It hit me like a ton of bricks in the middle of the sidewalk…I finally understood why I hadn’t really healed from the past and why I wasn’t making the type of progress that I knew was possible.

I had been walking downtown to meet my girlfriend for coffee and ruminating, yet again, on how unfair my life was:

I tried so hard,

I worked on myself,

I asked questions,

I freaking journaled and meditated. So what the hell!?

Why was my past dragging behind me like a ball and chain?

I knew progress in healing was achievable because I’d seen that progress in my client’s lives, I’d read about it in my self-help books, and I’d heard about it from other participants in the courses I took.

But I hadn’t seen it in my own life. And up to that moment, I couldn’t figure out why!!

I had the opposite of progress. I was grumpy and sad all the time. I freaked out at my kids. I didn’t really have friends.

I felt that all I had were a lot of old stories of hurt, struggle and suffering. Like the time my husband and I lost everything because of a business investment. Or the time my dad abandoned our family. Or the time my family moved in the middle of high school and I had to leave all my friends behind. My list was long.

So many of us have long lists of examples of what can and has gone wrong. Our old stories hold us back because they provide conclusive evidence of things not working out, of failure, of falling down and then getting hurt more in our childhood, our relationships, and our work.

What is it that allows some people to move forward while others stay stuck in the pain?

Then it hit me! I stopped walking and stood on the sidewalk, dumbfounded, with my epiphany hanging like a lightbulb over my head. It felt like one of those stereotypical cartoon moments.

The truth was I was stuck because I hadn’t been participating in my own healing journey. I had been the passenger but not the driver.

I was hoping that the next thing I tried would fix me, would give me that elating experience of becoming one with everything so that all my problems and hurts would disappear. I tried all kinds of things, yes, but didn’t really expect any of it to work because I was looking for a feeling.

When we don’t participate in our own healing, we don’t really get the progress we crave. We hope and we try different things. We continue to seek that magic pill, the thing that will make the difference and finally give us that breakthrough.

The biggest problem with this approach is that the magic pill doesn’t exist. Certainly there are many wonderful and powerful healing modalities out there but they only work if we do. This means these tools only work if we use them for what they’re intended – and none of them are intended to fix us.

That’s right!

I had been looking for something to fix me and when it didn’t feel like I was getting fixed, I looked for the next thing.

My epiphany gave me the understanding that we’re not broken, to begin with. Life experiences help us forget that we are whole and worthy.

I thought that if I truly believed I was whole and worthy I would feel delicious and blissed out, and I would never again have to feel pain, hurt, or the myriad of other negative emotions that plagued me constantly. I thought I would know that I had been fixed because it would be this beautiful, mind-blowing, spiritual experience.

So I didn’t heal because I thought healing had to feel a certain way. And when I didn’t experience that feeling, I didn’t participate further.

The thing is, healing is not a feeling. It doesn’t have to be hard work. It’s a way of being and showing up in our life. And it requires our full participation.

When I started participating in my own healing journey, my progress skyrocketed.

I was able to forgive myself and others.

I was no longer afraid of my negative emotions because I knew how to release them.

I did feel happier and more positive more often.

Things in my relationships and my work started falling together.

So, what did participation look like for me?

I stopped trying all kinds of different things to heal and focused on what really worked for the stage of healing that I was at. I also shifted my expectations and looked for the right types of evidence in my life. That was only the beginning.

If you’re ready to get unstuck from your past and really start participating in your own healing journey, you can begin by answering these powerful questions:

How are you making yourself wrong on your healing journey?

What evidence are you looking for?

What do you expect healing to feel like?

How will you know when you are completely free of your past and fully healed?

Knowing these answers will begin to give you a baseline for what your beliefs about healing are. This is an important awareness to have because when the student is ready the teacher appears.

To help manage and release the negative emotions that are such an intimate part of a healing journey, I have created the Feel Safe Feeling Experience. It’s a free audio course about how to feel emotions to release them from our physical and energetic body. You can grab it here.

Kasia Rachfall is an intuitive breakthrough coach and healer working with the Akashic Records to help spiritual women break generational patterns of feeling inherently broken so they can feel whole and have the freedom to accept their imperfect selves fully.

Grab Kasia's free audio course Feel Safe Feeling here to learn how to decode and release the difficult emotions that steal your joy, peace and happiness. It's a shitty day emergency kit for your emotional triggers.