Category Archives: playing the guitar
Hello everyone! If you’ve been feeling extra tired, or extra emotional, or stuck, or triggered, I believe the full moon today is causing energies that are helping us to clear out some deep unhealed layers of childhood pain. I personally have been very tired and journaling a lot to work through heavy, dark feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness — which hasn’t been easy. Some of my best songs and poems arise at times like these and I’ll be sharing them here hopefully soon to help anyone who resonates and would like to feel hopeful about their emotional state. The poem I wrote on Oct. 1 that I mentioned in my last post will be shared in my next post–I read it again today and it was helpful in moving out the stuck emotions I felt today so I plan to share that in the coming few days.
Now, on with Part 3!–Here’s the last part of my heart to heart series to update everyone on what I’ve been doing while I was on a break from writing regularly on this blog. This post is a long one–future posts will be much shorter for easier reading I promise!
Continuing with sharing the story of my journey to finally start performing, let me just say it took until fall of 2017 for me to feel ready to start looking for paid gigs–I had been practicing a 2 hour set of my songs (including playing guitar) for many months while we got settled in our new house (Oct. 2016) before I felt ready to reach out to venues as a professional musician. Then on one courageous day, I took the leap and did it–made phone calls and sent emails with a demo video I had made.
I found 2 local venues (a branch of Breweries, and a winery) that were encouraging local artists and paid, albeit meagerly, for 2 hours of a mix of original folk rock and cover songs by my favorite artists: James Taylor, Carole King, The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, Neil Young, and more! My album and the demo I made with performance videos from my open mic nights helped convince them to give me a chance and soon I was performing once a month then twice a month and then eventually 4 times a month. By the end of the summer of 2018 I was doing 3 hour gigs as well with several hired guitarists that I had duos with. Phew!
I stopped in September to take a break and get organized with my coaching and this blog and also to celebrate!– because I feel over a hump and ready to branch out and collaborate with some new musicians and look for higher paying venues. Breaking through a glass ceiling that I never thought I could achieve brings up surprising amounts of grief and emotional pain and is not all just happiness, ease, and fun. Yes, when you have childhood wounds that kept you in a state of hiding most of your life, you must keep up with the positive affirmations and self-care of course but also make time for grieving the loss of all the years you didn’t believe in yourself and your gifts. It’s important to leave time for emotional healing and not spread yourself too thin. It took some time for me to find a balance that worked for me.
Okay, so now on a new topic, not only have I been performing and working on my music career, but I have also developed some new life coaching skills and emotional healing tools. From 2014 to now and continuing, I have been working with various intuitive coaches, energy healers, and spiritual counselors. Through my seeking and thirst for knowledge about the spiritual realms, I have developed my own intuitive abilities to the point where I am proud to say that I am now a channel for spiritual guidance as an Akashic Record Reader and you can read more about this on my new life coaching website. Yay! It’s very exciting! I realize now that I have always had this ability on some level but now I am able to ask for and receive spiritual inner guidance with greater clarity and greater confidence, knowing, and with greater tools to help others.
And this is because: I have had to continually be doing intense emotional healing of my own. Layers of pain coming up to the surface with each new success–the pain and doubt doesn’t just magically go away one day when you have many childhood wounds–having given up on myself at the age of 5 and banished my true self and my dreams away to develop a false self that was hiding and codependent, a people pleaser, and a rescuer–I’ve had to continue to work on healing all of these issues! I’ve continually been working through the PTSD that results from having the abandonment wounds (from being hospitalized as a toddler) and also working through shame and feeling unsafe to be my true self as a child and throughout my early adulthood. I had learned how to survive by hiding away my true desires and gifts and dreams so completely that I gave up on my music for 20 years while raising my children. Perhaps you can relate!
And so now here I am an empty nester, feeling like I’m in my 30’s (due to a healthy diet and new tools), pursuing a singing career, to share my songs that flow out of me– sometimes from my wounded heart but mostly from the bright light of hope inside of me that knows my purpose on the planet is to write and sing music and also give hope to others who cannot find their way up and out of the painful layers that often feel too heavy to break through.
As I write this I realize I’ve learned and sharpened so many tools since 2012: I learned ways to replenish and to re-energize my adrenals; continued my healthy diet; exercise regularly for strength and endurance; made myself more disciplined to practice my music as a priority; tap into spirit often to sharpen those innate intuitive skills and gifts; continue to write poetry and songs as I work through the emotional challenges; I have opened myself up to spiritual knowledge about ascension symptoms, upgrades to the planet, and even the effect of past lives on our current incarnations; practice extreme self-care as I continue to grow from life’s challenges and surprises, and remind myself that the rule #1 from this blog still applies and was really ground-breaking at that time.
And that is that Self-Compassion is rule #1!
I’m grateful to this blog for this all important bit of wisdom to come forth–because it was writing here to you all that caused this bit of wisdom to be born!
And so I say thank you to all of you that are part of this highly sensitive, compassionate, and spiritually awakened community of Hope and Healing from Childhood Wounds. I hope it continues to be a haven of safety for your wounded inner child to come and get strong–as a cocoon for you to grow your wings at your own pace and try out your new wings when you are feeling strong enough to go for your dreams. As always my message is: You Can Do It!! …And have compassion and kindness for yourself as the pain comes up to heal with each success! Because you are strong enough to feel it, comfort yourself through it, acknowledge that you absorbed negativity you didn’t deserve, release it, rest, and rise again!
