If we’re honest – while the journey through alchemizing my trauma was vast, twisty, psychedelic, unpredictable, and exponentially expansive – I could, if pressed, truthfully sum up my healing process in three steps:
1. I recognized that I was doing a lot of great things for romantic partners in codependent relationships with me who were not appreciating me for them.
2. I started doing those great things for my friends and people in my life who DID appreciate me for them, and who often reciprocated them.
3. I then extended the offer of those great things to people I didn’t know well or sometimes at all in exchange for a fair and reasonable payment so that I could begin to sustain myself and appreciate myself for that value in ways that those who took it for granted never did.
Despite all the dips and breakthroughs and highs and tears and ceremonies and rituals and red herrings and redirections and the juggling of quantum timelines, the great zoomed-out picture of my healing process is that it was simply a redirection of energy, a slow but steady means of turning the current around, of plugging up the leaks. I had been giving away my power, and I called my power back. I turned my open loop into a closed one.
2016 Arden would not understand this post, by the way – “current? power? what power?” 2015 Arden would not only misunderstand it, but she would feel despair at it – she’d think I was telling her she had to be okay with being alone, which she would think meant that I was implying that she didn’t deserve the love she wanted, and that I was kinkshaming her to boot.
Don’t feel discouraged if it sounds too simplistic from where you are. I didn’t know who I’d be on the other side. I walked through that first door blindly, I surrendered and said yes to Death. You only need to take the first step.
But if we’re being honest, those three steps are not an inaccurate summation. From this side of things, it really is that simple.