Shadow and the Wounded Healer: Why It’s So Hard to Heal

Crystal Lynn Bell Spiritual Life Coach Image

I believe that what we experience in this three-dimensional world is a direct reflection of our mindset and focus, as well as, our emotional balance.

A mindset that is solutions-oriented and positively focused on its goals is more easily able to deal with any obstacles or challenges that arise as it pursues its goals. An attitude that is emotionally balanced does not avoid or shy away from negative emotions. Neither does it waste time in voracious pursuit of positive emotions or spiritual highs.

A soul that holds its shit together mentally and emotionally is most likely to consistently experience a successful, healthy three-dimensional experience.

I want to help you hold it together mentally and emotionally. So I have launched a Masterclass called, “Healing the Healer: 3 Powerful Tools for Healing, Transformation and Self-Realization.” In this program, I will take you on a three-week journey to learn shadow work and overcome unworthiness. Each week, we will take some fresh, new perspectives on unworthiness and I will teach you some important shadow work techniques that you can use to immediately begin transforming your life.

Please sign-up now. The class is completely free and it promises to be powerfully transformational.

For So Many of Us, It’s Hard to Heal!

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I have built my entire career on being emotionally vulnerable with my readers and my clients. You all have seen me reach, struggle and fall as I have learned to walk, and you have been very supportive with my every step. You have also cheered me on when I have succeeded. I am so appreciative of our relationship!

Most of you in my loyal kaleidoscope/tribe/squad/posse are healers. Whether you do it as a job or not; whether you are paid or not… most of my peeps are healers. You all get downloads about situations, you walk with synchronicities, you are conscientious in your relationships and you are doing your best to be in service to Spirit as best as you can.

Like most healers, you suffer from your own wounds. I’m sure you’ve heard the term ‘wounded healer.’ I find it to be an amazing phrase because in my mind, the image it evokes is beautiful.

What comes to me is an old man slowly ambling along an ancient tree-lined road. It is an early summer morning and he is making the long journey to the next village. He carries on his person little pouches of notions and potions– healing herbs for tonics and elixirs, animal bones for medicine, energized crystals, vials of magic and jars of balms.

He leans on a magical staff as he walks slowly to his destination. In his wisdom, he is self-assured. The road is long, but he has walked its many twists and turns countless times. You can notice, if you pay attention, a slight limp in his left leg. The limp came to him in his early youth and even with all his knowledge and power to shift energy, he still could not fully heal from the accident that happened so many years ago. He has nursed himself and nourished himself according to The Law, but this wound has persisted into this maturity. That is imagination’s version of the wounded healer.

Very often, I work with my students and clients and they will all say the same thing: “Crystal Lynn, why is this coming up again? I have already healed this!” And yet, their wounds, both emotional and physical persist.

While I think it’s highly unlikely that anyone will ever clear themselves completely of emotional wounding over the course of their lifetimes, I strongly believe that the wounded healer is one of life’s most beautiful archetypes.

Why It Is So Hard to Heal: The Wounded Healer Archetype

The wounded healer is a part of many traditions and cultures. One of my favorite stories is of the Greek Titan, Chiron.  Chiron was born a centaur, a race of mystical beings notorious for being loud, raucous, drunken beasts. But Chiron was adopted and raised by Apollo, the extremely authoritative and elegant Sun god, and was taught poetry, archery, music, prophecy and healing. Chiron’s potentially beastly nature was essentially trained out of him as he excelled in his studies, and he became highly appreciated amongst the other gods. He became known as the Healer of Gods.

Chiron became friends with Hercules, the adventurous, strong son of Zeus. One evening, while the two were at dinner, a bunch of centaurs began attacking their party. Hercules had been toting arrows treated with Hydra blood which is a lethal poison.  Hercules, being near-sighted (just kidding. He was drunk.), shot Chiron in the thigh, and instead of Chiron dying from the Hydra blood like a mortal would, the wound festered painfully, maiming the kindly titan, dooming him to live each day in excruciating pain. The Healer of the Gods, could not heal his own wound.

Eventually, Chiron couldn’t take the pain anymore and he killed himself. He didn’t directly suicide himself, but instead he went to his brother Zeus, father of Hercules, and King of the Gods. He requested to switch places with Prometheus who was being punished for defying Zeus. He was doomed to have his liver eaten each day by an eagle. Zeus granted Chiron his wish, and Prometheus was freed. Chiron perished in the eagle attack, but was finally freed from his burden.

Please take my retelling of this tragic myth with a grain of salt. It could be mildly or wildly inaccurate. But you get the point– this powerful healer couldn’t heal himself and only escaped his pain through death.

Is this how it must go for us healers??? Maybe. I’ve had three myomectomies and eventually a hysterectomy. I couldn’t heal my uterus.  It had to be surgically removed. And as much work as I have done around healing my personal emotional wounding, I still suffer with issues that stem from unworthiness.

Unworthiness Makes It Hard to Heal

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not Holly Hiding whose self-esteem is so low that she won’t live her life. I live life according to my own terms… it’s just that my terms are narrow and limited by issues of unworthiness.