Rest here in this haven anytime you wish, and reach out to this community or just read the comments from the hundreds who have reached out with their stories of childhood wounds and emotional healing in the comment sections. I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment to let me know you are helped by what I am sharing or if you are new to this community so that I can welcome you.
Wishing all of you comfort, inner peace, and so much love as you continue to heal,
Hi Everyone. So much has happened since my last post, I want to update you about all that has transpired. In fall of 2012, I was drawn to look for a new family doctor for myself and just for fun googled Highly Sensitive Doctor in Indianapolis haha. What I found was not a doctor who called himself highly sensitive but a doctor with amazing reviews from patients who said he was highly sensitive to their needs. I made an appointment even though I felt I was in pretty good health at the time and didn’t really have any dire need–I just wanted a doctor who would understand and support my quest for the best holistic and alternative health care I could find.
I had to wait 3 months to get in with him but it was worth it. He listened to all of my theories on how I had healed my food allergies, chronic fatigue, candidiasis, adrenal fatigue issues through holistic means and an anti-inflammatory gluten-free diet. I also shared how I was feeling pretty good considering my age and the impending hormonal changes. He was impressed rather than skeptical and I was thrilled at his response. Still he ordered a pretty extensive blood test to be sure and I am so glad he did. The results came back that I had low thyroid function and had to be put on thyroid medication immediately!
The amazing thing to me is it turned out he was a specialist in knowledge about the thyroid–the exact best person to help me with this particular condition! And so gave me a prescription for Armour thyroid which is the best naturally derived medication and it’s hard to find an open-minded Dr. who will prescribe it. Another amazing thing was I didn’t have symptoms until I was waiting for those blood test results and I suddenly gained 15 pounds in 3 weeks even though I was eating extremely healthy and watching carbs and calories. It was quite shocking to see my body react this way but also to know that I had the perfect kind of care at the exact right time.
And another amazing thing that happened was that during my first visit with that doctor a large Bald Eagle flew past the window and the Dr. was shocked and said Oh my gosh did you just see that?–with that I looked out the window and saw this beautiful majestic bald eagle flying in the air. This was in a busy neighborhood inside the city limits! I was thrilled that the doctor felt as I did that this was quite an amazing and beautiful sight and agreed with me that maybe it had been a special “sign” that I was in the right place at the right time–all this on the first visit before I found out about the thyroid issue!
Now at this point I am feeling really blessed and cared for from up above to be guided to just the right doctor at just the right time. But I also had big questions now. Why had I gotten thyroid problems with all my healthy lifestyle habits? Well this doctor’s thorough questionnaire I had filled out helped me to see that I was working too much and I was feeling stressed even though I loved what I was doing, I was feeling pretty drained a lot of the time. This is when my coaching was at a peak with a waiting list of clients and I was really loving all the success my inner child healing practice was doing for others and it was very fulfilling helping others heal.
When I did some research about low thyroid I found out that it is in the throat chakra which has to do with creative self-expression and I immediately knew… I hadn’t been singing. All the songwriting had sort of stopped and I had been too busy with my coaching and I had stopped making time for my music. It was clear to me–I knew it deep inside–I am supposed to be singing and getting my then 40 (now over 50) original songs of hope and healing recorded and out to help others heal– as it was the songs that had helped me heal, find my “voice”, and were the impetus to start the blogging and the coaching! It had been the music that had started everything healing and moving forward to my vitality and inner peace and I realized I had neglected this important part of me. So I cut back on my coaching and immediately felt better as I devoted time each week to resting, singing, and songwriting, and in May 2013 I started making professional recordings of my songs!
At my second visit back with this doctor he gave me adrenal supplements and other vitamins saying it was the low adrenals affecting the thyroid and that he thought if I reduced stress and took care of myself I could gradually get off the thyroid medication. And he was right! I did it! I worked on recording my songs all summer long and I also went to a new chiropractor who gave me Neuro-emotional Technique (NET) treatments each week. By the end of summer I was completely off the thyroid medication! And I still am! Amazing!
Okay and there’s more amazing news. That fall (2012) that I had just been put on thyroid medication I knew I wanted to do more singing but I wasn’t sure how I was going to move forward with it. Well, one saturday night my husband and I decided to go to a little nearby bar that we had never been to before to listen to some live music. And there was a young guy age 29 singing all of my favorite songs that I used to sing harmony to growing up and over the years. He was playing guitar and harmonica and was extremely talented but here he was in this little bar so I felt compelled to ask him if he’d be interested in helping me record my songs. He said Yes! He needed some extra money and I needed some professional help recording and guidance on how best to proceed with making an album.
Turns out that this guy turned out to be very professional indeed and the perfect guy to help me. Not only that, he slowly revealed to me as I got to know him, that he was very close to being signed with a music contract for his band with his original music, had met Clive Davis, had been flown to Hollywood several times, had opened for John Legend, and had many friends in the music business. He is a songwriter too and he liked my songs and songwriting ability. He liked my singing too but I had pretty bad stage fright to perform in public at that time and it was not even in my mind to attempt to overcome it–I was just planning to make an album, not perform.
