and reflect on the process. What did you experience? What came through for you? Really thank and honor those experiences and try to find the lesson. How did this help you become the person you are today? What was the lesson that you learned? How did this make you stronger? This will allow your body to start to process those old feelings and let them go.

If you have been through a very serious trauma I highly recommend getting support as you begin to process those feelings. Whether it’s a coach, a therapist or a friend you trust, choose someone who is going to hold a safe space for you as you begin to process your feelings.

If you feel like something’s holding you back from really stepping into your authentic self, trust your intuition. There might be some old repressed feelings that need healing in order for you to move on.

And I can say from firsthand experience that while it can be incredibly scary to open Pandora’s box, it is SO worth it. What I’ve learned about myself, my behaviors, my thoughts, and beliefs have all come from digging into the healing process. After, I’ve come out stronger and more empowered than ever before. I can move forward knowing that I have truly put those things to bed and they can no longer hold me back from living the life I want to live.

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