These unworthiness issues are very evident as I move forward more powerfully in my business. As I reach, for the first time, from my six-figure income toward seven-figures, I am made super-aware of my limiting beliefs, negative mindsets, disempowered emotions, and the disempowered behaviors that won’t let me think beyond a vision of myself and my capabilities that is small, inadequate and undeserving. As I push out of my comfort zone into more magnificence, I notice that there are Memorex tapes that have been playing over and over now for decades:

  • Most life coaches don’t make more than $30,000 per year. Why would I think I  can make millions?
  • I would have to rob and steal in order to make millions of dollars.
  • My success makes other people uncomfortable.
  • Other people scrimp and save for years before they travel the world and buy their own homes. Why do I think I can live where I want and buy a house with cash there? That kind of audacity is obscene.
  • It’s embarrassing to have so much. People feel insecure around me because I have so much freedom and time. I mirror their desires and accentuate what they don’t have.
  • No one will like me if I’m successful.
  • I should be more humble in my desires. Maybe I should slow down and do it the way I see my peers doing it. It’s important to fit in.
  • I’m doing something wrong. My success is all going to backfire and I’ll be left to pick up the pieces, eating humble pie… all by myself.
  • Hiring publicists, representatives, attorneys and lawyers costs a lot of money. That’s only for exceptional people.
  • It’s safer to be like everybody else.

The list of weird, limiting beliefs and mindsets go on. The thing is, you can’t change your life from the same mindset that put you into your circumstances. Albert Einstein said, “Problems cannot be solved with the same mind set that created them.”

So How Do You Change Your Mindset & Break Yourself Free from the Prison of Unworthiness?

Well, I have found that my mindset changes when it gets blown apart– either by hitting rock bottom, or by finally, on my own volition, giving up the ghost and letting my old self (old mindset, old way of thinking, old way of believing, old way of behaving) die completely.

Both of these processes are valid and powerful, but what should I do in the meantime, while I’m sitting here waiting either to hit rock bottom or for my old self to die?

Shadow work! 

Shadow work is a deep exploration of the dark parts of your mind. Carl Jung defined the shadow as that which we consciously think we are not. On a conscious level, we want to think that we are worthy, deserving beings who are safe and free to become whatever we desire. On a subconscious level, however, things can be very different.

Below the level of our conscious mind, we all hold beliefs, attitudes and thought patterns that don’t necessarily come from an empowered place.  Old emotional wounds, mistakes, failures, and things that have gone wrong in our lives can wreak havoc in our minds, turning our subconscious interior space into a jungle of fear, doubt and anxiety.

Shadow work is an emotional wellness process, usually offered through a series of exercises, that unites your logical, rational, thinking self with your emotional, imaginative, feeling nature. Very often, our challenges and hardships drive us into the logical mind and into the instinctive self– fight and flight! This puts a giant gulf between our conscious self and our intuition. What we need during these trying times, however, is unity between these parts. We need our instinct to give us energy and stamina, we need our intellect to make good decisions, and we need our intuition to give us guidance from the Higher Self.

Shadow work exercises help us deal with the fight or flight instinct (fear and anxiety) and other out of control emotions, it gives us practical, rational insights to troubling situations so that we gain clarity and balance, and it opens us up to guidance from beyond the three-dimensional veil of our human experience.  In other words, shadow work is going to help us effectively deal with our emotions, clear our minds and connect to our powerful intuition.  From there, the world is ours! When our mind, emotions and body are balanced, we have true freedom and can more easily pursue our biggest, most Badass dreams.

In my Healing the Healer program, I am going to teach you about working with your shadow and I’m going to give you some powerful exercises to help you transmute it. These are some of the same shadow work exercises I give to my private clients, and the ones I use personally to manage my own shadow. In the learning sessions, I am going to help you manage triggers, purge yourself of disempowered emotions, confront limiting beliefs, deal with fear and anxiety and manage your ego. And, of course, woman shall not live by shadow work alone! In addition to dealing with your shadow, we will be doing light work.

Light work is where we take the fresh, new energy we’ve gained by freeing ourselves from shadow, and we channel it into affirmative actions and behaviors in the three-dimensional world. For example, not only do we have to identify the negative, limiting beliefs that are holding us back from our magnificence (shadow work), we have to change that belief, integrate it into our being, make big, Badass decisions from it and then take big, Badass steps toward our goals and desires. This is light work.

Healing the Healer promises to be a really fun class because not only am I going to be giving you some powerful tools to help you learn shadow work and transform unworthiness, I’ve invited three awesome teachers to share their insights about the shadow of unworthiness! WOOT!  All four of us have unique styles and approaches to the work, so your being is going to definitely be touched on different levels as you are lovingly guided to improving your life from the inside out.

And lastly, in addition to the curriculum, we have Sunday group meetings at 7:00am PST on Zoom. Don’t worry if you can’t attend live. You can always watch the replay when it’s convenient for you.

So go check-out the program and sign-up for free. I look forward to seeing you!

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