But as our collaboration was working successfully, as my vocal coach he invited me to sing with him at his gigs so I could get used to performing! At first it was one song, then 2, and by the end of the summer I was singing up to 8 songs with him at his gigs and had overcome my fear of performing on stage! I got to sing harmony to my favorite songs from the Eagles, Bob Seger, John Mellencamp, Tom Petty etc., it was a dream come true! And it was so much fun! (I have pictures of this on my music website).
The best part is he and I worked on my songs–we got 6 songs completely done, mixed, and produced by him, and he laid down the most beautiful guitar tracks for 22 more of my songs, and he taught me how to record and mix the rest of the songs by myself. And with his encouragement I have been improving my own guitar playing skills as well so that I can start going to open mic nights while I record my songs. And that’s what I am pursuing now!
Wow, what a summer! This fall and winter I have continued to write more songs and work on the albums and it is going really well! I can’t wait to share my songs with all of you! I have been working hard on this new music website and figuring out how to integrate all my work so all my healing songs, coaching and blogging are easily accessible for those who will most find inspiration and healing from them.
So now I want to share with you a sample of an especially healing song from my new album A New Beginning that is one of my absolute favorites and I wrote it last summer. I hope you like it. It’s call Hole In My Soul and here is a sample:
I am very excited to announce that all 6 professionally recorded healing songs from my new album are now available for purchase with free samples of each song for you to listen to first! You can buy downloads of the songs there on the website www.RoxanneSmithMusic.com–all proceeds will go to continuing my work to help others heal from childhood emotional pain. It’s a great cause! I highly recommend playing the songs especially in the morning each day as you get ready–it will change your mood for the day and has a healing effect. Many people have told me this and I have experienced it myself with my own songs which I feel were somehow “given” to me from “above” when I wrote them–they healed something deep inside. Think of it as part of your extreme-self-care healing routine each day which is so important for us survivors of childhood trauma. We need to do extra kind and comforting things for ourselves each day! These songs were written for you! Please try it and let me know how it works for you. My second album, Songs of Hope and Healing will have the most deeply healing songs on it and it is in the works as soon as this first album is complete. I will be releasing each song individually as it gets finished so keep checking back for more song releases.
Thank you for reading today and please like my facebook community page (if you like it) called Higher Ground Haven– I have now attached it to this blog so that our community can reach out and grow and connect in even more ways than before. I look forward to your comments and to meeting and seeing you on facebook where I will be posting updates and information about healing childhood wounds, narcissistic parents, highly sensitive people (HSPs), unblocking your creativity, and how to go for your dreams, as well as videos of me and my music. Remember, you can create the life you desire in your heart. You are a shining light of compassion and love. You deserve comfort, encouragement, compassion, and a community of safety and healing support that we all missed out on as children. I hope you find all of that here on my blog as your new Hope and Healing Haven. 😀
Sending all of you much love and light and deep caring,
Hi everyone. I have an announcement to make but first I want to thank all of you who have followed this blog and who have shared your stories and have felt part of this community of hope and healing. It was years ago in January 2010 that I started this blog and many of you have grown and evolved with me as we have shared and healed our childhood wounds together. I want to fill you in on the details and the big changes ahead for this blog. Yes, it is time for some exciting new changes and the biggest one is that I want to reveal my real name and take ownership of this blog that I am so proud of.
I have been upfront since the first day of this blog saying on my About page that I was using a PEN name. Elaine D. Sanders. I chose this special name so that I could write uninhibitedly about my journey in emotional healing and so that I could help others who are struggling to find and express their true voice as well. My pen name served me well and I have no regrets about being known as Elaine and proudly using this name for my life coaching business that came about because of the success of helping others through this blog.
Now I am stepping fully into the light with my real legal name and claiming my story. I feel and hope this will be very empowering for others who are healing from childhood wounds as well. It is with love and compassion and gratefulness in my heart that I share this information with you, my followers and readers, because I know you will understand and support this new venture of empowerment for all of us to step into our truth, and be unafraid to speak up with our true voice about our childhood experiences and our healing journeys. There is no shame in telling your story, nothing to fear when you speak up for yourself about times you felt diminished and unloved as a child. Telling the truth and coming out of hiding is the right thing to do and doing so will support others to do the same.
My middle name really is Elaine. I love the name and when I first decided to start this blog I was proud to find out that the meaning of the name Elaine is “shining light”. My legal first name is Roxanne and I was thrilled to find out the meaning of Roxanne is “dawn”–light of a new day-a new beginning. Right now I am gradually changing all posts and comments from Elaine to Roxanne. It will take a while to complete the change and until then I hope all will be understood.
Some might ask, with the great success of this blog why not stay Elaine? Well, about a year and a half ago, I wanted my grown children and husband to be able to tell of my new successful career as a life coach and singer/songwriter without having to tell a long story of why I had a pen name. Also, I wanted to start a home community life coaching business and I also wanted to be close to my family (and also to this new support network) through facebook. So I started a home community life coaching website, a new blog with more songs, a personal facebook page and community facebook page in my legal name that I go by on a daily basis with close friends, my husband and kids. Through this experiment I eventually realized I now felt uninhibited to talk about inner child healing and my own healing journey with great confidence– I was able to do both and go back and forth to both blogs and websites with ease for quite a while. I gradually saw how I was dividing myself and my energies. Recently it came clear how I could integrate everything to my legal name and that this would be very empowering for all for me to do this. My energies of late had been mostly with my new creative ventures in my world as myself, Roxanne E. Smith. I am now ready to come out on this blog and say this is who I am, this is what I experienced, and this is how I recovered, and I want to be a role model to help others to come out and express their true voice as well.
