The following story took place at my Deep Emotional Healing Breathwork Retreat last month. My client attended individual sessions for about one year for issues related to self-esteem, career, trauma and relationships. She’d been making steady progress, and the groundwork had been laid for a giant leap. You’ll hear the story from my client’s point of view. May it inspire your hero’s journey to your Authentic Self.
Written by R.M.N.
Edited by Benita A. Esposito, MA
For many years, I stuffed away painful experiences and pretended like I was fine. I stored unwanted memories in an old chest, and covered it up with bright smiles and social graces so no one could see what was hidden inside.
Now, I understand how debilitating that was. In the book, The Body Keeps the Score, the author talks about how painful experiences imprint trauma on our bodies, and these experiences fester until we release them.
When I was in my twenties, I taught English as a Second Language overseas. My adventures brought a mixed bag of joy, loneliness, perseverance, and gut-wrenching pain. Trauma gripped me in a hostile take-over, dimming my view of myself, and how I thought others saw me. Shame kept my vulnerable parts hidden.
By the time I reached my early thirties, I was tired of stuffing everything that ached, and my coping mechanism of “grinning and bearing it” could no longer contain the pain.
When I met Benita in July 2021, I was completely burned out. I was a shell of the person I used to be. There were times when I closed my eyes and wondered what happened to the naturally energetic person I once was. How had I become a person who was barely scraping by?
I longed for the pure essence of my innermost self, and I knew that to find her, I needed to break the chains of trauma that were stored in my body. I was determined to penetrate every stuck layer inside of me.
In the Deep Emotional Healing Breathwork Retreat, I experienced immense healing and lightbulb moments with Benita’s teaching illustrations. They created the ideal framework with which to embark on the inner healing journey. With God’s help and Benita’s guidance, that is exactly what took place.
I wrote this after the breathwork session on the first day of the retreat.
Written by R.M.N.
Edited by Benita A. Esposito, MA
I revisited all my layers today, screaming and crying
Many of these layers were pure darkness
I couldn’t see anything
I reflected on this and came to the conclusion
That the Holy Spirit was protecting me from scary visions
things that I’ve seen but didn’t want to see
He knew I would be re-traumatized living out those experiences again
My body revealed to me where there was pain
I let go of the pain
Every last drop
I saw Jesus take my hands
He held out his hands to me and I put my hands in His
Can you trust me with your whole life?
Yes, I trust you with my whole life
Can you love yourself the way I love you?
And for the first time, I realized I could love myself unconditionally
All the parts
All the bruises
All the scars
Jesus showed me that I could love myself like that
And I cried and cried
I screamed and cried
Can you give it all to me? Every part of you that hurts
And when I gave him everything I could that was a part of me
I am healing you
You are healed
You can start again
And I laughed
I asked Jesus about my direction
He pointed to the lit path in the forest
Lights guiding my way
When you know, you will see
When I asked Jesus about my gifts
Dig for them – you need to dig for them
So with clawed fists, I dug and dug
I saw the treasures that were buried within me
When I asked Jesus what my gifts were
You’re a writer. I made you to be a writer
He validated my desire to coach students as a student success coach
And then he told me my strengths
Listener, Kindness, Compassion, and Empathy
These were just a few of the many he said
He made me feel whole
When we got to the beach
He gave me a metallic box – a side-hinged metallic heart-shaped box
When I opened it up
I saw a red heart – it looked like a Jello mold heart
He told me
This is your true heart
I realized then that the metallic heart was my armored heart
The heart that I showed the world
To shine your light, you need to show your true heart
I looked into His eyes
And I felt loved for all of me
During the breathwork retreat, I unlocked the lid of that old chest and I invited each memory to emerge so it could be felt in the light of day and healed. The parts of my inner family that had been tarnished from years of trauma were restored and integrated. I felt like I had gone through a body-soul-mind detox. I felt cleansed and brand new. Made whole once again.
If you would like help to transform limiting patterns in your life, please complete the questionnaire on the Contact Page. Read about my life coaching, spiritual counseling, and retreats for Highly Sensitive Introverts.
Benita A. Esposito, MA is the author of the bestseller, The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert: Wisdom for Emotional Healing and Expressing Your Radiant Authentic Self available on Amazon.
As a highly sensitive person herself, Benita can easily understand highly sensitive people, your challenges and your beautiful gifts. Zoom videoconferences are available worldwide.
Click here to read Benita Esposito’s life story.
Photo credits: Chest bright blankets by jppi at Morguefile.com
Benita Esposito: Alysia Hargus/Alysia Hargus Photography
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