Mending a Fragmented Soul

Earlier this week, I was sitting at my desk getting ready for my first session of the day. I took a sip of my homemade decaf caramel latte and stared off to my right where the vision board I made this past Samhain hangs on my wall. I tend to stare at this often–using it as a focal point when I go into my little mini meditative states when I’m deeply pondering what clients are saying to me in sessions or what my Guides are saying during readings. Only this time was different. This time, I actually looked at what it was that I put on that board. To my surprise, so much of what I had put out to the universe has started coming to fruition. It wasn’t the travel or the writing that stood out for me in this moment, but an image I chose to represent “the self”--my intention being to reconnect to myself, my truth.

For the last few years, I have felt like I have been walking through life with a fragmented soul. At any given moment, it was as if only one piece of me was active at a time. Maybe I was “professional” or “clinical Brittany” in the morning. Later in the day, “spiritual” “fun” or “life coach Brittany” would come out to play. Some days I was “writer Brittany”. Others, “hostess Brittany.” Who would I be today?

I cannot pinpoint the exact moment in time that this fracturing of my Self happened. What I can gather is that around the time I started working in a place full time that sees the world very differently from me, I felt I had to fully step into their world, rather than pulling them into mine. Or better yet, just being me within theirs. Instead, I chose to morph, to chameleon myself to my environment, as many of us who have experienced trauma tend to do. We do our best to blend into the background in order to protect ourselves because it’s easier than being seen in a light that could cause conflict. Why be me and risk tension? Especially when so much evidence from my past indicates that me being me is what has caused so much conflict in my past to begin with.

I have learned that being me = chaos. Being me is what results in things going awry. Being me brings fights, and anger, and punishment, and failure. So when the opportunity arose to be someone else … or more, someone that I’m “supposed” to be—the “approved” version of me, it was easy to leap toward it. And else is what I became. At least part time.

Once the fracturing had taken place. I felt it. I felt it in every cell, every step, every breath. It felt like I went from riding the peaceful flow of the EAC like Crush, the Sea Turtle on Finding Nemo to frantically trying to paddle upstream in a storm. My soul traveled further and further out of reach the more time passed. I searched for answers–why am I feeling this way? Why is my anxiety so high? Why do I feel detached, depressed, unmotivated? Worst of all, why don’t I feel the magic around me anymore?

I thought, maybe I’m burnt out. Maybe taking on a full time job and keeping my healing center part time was just too much to take on. So I limited the time I spent doing spiritual work and freed up some evenings for a healthier work/life balance. When that didn't change things, i thought, maybe I’m bored. I’m not working toward anything anymore. So I tried to set goals and write books and create again. And then that didn't work. I worked with my therapist, my life coach, my partner, explaining to them what I suspected my issue was (which changed weekly as I frantically tried to figure it out) and working on it–only to fall short yet again.

Further … and further … and further … I went.

Three years passed before I finally started to see the answers that had been in front of me all along. I was in a therapy session with my therapist, who also happens to be a psychic/medium (I still thank my Guides for sending me this perfect scenario cuz what the hell are the chances there?!). She asked me something along the lines of, “why is it that you separate your jobs (clinical care and spiritual life coaching) as if they aren’t one in the same–healing work?” And I immediately felt resistance to the question.

Why did I feel like I had to keep them separate? I had gone as far as to change my name so that my “clinical” clients couldn’t google and find me as easily. I felt I needed to keep them separate because I felt like something was wrong with the way I did things “outside of my professional job.” That everything i had done for the last 8 years, building up my beautiful healing business, had not been worth something. That I had not been worth something. How could this piddly little intuitive life coach/therapist have anything to offer an ivy league university? I had to change who I am because who I am isn’t good enough.

A very long game of make-believe. That’s what I had been playing. Make-believe that distorted my senses and kept me from recognizing who I truly was versus who I was pretending to be.

The last year was spent taking this awareness and taking the steps to shift these belief systems that had been steering the ship. The thoughts that I’m not enough. When something is so deeply rooted within you, it is not easy to just change simply because you are aware of it. When it is this ingrained within your entire makeup, every thought, every action, has to be reviewed with glasses colored by this new awareness. I had to follow up questions in my mind with, “What would I say about this? Not what I should say, not what they want me to say, and not what this new Brittany would say. What about me? What would I do about this?” Before long, I somehow felt even further from myself because who the heck was I, really? Is this me talking? The trauma? The imposter?

It became a great unraveling. That balled up mess of thoughts and beliefs, wound so tight and kept so small, it could not spiral. Nor could it become … anything. Not without the disentanglement. Not without letting go.

Everyday, every aware moment, I removed one more layer until all that was left was my core. I could choose each step of the way to move forward as myself or as the “others” I had created. Though, it was terrifying.

Being me means the possibility of conflict. Being me means the possibility of fights, anger, punishment, and failure. Or does it? Is this just what my childhood experience had taught me? That being me was … incorrect? Problematic?

What does adult-me think?

I sought to feel when child-me was trying to rear her scared little head, so that I could greet her with the adult-truth. That she is not problematic. Or the cause of so much chaos. But a light to be seen. A person of value and worth.

The pieces of my fragmented self began to stitch back together. I let me lead the way–what I wanted to do. What I wanted to say. How I wanted to spend my time. Even disagreeing with people who I have continued to see as “better than me” or “smarter than me.” I was becoming whole again. One person.

I explained it like this to my therapist: It feels like I’ve been playing a game of Mario 64 (or any video game where the characters go on a goal oriented adventure). I know that I have to go save Peach. I know that in the castle is where I have to go to jump into the pictures and beat all the challenges so I can eventually get to Bowser to beat him and save the day. But rather than go where I knew I was meant to, because it’s scary, I decided to jump into the water around the castle and swim around aimlessly or run into the woods on the side chasing nothing. Now, I feel like I’ve come back from this detour. I am now back on the mission. I’m back on the path.

I feel like me again.

I can tell you it is so interesting to go through this after years of following my intuition and teaching on it. It was an extremely humbling experience because it is easy to think you’re no longer prey to the “human” experience of getting stuck or leading with fear. And perhaps that was part of the reason this happened–to humble me, to remind me, to better connect with my clients. But it is clear I also have had years of unresolved trauma to work through that had wiggled its way into my life in ways I would otherwise not have detected. When we think of trauma responses, we think of flashbacks and nightmares and flinching and triggers. We forget that when it has been your normal for so long, that subtle behaviors — like doing what others tell you or following the path to who they want you to become can also be a piece of this. I’m still working on some of this. We are always working on ourselves. Forever. And there is nothing wrong with that. It’s simply part of being human. To explore, to love, to feel, to heal, to grow.

I had to face the truth that what I was doing and where I was going was not based on my dreams, goals, or wants. I was living and doing for others–for memories that told me I’m not good enough, that I need to be more, that I need to choose “important” sounding jobs.

Accepting our truths can be horrifying. And life altering. Because once we let that truth come to the forefront of our mind it has just become real. And when something is real, we have to do something about it. We cant ignore it any longer.

But when we accept our truth, we can’t possibly imagine how overwhelmingly amazing it feels. To be back on that EAC, floating freely, weightless, joy-full. To know who you are, to know what you want, to live as you are, and to exist in your truth.

… Anyway, apparently vision boards work really well. So try it sometime! (hahaha!)

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