Upon beginning to write about my past, I had no idea that this blog would be so helpful to others as it has become. My intention was and is to help and support others by sharing my experience and journey of emotional healing. I have no resentment, anger, or bitterness towards any people from my past. I do not carry any hard feelings towards them and I wish them only peace and love. I believe I may have chosen everything that happened to me because I knew my soul was strong enough to recover so that I could help others. I am now grateful for everything that has ever happened to me for now I am on this path of enlightenment and helping others see their beautiful shining light within that is underneath the layers of pain and self-doubt. I believe helping souls to break through to their true essence is my true purpose in life. I have come to a place where I know that the absence of light experienced as children is because parents and caregivers of children may have had atrocities and abuses from their own childhood that may have caused a complete separation from their own light. We absorbed all that darkness as highly sensitive gifted children but now, after emotional healing, we can now give that light back to ourselves — as for myself, it was only through much inner grief work that I recovered and this is what I now help others through my work–through blogging, life coaching, and through sharing my healing songs and their lyrics.
I shared my honest feelings on this blog because this was my experience and it was this candidness that most helped people relate their own feelings and stories and heal on a deep level. Many of my songs continue to reflect the painful journey to wholeness and joy from a childhood of feeling lost–I feel it was through the gift of music and creative song writing that I was able to heal and express my voice and this self expression continues to heal me as well as others. I have continued to write and record more healing songs recently and this is the project that has kept me busy this past year.
I have a new music website for my newly created and professionally recorded Album–A New Beginning! I am excited to share with you my songs which are my new passion and focus as of right now and my album of 10 professionally recorded songs is now available for download and also on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, and many other sites worldwide.
Other changes on this blog and my websites include the adding of a link to my facebook community page called Higher Ground Haven. So please check it out by finding it on the right side of the page and clicking on the name of it–you don’t have to be on facebook to enjoy it–it is open to the public and will just be another means of support for this community.
There will be a new name for this blog–it is being changed from Hope and Healing with Elaine to Hope and Healing Haven. I hope you like it and will remember it easily. I think it is a great fit! The domain name is going back to hopehealing.wordpress.com. Elainedsanders.com will no longer be. I won’t be taking new clients for an indefinite period of time because my singing/songwriting career is taking center stage in my life right now and I will be sharing my song lyrics which are self-help poetry put to music as I embark on this new career.
I hope that you will enjoy embarking with me on this NEW BEGINNING journey. My song A NEW BEGINNING has new meaning now as it has been rerecorded professionally and is the perfect tribute to this new phase of this Hope and Healing Blog that I hope will continue to be a Haven for all souls seeking healing from their childhood wounds and empowerment to find their true voice and true self. Please enjoy listening to a sample of A New Beginning below: press > play to hear Another song I’d like to share is called “I’m All Right”–you can listen to a sample of it below:
My new music website is finished and it is ready to share with you, you may visit it here: RoxanneSmithMusic.com. 10 professionally recorded healing songs from my new album are now finalized and available for purchase with free samples of each song for you to listen to first! You can buy downloads of the songs there on the website–all proceeds will go to continuing my work to help others heal from childhood emotional pain. It’s a great cause! I highly recommend playing the songs especially in the morning each day as you get ready–it will change your mood for the day and has a healing effect. Think of it as part of your extreme-self-care healing routine each day which is so important for highly sensitive survivors. We need to do extra kind things for ourselves each day! Please try it and let me know how it works for you–I welcome the testimonials!
Thank you for reading today. I am excited to re-connect with all of you survivors who are searching for emotional guidance and a safe place to feel connected and to heal from the past. This is a wonderful community to be a part of and I feel truly blessed and grateful. Welcome To Hope and Healing Haven!
With love, blessings, and warmest caring wishes,
(Read the following comments from the bottom up)
Here is an edited version of the original “About Me” when I was using a pen name, written in December 2009 and used through February 2014 (the original was changed a few times over the years ):
Hello and Welcome! Elaine is a name that has special significance to me and I have chosen this Pen name because it will make it easier to be completely honest and uninhibited in all my writing. My wonderful supportive husband and I have both had many childhood wounds to heal and overcome and we have made a new wonderful life and have raised two amazing children.
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Services with emphasis in humanistic counseling psychology, sociology, family dynamics, and child development. There was nothing more important to me than raising children with high self-esteem and to be emotionally healthy, and breaking the cycle of emotional repression that has been passed down for generations through our extended families. Our children are in college and beyond now, adjusting well to all of life’s demands, and my husband and I couldn’t be prouder of them, not just because of their accomplishments and achievements but because of the relationships we have with them and the caring, loving people they have become. We are supportive and encouraging of whatever they choose to do with their lives and we are there for them to listen to their feelings and they in turn are supportive and encouraging to us and grateful and loving human beings.
