Healing Your Life
Paul Ferrini designed this workshop to help us learn to be true to ourselves, overcome self-limiting beliefs
and behavior patterns, walk through our fears and learn to trust our wings.
We emerge from the cocoon of the healing process not as the caterpillar who entered it
but as the butterfly with brightly colored wings. Our inner beauty moves to the surface.
We become who we always were but were afraid to be. We become real.
Many of us pretend to be happy, but this is just a mask. Deep inside, we feel wounded, angry, hurt, full of shame and unworthiness. We all think we are the only ones who feel that way, but that is just because no one wants to talk about his or her pain. We hold it in, where it festers and eats away at whatever confidence and self esteem we have.
Our fear, pain, shame and anger are part of our Shadow. We don’t want others to see this part of us. So we don’t acknowledge it. We pretend it doesn’t exist. But, in truth, it not only exists, it runs our lives and we are like marionettes being jerked around by hidden strings we feel but cannot see.
Our unhappiness has a clear cause. Each one of us betrayed ourselves in an attempt to get love and approval from our parents or other caretakers. That self betrayal has likely continued through most of our adult lives, since we often marry someone like mommy or daddy or go to work for him or her.
At best, our parents could offer us only conditional love. They could love and respect us only to the degree that they could love and respect themselves. They were wounded by their parents and they passed that wound onto us.
Usually the wounding is unconscious and unintentional. But it is wounding nonetheless. Each of us was abandoned, rejected or hurt in some way, subtle or overt. We got the message that we were “bad, less than, or deficient” and the only way we would get love is if we were “good” and did what others wanted us to do. Of course what others wanted us to do was not necessarily good for us. In some cases it was downright cruel or perverse.
We developed a false self to try to please others. Unfortunately, it did not work. We did not receive the love we bargained for. Instead we came up empty, living behind an oppressive mask that was literally suffocating us. Meanwhile, while our pain continued to intensify, threatening to explode and shatter our lives.
Some of us tried to anesthetize or dull our pain by using some substance of choice. But that gave us only temporary reprieve. To keep the pain at bay, quantities and dosages had to increase until our addiction spiraled out of control. If the pain of our self-betrayal did not bring us to our knees, the pain and fallout from our addiction certainly did.
Unfortunately there is no way around our pain. We have to feel it and move through it. We have to take our mask off, look at our triggers and feel where we hurt. We have to understand and heal our childhood wounds. Until the child within us has healed his or her trauma, the adult cannot truly be happy. Emotional healing and real happiness go hand in hand.
The Steps in the Healing Process
1. Remove Our Masks and Share Honestly with Others. Own our fear, our shame, our pain and dysfunction.
This is done using the Affinity Process developed by Paul Ferrini and shared with thousands of people all over the world.
The process – used in dyads and small groups -- creates a safe space of unconditional love and acceptance and helps us
open our hearts, acknowledge our pain, and walk through our fears.
2. Identify Our Present Pain/Distress and Trace it Back to Uncover Our Core Wound.
Many of us have pain in our work and relationships, and/or we have addictions or health issues that are challenging us. Behind
our present pain are wounds and traumas that go back to childhood or even in utero. Through inner child healing work, we
begin to touch the places in our hearts that hurt most. As we share our pain with others, we feel less isolated and alone.
3. Understand the Nature of our Self –Betrayal and why it must come to an end.
As we get in touch with our wound and the reactive behavior patterns that arise from it, we see how we have given our power
away to please others and win their love and approval. We have created a false self that does not satisfy and prevents us from
being who we are authentically. We come to understand why the false self must die for the true self to be born.
4. Stop Betraying Ourselves and Step into Our Power and Purpose.
The Goals of this Work
In your relationship with yourself you learn to:
- Accept, nurture and love yourself
- Live honestly and authentically
- Make his your own decisions and accept responsibility for them
- Develop your talents and gifts. Find your passion and purpose
- Cultivate an open heart and an open mind.
In your relationship with others you learn to:
- Stop trying to fix others and accept people as they are
- Encourage others to be true to themselves
- Empower them to make their own decisions and to take responsibility for them
- Support them in developing their talents and standing in their power and purpose
- Encourage them to be open in heart and mind.
This is done not by preaching, but by modeling these capacities.
Some of the qualities and skills all of us are developing are:
- Compassion for self and others
- Ability to forgive and learn from our mistakes and those of others
- Patience with the process of healing and transformation
- A positive attitude toward life and ability to see obstacles as challenges
- A belief in the essential goodness of all beings and their worthiness of love.
What we are Healing/Transforming
In order to bring something new in, we must be prepared to let something go that we no longer need. There are many ways that we betray ourselves and others that we must learn to relinquish if we want to heal and step into our power. Here are a few:
We learn to relinquish: We replace it with
Self-Judgment/Condemnation Self Acceptance/Love
Shame/Unworthiness Innocence/Self Worth
Being Invisible or Silent Allowing Ourselves to be Seen and Heard
Isolation/Emotional Disconnection Community/Emotional Connection
Giving Our Power Away Stepping into our Power and Purpose
Blaming Others Taking Responsibility
Judging Others Looking at our Triggers and our Wound
Stuffing or Running from Our Fear Being with our Fear Compassionately
Pleasing Others Honoring Ourselves
Controlling Others Giving Others Permission to be Themselves
Being Abused or Engulfed Saying No and Setting Limits
Working for Others Working with others
Ignoring or Disparaging our Gifts Trusting and Expressing our Gifts
Running Away from Love Acknowledging our Fear of Intimacy
Attacking Others Owning Our Anger and not Projecting it
Blaming/Attacking Ourselves Forgiving/Being Gentle with Ourselves
Perfectionism Realistic Expectations of Self/Others
Addictive Patterns Facing the Pain Behind them
Lack of Confidence/Failure Taking Small Steps/Taking the Pressure Off
Negativity Cultivating a Positive Attitude
These are only a few of the many changes that will take place when we commit to our process of deep emotional healing.