This month we have been looking at a great question that my client, Olivia, asked at the end of a recent shamanic healing session:
“Why do we hold on to things that no longer serve?”
Thanks to Olivia, and all of my readers who provided input, I’ve been able to distill many ideas about this important question. Here’s a summary of six main reasons that we hold on to old patterns. Fortunately, shamanic healing gives us the tools to address these points:
- Energy may be ready to release but it’s stuck and just needs a little help. Louise shared with me: “Somehow, holding on makes me feel more in control even though I’m being stubborn and I know it isn’t helping me.” The rattle is a great tool for breaking up the stuck energy so it can be cleared away.
- Energy blockages may have built up over time and we might not even be aware of it. Every time we experience a trauma, even seemingly small ones, our bodies naturally want to protect themselves. The resulting constriction can build up over time, even years after the trauma is over. Once we shed light on it, we can facilitate the release.
- Fear of letting go is a powerful obstacle. Most of us fear that letting go will hurt. By holding a compassionate, heart-centered space for my clients, I help my clients gradually find the courage to let go.
- Fear of the unknown brings up anxiety. I heard this from Jackie: “I think we hold onto things that no longer serve because they are familiar, even when it’s time to step into the unknown.” What will it be like when we no longer hold the emotional/energetic charge of a memory or belief? I address this by helping clients visualize what might be possible so they can trust moving forward even when the details aren’t exactly clear.
- Holding on gives us the illusion of feeling stronger. Charles wrote, “Holding on to the past…the memories, the angst, the hurts, the pain that it caused…is a reminder that I’m a survivor, and because I survived I’m stronger for it. I hold on to it like a badge. The only problem is, it feeds into depression and exhaustion.”
- The stagnant energy may still have a purpose, even though it’s painful. Because of the pain, we can think it is no longer serving us, but there may be valuable life lessons as we continue to revisit discomfort from different angles.
By asking questions during or after a shamanic healing session, we open a doorway to delving into matters like trauma, protection, life lessons, and evolution of the soul. In this way, we are able to play a more empowered role in letting go of the things that no longer serve.