I have discovered many things along the way to building a healthy family and finding my true purpose in life. I have discovered I am an INFJ, an empath, a highly sensitive person, an avid journaler, writer of self-help poetry, and a singer/songwriter writing many songs–including my songs of hope and healing. These songs were written mostly to help myself through the pain from my many childhood wounds and the ups and downs of life. Most of all, I have discovered the depth of my skills as an Empathic Life Coach. With this, I have discovered my true purpose in life-all my skills of writing and singing and songwriting have been catalysts in helping me express and find my true voice–to realize that my true purpose is empowering other highly sensitive souls to heal from their wounds from childhood and become the person they are meant to be.
I feel it as a privilege for me to provide comfort and support to any soul who is in emotional pain and to let them know there is hope and someone out there who understands. With the help of this website, it is my hope to validate, inspire, and give hope to people through my writing, my music, and my availability to you as an Empathic Life Coach. So often a person just needs a companion to listen–someone to validate the complex and confusing painful feelings that come up when childhood wounds are triggered and then keep us from moving forward to become our true selves. Our blog community strives to be an “enlightened witness” for any person who needs to be heard about childhood wounds or if you have no family members or friends who understand you. Please check out the comment sections of each post which contain lots of guidance and sharing of experiences. We understand and we care. Welcome to our community!
Hi everyone. Today I was out on my patio getting my morning dose of Vitamin D from the sun (hallelujah, the warmth is finally here to stay!) and writing down ideas for my next post. When I was finished, the song “Hurts So Good” by John Mellencamp came on the radio I was listening to. You know the one…”sometimes love don’t feel like it should…” Anyway, I had to laugh out loud with amazement as it seemed like a sign from the universe/God that my topic was approved–it seemed clear that I should trust my intuition to write about what I had decided to focus on and that was: what hurts the most in life emotionally can reveal the truth of who we really are–and physical pain can teach us the exact lesson we need to learn to move forward–both kinds of pain help us grow and heal to become our best selves.
Of course the lyrics of the song do not imply that, but the title jumped out at me as confirmation and I have always loved that song! It always makes me want to get up and dance and celebrate being alive for some reason. Sometimes when you are feeling the pain from childhood wounds, acknowledging you were wronged, and you know you didn’t deserve it, you feel so much more alive and you have the right to your feelings about it!! Your anger can be channeled into positive energy to take action for your self and improving your life and moving forward towards your dreams! Also the song implies that you know how love should feel but you are willing to take the painful risk of loving again for the chance of being loved in return.
I so look forward to dancing again to songs like this and forgot how much I missed it until it was taken away when I recently injured my back/hip (S.I. joint)! My pain has almost completely healed. Yay! I still have restricted movements but I have so much to look forward to. And I am on my way to complete healing and I learned much–I will spare you the details until the end of this post for those interested.
Okay, so about the lessons to be learned from the emotionally painful things that happen to us…. I believe that all of us are here on this planet to learn lessons about who we are, what we are capable of, how to achieve inner peace, love ourselves the way we deserved to be loved, and how we can use our gifts to help others. For those of us who are gifted with high sensitivity and intuition it is so difficult to figure these things out until we realize that a lot of the pain we experienced as children was pain of the people around us that we just absorbed and internalized as our own.
One of the most complex examples contributing to many of my clients’ childhood wounds are when the parent is a malignant narcissist. I am sharing these examples of extreme cases in the hopes that they will be the most helpful. When a malignant narcissist starts to feel any emotional pain they get rid of it immediately by blaming the people around them. The highly sensitive child is the perfect target to take away the malignant narcissist’s pain because they absorb it completely and don’t retaliate. As kind and loving spirits, highly sensitive compassionate children would never dream of blaming someone else for anything so they can’t imagine that their parent might be wrong or sick or unhealthy in any way. Now that they are adults they are starting to see the light of how they were “used” to take away the parent’s shame, self-hatred, blame, and self-doubt. Hsps can heal as they acknowledge the truth that they were fine before malignant narcissistic parents took away their hopes and dreams and gave them their pain in its place. They absorbed it all and believed it to be true–saying to themselves, “I am to blame, there is something wrong with me, I am not good enough, I must try really hard to be someone else other than who I am in order to be loved, I am not as good as I think I am, I cannot trust my feelings, I must not make any mistakes, I am unloveable, I am unworthy, I hate myself, or I must be a disgusting human being for upsetting my parent in such a way.” This is what a highly sensitive compassionate child can determine to be true when they are not seen for the kind and sensitive soul they are but used for the dumping ground of the negative emotions of a highly dysfunctional family.
They numb their feelings to survive as children–They repress the pain and decide to be obedient (if they were the Golden Child) or they rebel (if they were the Scapegoat). Either way their mind protects them with illusions about their parents in this case because they need them to survive. They were after all children doing the best they knew how–there is no way for a sensitive child to detect danger when for as long as they can remember, this is what a loving family looks and feels like and it is ingrained in the neural pathways in their brains. They believed the distorted view that their malignant narcissistic parent presented to them and insisted upon because they believe in the goodness of life innately–they trust completely which is a beautiful thing. It is a wondrous gift to be able to trust in life, to trust in the universe, that it will support them and show them the way if they trust their feelings and our intuition. We have the inner guidance and wisdom to be happy and fulfilled, enlightened and loving, full of vitality with the perseverance to press on through the ups and downs of life. They all (HSPs) have this ability inside of them, this trust in the goodness of life, but it was taken away from them.
