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  • Writer's pictureAlana Warlop

Healing Our Darkness Through the Holidays- A Therapist's Perspective

December 2016

Recently, I have found myself conflicted about what it means to be a therapist during the holidays, a difficult time for healing wounds from past and present that are forced to light from the depths of our darkness, mine included.  Constantly exploring my spirituality along with processing my own clearings and pain, I understand the healing must come from confronting the place within me that I prefer to hide, a place of loneliness. What? A Lonely Therapist? Yes, I too get lonely during the holidays and also need to heal the wounds from my darkness.

Exposing my vulnerability is not easy. A strong, spiritual woman/ therapist doesn’t get lonely. They are engaged, uplifted, healed, happy, content, juicy, sensual, sure of life, bright no matter what. Truthfully, I am all of those things, and yet I still feel alone, abandoned, sad, imperfect, judged, disconnected, especially during the holidays and after a devastating election. I am human. My profession has shown me so many illuminated paths to healing our darkness, and the hardest, yet most critical, is opening up and leaning into discomfort, i.e. pain. Being uncomfortable is the most effective and transformative way to create real change. It’s also the most misunderstood and mysterious.

Healing our darkness during the holidays by sitting with our feelings and leaning into our pain, means we actually have to carve out the time from our very busy schedules to be alone. When we create a calm environment, the mind registers safety and sends a message to the nervous system giving permission to slow down. We harness the power of attention, which focuses on the sensations in our body. Moving within, we discover an entire universe of flowing energy is accessible by allowing the physical body to be in stillness. Sensitized to the movement of emotion through stillness, we are capable of stopping the mind from telling stories and repeating an endless spiral of darkness, resulting in a “leaned into” feeling.

Acquiring patience and committing to practice of returning to our darkness, will heal the discomfort by letting the feelings flow and grow intensely as they need to be. I promise, you can survive any sensation… what you can’t survive is the suffering that arises from the stories you tell yourself about a particular sensation. When we go deep with our feelings, the pain is transformed and released. We cycle back to love and what was once darkness discovered light. With love, we distract less, become less anxious and depressed, and stop repeating patterns of protection because we know that there is no pain that we can’t get through.

As the holidays approach, I choose to own my loneliness and feel into my darkness completely, so I don’t manifest more and heal what exist in my life. After all, we end up attracting the energy that we hold on to. My Holiday Manta, “Feel it to Release it.” Healing our darkness is not easy or enjoyable, just remember, we are all human and together in this process. May your holidays bring love and light.

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