Within each of us there is a part of our character that gives us the strength to stand up in this world. The part that is often referred to resiliency giving us the ability to survive various life circumstances that are difficult to manage at times. I have the pleasure of working with individuals who seek my counsel when the challenges they are facing are too much to bear. Together we explore the depth of their inner core and find the resiliency that is often hidden deep within them.

I have found, that the folks who are the most resilient, are the ones who have been raised in a family full of turmoil that ranged from trauma, abuse, abandonment and addiction. The impact on the individual was felt on an emotional, mental, physical and/or spiritual level. The way the individual, who was victim to these circumstances, often survived was by adopting various coping mechanisms into their lives in order to handle their pain.

When I work with an individual, I am working within their family system, the invisible dynamics that they were born into. It’s fascinating how family systems pass on burdens, beliefs, secrets, strengths and unresolved issues. Often these different components of a family system continue to perpetuate throughout the generations until someone within the system wants to live a different way. For instance, if there is a history of abuse and someone within the system goes into recovery, it can cause a rife in the system because someone has gone against the “normalcy” of what the collective conscience may have carried for generations. By getting “better” it often creates a shift in how the system operates. It takes a courageous individual to claim their independence by going against the norm that may have been happening for many generations.

Through a process of deep forgiveness and consenting to what is, enables an individual to become aware of how clever and resilient they were in coming up with ways to survive in their family. Through this process of resolution they are often able to look at themselves with compassion and tenderness.

To survive and resolve deep seeded trauma, takes the courage of a warrior. I reference the “warrior”, as that part of our self that learns to survive in an environment that may be hostile to the tender of heart. The tender and sensitive one’s learned to survive by incorporating defense mechanisms such as addiction, depression, anxiety or shutting down. Through a process of surrender, an individual can learn to embrace that part, the warrior, as being the protector of them. I use metaphors, or pictures as illustrated in fairy tales, to honor that part that learned ways to survive in difficult, sometimes life threatening situations.

I remember working with a woman who was dealing with weight issues as a way to protect her tender heart and childlike being. She was raised in a family that was alcoholic and abusive. At a very early age, she was expected to pay her own rent and buy her own food. She learned early on, that to show any kind of vulnerability would be a threat to her survival. Over the years she “padded” herself with weight and addictions. In desperation, she made an appointment to meet with me. During our first visit, I established a relationship with her. With her permission, I guided her into deep relaxation and suggested that she honor that warrior part of herself that put on weight and carried addiction as a shield. I invited her to bow deeply to her warrior self, who gallantly served and protected her from harms way, letting that part know that the war was over. She began to cry, as if a part of her was being released from an imprisonment. Over the next few weeks, she began losing weight and her addiction lost its grip on her.

This individual and many others are a reminder to me, that if we can bow deeply to that part of our self that learned to shield us from the traumas of life, we can release it and move forward.

I am of the belief that everything we carry as a habit, addiction or character defect, is our inner warrior serving and protecting us. Sometimes though, our warrior forgets that the war is truly over and that it is time to put down the sword and walk in peace. With curiosity, I invite you to notice your warrior self and explore the possibility that perhaps the war you have been fighting is over. With the gentleness of heart, give your warrior permission to lie down and rest. This may be the greatest gift you can ever give to yourself.

Author's Bio: 

"Are you ready to step away from who you think you are, and fully become the magnificent person that you are? Together, we will separate the facts from your "story" that will help you step into the field of infinite possibilities." Additional information on Inner resolution Facilitation are available at Catherine's website, blog and radio programs. Catherine invites you to a complimentary copy of her Morning Meditation, Welcoming A New Day. All may be found at http://www.ToTheHeartOfTheMatter.com.