I’m Back!

My last blog post was on June 21, 2018. Over the last two months I have written the beginning of many posts but none felt right. I try to write about my own experiences and weave in a useful tool for you but I just couldn’t find a way to accomplish this that sat well with me.

I unravelled earlier this summer. I could feel it happening and I knew I needed help knitting parts of myself back together. I see our journey in life as layers. When I first embarked on my healing journey in 2005, I looked at parts of my life and childhood for the first time as I sought clarity for why I was in such a mess. Thanks to the help of counselors, coaches, EMDR, Shadow Work, and various experiential groups I healed many wounded parts. But I wasn’t done. I often tell my clients our work is not a one time experience where we find “perfection” and then we’re good for the rest of our lives. We’re more like rehab projects. You do all the work to get the house that’s falling apart shored up and looking good but over time the paint peels, the carpet frays and things need to be mended.

I went through a major overhaul between 2005-2008 as well as several tune-ups in the years since. These are just new layers that need work. I discovered some devastating aspects of my family of origin. From my perspective it seems we do not always have each other’s back through thick and thin. We were raised to be independent, like islands. As long as we are all just humming along, not being real, we’re good. As soon as we do or say something that is against a person or idea, we’re shut out.  The phrase “blood is thicker than water” is not true in my family. In full revelation, I have been both the recipient and offender of this approach.

To heal, I spent my summer in the company of human and equine therapists. Yes, horses have been part of my therapy! I am not a horse person and have limited experience with them. As I looked into equine therapy, I felt tears rise to the surface and thought, “I really want to try this”.  Since then, I learned that horses do not do well alone. They need the herd–their family. What irony or is it fortuitous!?

Most of my work has been on setting boundaries (1400+ pound horses are intimidating!) while simultaneously seeking to understand as well as accept others’ messiness. This is not generally a huge issue for me in most arenas of my life. With family, it’s become a very painful issue. I’m still in process on this. I work daily to swish away negative and unhelpful thoughts like the horses swish flies with their tails. I’m focusing on loving others as is. I’m in process. I don’t have this all figured out nor do I execute it in every encounter.

I’m grateful for my unravelling; the closer I stay to my humanity, the more compassionate I am with my clients. It also opened up my understanding of equine therapy (it is not just about brushing and riding horses…I did neither of those) but about bringing in their way of partnering with me in my healing process.  I’m grateful for my four legged therapists – Three Socks*, Pierced With Light*, Guinness, Samwise and of course, Courtney (my two-legged therapist). 🙂

*Not their real names. I took the liberty to name them when I didn’t know what their real names were. When I learned their real names, I liked mine better! 😉

Categories: Acceptance, Boundaries, Emotional Healing, Family issues, Forgiveness, Growth, Healing, Recovery, Relationships, Self-Help | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “I’m Back!

  1. Diane

    I am glad you are back Karen. I always appreciate how you share and use your personal life to help others. I have learned so much from you. Recently I have made copies of one of your older posts to share with my siblings, hoping it will help us in our family issues. Thank you Karen. Happy riding.

  2. Cathy

    Thankyou for sharing parts of your life with us readers, Karen. I greatly appreciate that about you; your transparency, compassion and willingness to be real & vulnerable. That’s what makes you a wonderful therapist I think. Like you; we all have our messes and areas in our life that need refining and healing. I had to deal with very a very hurtful part of my life…concerning my 2 older adult kids, that I discussed with you about 5 years ago; and I am happy to report that my relationship with my daughter has been fully restored. I learned patience and trusting God with my broken pieces, which was not easy for me….I wanted control of those areas. But God thought otherwise. I tried to rush the process so I wouldn’t have to feel the hurt and painwhile going through the refining process. But thanks to the many things you told me, plus the love of my husband and friends, and my prayer life becoming a crucial necessity of my daily life; this made a huge difference in my healing journey. Welcome back Karen!

  3. Mike

    Thank you Karen.

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