But what happened to them is not really about them at all. They were victims, yes, but they don’t have to be victims ever again when they work through the truth of what happened to them as children–layer by layer, injustice by injustice, voicing the truth of how much it hurt, how they didn’t deserve it, and see how they lost their trust in themselves and their feelings. Once you start this process of healing the layers, you feel lighter and a little kinder to yourself each time. It is a blessing when you are in the midst of an episode of despair because someone you trusted criticized you and you suddenly realize, “Oh wait, this is how I felt as a child when my malignant narcissistic mother would feel threatened when I expressed a brilliant creative idea and put it down–I was smarter than she was!” –or something to this effect.
DOCUMENTING YOUR TRUTH STATEMENTS is a method I invented during my years as a life coach. Journaling these revelations by writing statements of what you learned about yourself when a new layer of pain is uncovered helps to document your progress. Then when you are feeling lost, depressed, or blocked make yourself get out your journal and read over these statements and you will see the true voice of your soul being uncovered. Statements like “I had brilliant creative ideas as a child”, “I discovered I was actually smart”, “I was kind, caring and innocent and did not deserve to be criticized and abused!” These are truths come to light and will forever be true about you–they will help you change the internalized beliefs about yourself so you will develop your true voice. This will help you stop listening to your inner critic and say,” No! That is not true about me”. Then say your new-found personalized positive affirmations (truth statements) to yourself instead. Your self-doubts will gradually fade and your confidence will grow stronger and stronger.
Childhood pain comes up to be healed in layers–it is like the truth of your untold story from childhood wants to be told and when you are strong enough, the painful feelings pop up unexpectedly in your lives. You sometimes unconsciously provoke painful situations in our lives so that the original trauma can be healed. For example: you are feeling grouchy, irritable, numb, and lost, and you criticize your husband for not supporting you enough, for not just listening, (he is trying to solve it and tell you what to do and you just want to be listened to and heard). He responds with, “Something else must be wrong because I have been listening to you a lot lately but you are still really grouchy.” You blow up and yell, “I wanted an apology but instead you are attacking me” and you fall in a heap of crying, blaming, angry despair. The feelings directed at your husband are so real to you but you are actually experiencing post traumatic stress from your childhood. Your husband deserves about 10% of the anger that you are feeling but the other 90% is from your childhood. (90/10 Principle. John Gray,…Venus and Mars).
In that moment you are reexperiencing the unresolved feelings of your self as a small child with legitimate needs to be seen and reassured and loved–you were perhaps rejected by a malignant narcissistic mother who was too busy with her own agenda to stop and be the loving mother you needed in that moment. Perhaps instead she lashed out at you for being too sensitive, told you to knock it off and be quiet so she could think. When you cried harder she may have slapped you on the bottom, screamed at you, and told you that you were giving her a headache and to go play somewhere. You went to your bedroom and cried and cried and she ignored you–you felt rejected, scared, and humiliated but you felt so ashamed that your mother was angry at you that you wiped away your tears and went out and said, “I’m sorry Mommy I will try to be good”. Then, she smiles at you and says, something like, “good, you learned your lesson about obeying me”.
This is horrible abuse for a highly sensitive gifted child whose only way of surviving this situation is to be a shell of her former self, deny all of her legitimate feelings and needs for pursuing her gifts and talents and dreams, and become a little robot shell of a person with all her feelings pushed way down deep to the point of repression. A child incorporates the internalized message of, I must not trust my feelings or I will upset my mother/father and I need her/him. To the less than sensitive observer this exchange seems harmless enough and they might even think “what a good child” or worse “what a good parent to have such a child that obeys so well”. That is one reason that it is difficult for HSPs to change our negative beliefs about ourselves–most of society doesn’t yet understand or support a childs need to express needs contrary to the parent in charge.
You won’t feel guilty about leaving your abusive narcissistic family members behind when you understand that if malignant narcissists are in emotional pain for even a second, they lash out and blame someone else for it–they are not feeling pain the way you and I do–they get rid of it immediately. They put on acts of great suffering because they know it works to make us feel guilty. Don’t fall for it–it is all an act. They are going about their merry way without a trace of remorse or guilt. They pull out the tears and anguish when other family members are around to get them against you–they get relief and control back from these antics so don’t feel guilty about leaving all of the craziness behind.
So back to how pain is helping you have a better life…. The truth too painful to bear as children has to come up as the painful truth or you can’t acknowledge that it happened, release it, learn from it, and find yourself! It is a painful process but you are worth it! Your true voice has been in hiding for far too long. Next time something happens to you that is so painful it makes you want to give up on a person, try telling yourself, “this pain is exactly how I felt as a child when ___ happened to me!” Then write it out with all the pent-up emotion you can conjure up and see if you don’t feel better when as you write you realize you were an innocent victim and have a right to all of those feelings!
You may just be so grateful for the realization that you were a child who deserved so much more that you will even feel grateful for the person in the present that hurt you! They helped you bring a painful truth from your childhood to the surface to be healed. You healed a layer of pain from your childhood! On to the next! Soon you will begin believing in your goodness and see your inner wisdom and kindness. You will begin attracting only loving giving people like you because your bright shining light of your special highly sensitive intuitive soul can now shine through the existing layers making them much easier to process through. The illusions that helped you survive will fall away and a new-found confidence and ease will emerge.
