When I decided on the adventure to gain self-knowledge, to increase my self-awareness 15 years ago, I had no idea how that seemingly simple decision would affect me.
Looking back to the closed-off, grey, victim-based person I was then, I’m grateful every.single.damn.day that I made the decision I did.
But it’s not easy.
It’s been a freaking roller-coaster of triumphs and tragedy, of charms and challenges. Of love and fear. Of finally stepping into the light of my soul, rather than wallowing in the shadows of my psyche.
Even after 15 years of this adventure, I do not have all the answers. Nor do I know all my inner stories.
Back then, it would take me weeks to even recognise a harmful external story. Then it would take weeks or months before I knew what to do with it, let alone the years it took to heal from the inner stories, and start feeling empowered in any area of my life.
I felt such fear, shame and wariness about what I was discovering about myself + the unsettling, damn scary process of change.
Progress towards my end goal of increasing self-knowledge in the first 7-8 years of this adventure was tortoruously slow.
. . . Until I slowly developed a process I call reverse reading.
From then, my adventure gained speed. The last 3-4 years has been one unending, consistent pattern of growth in self-knowledge, healing and empowerment.
Now, with all that practice, my inner self knows my process so well, that I look forward to increased awareness, the lightening effects of healing, and the strength inherent in feeling empowered.
With practice comes proficiency.
With proficiency comes mastery.
With mastery comes speed.
One morning last week was a perfect example of how fast my inner process can be now when I set a target to know an inner story behind an external one. Often, it’s a repeating thought, feeling, idea, situation, issue, problem, drama, stressor, or dream.
Last Thursday, it was a recurring dream I only have during specific relationships, and I had it 3 times in one night. Three!
I’ve never understood the dream, mainly because I’m a literal-meaning person, so I just don’t understand symbolism.
But I knew my subconscious was trying to communicate, so I followed an intuition-based process to discover the underlying message, the inner story I didn’t consciously know about that triggered these dreams.
Once I had that inner story, I simply accepted it, made a video about the process, and went about my daily life.
Now, that inner story was a hard one for me to accept. I could intuitively feel it tracked back to my childhood and a core inner story that I decided not to search for (by reverse reading) just yet.
I wanted to give my inner self time to acknowledge and understand the dream’s message, without engaging my egoic thoughts.
During my internal self-knowledge process, it can take days or weeks to reverse read through the layers of meaning that strengthens each inner story. I was prepared to wait for my answers.
About an hour later, though, my unconscious opened to release the origin of that inner story in a maelstrom of remembered trauma. So many painful moments in my life, triggered by a single harmful inner story I created when I was premie newborn determined to survive, all converged and awoke in me at once.
My body felt like it split down the middle, and all the pain I had suppressed and ignored and avoided for 50 long years oozed out, red and black and aching and—finally!—free.
Tears flooded my flaming cheeks. Snot poured into my gasping mouth. Fire roared through my chest.
My whole body felt like a raw, gaping, bleeding wound.
I couldn’t breathe.
I could no longer hold in that inner story.
Oh. My. Goddess. The pain.
So much pain.
And I knew so much in that moment. From all that pain came pure, loving clarity.
From all that pain, came the most exquisitely excruciating self-knowledge.
From all that pain, healing started.
And, from all that pain, I knew who I was, how bloody strong I am, and how ready I am to change that inner story.
Yes, it can hurt to gain in self-knowledge. It is definitely not easy.
But, oh, the rewards *are* worth the rigors.
Note: Please, please, PLEASE, ALWAYS take extreme self-care. Always love yourself first. This is a process that may require outside help for you to cope—please seek that help as often as you need.
I made a 10-minute video about this moment of pain immediately after I experienced it so you could see how difficult the process of gaining self-knowledge can be. You can find that video here.
Postscript: It took several days, but I have recovered from this episode of remembered trauma. On that day, in just over an hour, I went from finally understanding a subconscious inner story, as given to me by my dreams+intuition, to having the full origin of the inner story reveal itself in all its raw, pure clarity. From that moment, my healing began, and I can already feel myself growing in empowerment.