So remember, from the layers of pain and hurt emerges the wonderful and amazing true YOU! You can do it! I hope that my words can assist you through this complex healing process.
Okay, now for the health update: The recent painful injury to my low back/hip sacroiliac joint (S.I.) is another example of how the universe/God helps us along our path with painful obstacles that are lessons in disguise.
My holistic chiropractor was unable to answer my many questions about what I could and couldn’t do and what would help and hinder my recovery. So I made an appointment with a physical therapist that was prescribed by my family doctor. She was able to tell me exactly what ligaments I had sprained, the reasons for my pain, exactly what movements to avoid and which ones were so safe so I could heal in the fastest amount of time. She explained exactly why it had happened to me–with no core strength in my pelvis from lack of exercise, the ligaments were sprained severely requiring 6 to 8 weeks to heal completely.
She explained that sitting and standing hurts because those actions depend entirely on the ligaments I strained, whereas walking uses different muscles. I can sit for a one hour at a time now, can drive for short periods, am allowed to walk on flat surfaces only, and should avoid all stairs as much as possible until I am fully healed. She showed me the correct way to pick up something from the floor, bending at the knees and holding onto something for support–I had been doing it wrong every time. She has given me homework of daily exercises to start strengthening my core muscles as I heal and I am doing them diligently!
Before I went to my physical therapist, there were 3 occasions when I had no pain in the morning (that is usually when I was in the most pain). I had gotten so excited I ended up doing too much that day and the next day I paid for it with pain that sent me back to the couch with ice and rest. The third time it happened I had this surreal moment of anguish but at the same time a moment of grace and surrender–a reminder of how, even though I was exiled to the couch, I had a glimpse of what I had learned spending most of the month of May on the couch unable to move without the severe pain recurring. The month of May gave me an entirely new perspective on my life and this moment of grace made me permanently slow down and appreciate that the small things in life were actually huge things to be grateful for.
It made me realize: the things I missed being able to do most were things I did not expect because they were lost in all the busy activities I took for granted. I missed most being able to sit up and play my guitar and sing my songs without pain. I missed being able to sit and write creatively on my computer for long periods (my last post I had to write and edit in long hand first). I missed being pain-free so that I could concentrate again and get back to coaching my clients–having chronic pain is exhausting and I had to put my coaching on hold for a while (but it has now resumed 🙂 ). Biking, hiking, and dancing were also activities I loved and never found time for. These are all things that have now been moved even higher on my priority list–maybe this injury is the only way for me to really learn what is most important to me in life.
A bonus from all this is that my husband had no idea how much I did around our home and has a new appreciation for all the years I spent managing our home because suddenly, he had to do it all! I didn’t even realize how much I took on. Now he has wonderfully agreed to continue taking on his share of these tasks even after I fully recover (including half of the grocery shopping 🙂 ). After all, I have a successful career too now and it is only fair! My husband was really amazed at how much work it was and he now has a new appreciation of how much time and energy I spent doing it. As I recover I am learning to delegate tasks that need taken care of, but more important than that, I learned to just let the unimportant things go so we can just spend more quality time together and be in the moment enjoying life! I am very grateful for a husband with such a kind and compassionate soul.
With every new victory in my physical abilities, we celebrate together and both of us appreciate our life together and our health so much more. Soon I will be able to dance again. We both loved to go out dancing together when we were younger–why don’t we do that more often! Now with my physical therapist teaching me core strengthening exercises, I am determined to get strong and enjoy things with my husband that we both love to do together: biking, hiking, and dancing! Yay! Through pain came important changes: the ability to slow down, be grateful, and relax and live in the moment; delegating tasks so I have more time to commit to the work and activities that I love; commiting to getting and keeping core strength and stamina; and letting the unimportant things go!
I hope my words have inspired you to look for and find the lessons amidst all the wonderful ups and painful downs of life. I hope I have helped you to find strength in the truth re-experienced by your wise and gifted inner child. And I hope I’ve helped you to slow down and discover the joys in the small blessings in your life.
Hi everyone. I believe there are many, many highly sensitive people (HSPs) out there that are gifted in so many areas but are suffering from self-doubt from their wounds from childhood and by being misunderstood in our society in general. I want to tell you about how I came to be able to write songs and share them with you in the hopes that this will be helpful or inspire you in some way. My being able to write songs is a story about overcoming self-doubt and finding and expressing my true self. It was my songs that helped me uncover the truth of who I really am and what happened to me in my childhood. The ability to write and sing these songs gave me a connection to something spiritual so that I learned to love myself and stop doubting the gifts and feelings that were within me. Writing these songs turned me into a believer–and I now know I am loved and supported by the universe and I became more spiritual and drawn to reading more about what that means.
I feel there is something in the words and melodies of most of my songs that came from something bigger than myself–I was just the channel. I want to inspire, encourage and empower others who are in emotional pain and afraid to show who they really are. I believe those highly sensitive souls are voices that are needed in our society and they are sensitive for a reason. They have a connection to something bigger than themselves that they do not realize and don’t dare show to others because they don’t want to be hurt anymore–so they are hiding. I understand this hiding.
The songs were an instrument in me telling my truth–and gaining the strength to stand up and assert my self and my true voice. These songs were instrumental in my gaining strength and energy and learning finally that there are people who we must avoid while we are healing and people of light and love that are safe to go towards. Being highly sensitive is a gift! And I am grateful and honored to be one of those people. I feel blessed in this gift I have been given and I now have the positive energy to give to and love others only by loving my self first. That is what these songs have done for me. Here is my story:
In 2004 I started writing songs. I had been writing poems in a journal since I was 14. At that time, I was told that things I wrote were crazy but I kept writing anyway because it made me feel better. At that time I trusted others more than I trusted myself and so when I was criticized, ignored, and shamed for my singing too it broke my heart and I gave up on my dream to sing. But I was compelled to sing and write anyway–in secret and in private. I dreamed of being a singer like Linda Rondstadt and sang in my bedroom to all of her albums. I started learning the guitar at 17. (A boyfriend bought it for me–not my parents.) I slowly started learning to play chords to my favorite songs. These were songs by Carole King, James Taylor, Carly Simon, and Linda Ronstadt. (Later on it was songs by Bonnie Raitt and Sheryl Crow). I sang in the choir in high school and college and got great praise but I didn’t believe it. My college voice teacher told me I had the best voice in the whole school of music. But my fear felt too big to overcome so I refused to do any solos–I had stagefright and by graduation I gave up on my dream.
But about once a month something in me would make me sing and play the guitar. I would sing and play my favorite songs for hours for only my self or sometimes for my husband and kids and then put it away for another month. They liked my singing–but I was sure that I wasn’t as good as I thought I was in my heart. I did that for many, many years. Meanwhile, I heard about a book called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I began writing 3 pages a day of free writing called Morning Pages to unblock creativity. (Ellen Degeneres has mentioned on her show that she also does this). Something started happening to me–I was finding out who I was and how I really felt about things. More good writing and poetry started coming out of me–I was feeling more confident in myself and happier.
My children were having big successes in singing at school. I had been careful not to push them in any direction but the ones of their own choosing. To my surprise they both were drawn to singing in their own way. My eldest became a soloist in high school and eventually a lead singer in a cover band in college. My 2nd child was successful in acting and sang beautifully in solos in musical theatre productions at school. They had no stagefright at all! I was so proud of them and proud of myself for raising children with no stagefright! I would often joke,” I can die now”, but it made me realize how important singing was to me but I was still paralyzed in fear that my voice was not good enough for others to hear. I knew this was irrational and started singing more often but there was still so much doubt in my mind. It was exhausting to try and easier to just not try to sing for others. I sang more often but still just kept it to myself.
When my eldest child went off to college and my husband started traveling more throughout the week I had more time to myself to recharge and suddenly one day I was inspired to put music to the poem I was writing in my journal. I remember a melody came to me and it seemed as a gift from above to go with these words I was writing. Not until after I was done writing it (long hand), with this melody in my head, did I pick up the guitar to try to play it and miraculously it fit perfectly with the few chords I knew well. I recorded it on a tape recorder and, during a rare and brave moment, I dared to show it to my other child’s voice teacher who really liked it and said “you are a folk singer/songwriter” and also that he was jealous because he had a masters in music and couldn’t write any songs. This first song was entitled I’ll Believe and it felt like this song may have been a gift from above and that I had just been open to receive it and put it all together. After that, songs just started pouring out of me and I always put the date on every song I write because it is important to me to acknowledge when it was given to me.
Not only that, each song was prompted by an emotional state and a painful learning experience. Sometimes I would feel a lot of shame after the song was complete because I dared to pour out my truth. I soon realized that my best songs were the ones I felt the most shame about initially. I knew this shame was not the truth. Then I would make myself listen to a tape of my recorded songs when I wasn’t feeling good about them or myself. Every time I listened, I was surprised that I had written these songs and they changed my mood from feeling lost and numb to finding myself and finding my joy in life again for that day. It was a very healing experience as I saw myself getting more and more confident in expressing my “voice” in more ways than one. I realized that because of the internalized shame from my childhood, I was beating myself up all the time and it was up to me to start believing in myself and to stop believing the inner critic inside my head. It wasn’t true. I was actually good. How many other things I believed about myself also were not really true? I was finding my voice as a person as well and speaking up for myself and standing up for myself in all areas of my life.
So it is the lyrics and the music that I feel helped me to find myself and I hope that they will be a source of hope and healing to you as well. Right now, I have written about 40 songs. 20 of them that I am releasing the lyrics to you I call my “Songs of Hope and Healing”. And that is the inspiration for the name of this website. Please let me know either by comment or by email if there are lyrics that speak to you.
15 to 20 % of us are Highly Sensitive People (HSPs). We are a valuable and essential resource to our planet! Overcoming self-doubt and finding our voice IS our true purpose in life. Find the courage to trust that those gifts you were given are meant to be expressed and will be helpful to others by inspiring them to find their gifts as well. The desires deep in your heart are the path to finding your true purpose in life. You can overcome your self-doubt! You are sensitive for a reason!
Thank you to my readers. I have been getting emails and it’s great to know that I am reaching you and that what I am doing is helping.
With love, Roxanne