Healing for Lonely Abandoned Hearts

This short story was written by a highly sensitive person at one of our Deep Emotional Healing Retreats.

I discovered that I was highly sensitive in early 2019. It was a great relief to learn that my tendency for deep thinking and being highly emotional were both quite normal.

In July 2019 I felt an increasing sense of separation and isolation from people, even at my church. I felt like no one really understood what it was like to want to be deep and emotional.

I had often felt isolated when I was younger, and I thought that I had finally accepted it, but the loneliness came back.

At the same time, I wanted very much to be vulnerable with my emotions, but I was very insecure about doing that. I thought doing so would make me stand out, and standing out was often very stressful for me.

I craved deep relationships, but I didn’t know how to find them.

I searched for resources about how to live as a highly sensitive Christian and found Benita Esposito’s book, The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert, in August 2019.

Two of Benita’s stories particularly resonated with me in a way no other book has. 
 
The first was about how her father punished her when she was a young child. I also had a similar experience with my mother when I was young, which I’ll talk about below.

The second was about a time when Benita was on a retreat and didn’t feel like socializing but just wanted to let herself be sad and cry. I felt like that so often, but I usually didn’t dare to show it.

I wanted so much to feel free to be my emotional self.
 
A couple of the exercises in her book seemed strange to me, and I was skeptical they would do anything for me. One was the “Sacred Inner Beloved” dialogs where I was supposed to write a dialog between God and myself. The other was the reparenting exercise where I was to write a reconciliation dialog between my mother and myself.

Mysteriously, within a few days of reading about each of those exercises, I found my mind was doing the exercise as I awoke in the morning. I jumped out of bed and started writing and the words just flowed.

The Sacred Inner Beloved speaks.

In my Sacred Inner Beloved exercise, Jesus told me how precious I was to Him, and how He longed to spend time with me in nature. He urged me to accept His love. I had an image of embracing Him and crying on His shoulder. I cried as I was writing, too. I felt Him say, “Don’t be afraid to cry. Your tears are an anointing to me. I am honored to receive this from you, like I received the tears from the woman who washed My feet with her tears.”

Jesus continued to speak loving, affirming words to me about how precious I was to Him. He promised to heal me.

One surprising promise was that I would be a healer of hearts. That’s something I wanted, but I wasn’t sure if I was hearing Him clearly.

Trauma and Re-parenting Myself

While I was meditating a couple of months ago, I recalled a traumatic memory. Here is the historical version as best as I can remember.

When I was about 5 years old, we were having a party at our house, and my mother asked me to open a bottle of soda for the guests. When I put the bottle on the table and twisted the cap, the foam overflowed onto the table. My mom saw what happened and scolded me in an angry voice, “You must have shaken the bottle.”

I was very hurt. I ran to my room, lay down on my bed facing the wall and sobbed. My mom came in later and tried to comfort me by saying, “If I scold you, all you need to do is scold back at me.” But it felt disrespectful to do that. I hurt too much to even say anything.

During my meditation, the following altered vision of the event came to my mind.

After the soda overflowed, my mom saw what happened, and instead of scolding, she grabbed two rags and ran over to the table. She put the soda cap back on, handed me one of the rags, and said, “Quick, let’s get this cleaned up together.” I didn’t feel shunned and ashamed any more. Then I said (still as a child in my mind), “Are you ok, Mom? Are you stressed or sad? Is something bothering you?” It’s as though I could see past my pain, and could show compassion instead.

Then my thoughts were taken to a scene that might happen soon in my present-day reality. I saw myself saying to my mom, “Were you stressed or sad when I was young?” (I think the answer would be yes.) I said, “I think I can forgive you now,” and hugged her with tears moistening my eyes.

But that was only a vision. Afterward, I felt like it would take a long time to be able to forgive my mom in reality.

Private Breathwork Practice

Benita explained the breathwork procedure so I could practice by myself before I attended her Deep Emotional Healing Retreat.

During a couple of these sessions, I became very sad and felt like God was abandoning me. Once the feeling became so intense that I said aloud, “Don’t leave me!” I felt like I was in a dark place even though the sun was shining brightly outside. Later, I felt God saying that He was with me. I felt that I would start coming out of the darkness soon by going to Benita’s retreat.

Traveling to the Retreat (October 4, 2019)

I didn’t know what I would gain from the retreat, but I felt a very strong sense that this is what I had to do for myself. As I was driving to the retreat, I saw the mountains in the distance and started to weep. I remember saying to myself with a deep yearning, “I’m going to get help.” I really felt God calling me to this beautiful place for healing and that He would meet me in a special way.

Trust-building at the Retreat (October 5-6, 2019)

I found myself quickly trusting the other retreat members. I think it was because I knew we were all there to find healing and that many (if not all) were highly sensitive like myself. I was very ready to remove my mask because I felt that if anyone could understand me, it would be these people.

During those two days, I wept more than I ever had in the presence of other people. It was incredibly freeing to finally express my emotional self and not feel like people were staring at me for being strange or different.

Retreat first day: Breathwork (October 5, 2019)

We did a group breathwork session for more than an hour on the first day. For me, breathwork is similar to a waking dream where my emotional self is freer to explore deep emotions, desires, and unresolved wounds from my past. I also connect with God. Some of the thoughts and images made sense, and others were more mysterious and symbolic.

Early in the session, I felt like I was lost in a dark unfamiliar place. I remember being afraid and wondering, “Where am I?” Then I felt like I was being rescued from drowning and was coughing up water.

After some time, I felt the presence of Jesus. A sense of peace came over me. The music changed to something that sounded like a choir, and I had a vision of angels standing with Jesus. I felt so loved and sensed Him saying to me, “I will move heaven and earth for you. My legions of angels will be with you and help you.”

Almost immediately I sensed the pain among the other members, and I thought, “I’ll take that pain upon myself.” But an inner voice told me, “You need to ask Jesus to take their pain.” I imagined bringing each member to the embrace of Jesus so He could bear their pain. I embraced them from behind so I could be an added comfort to them. It felt good to comfort a hurting person.

Some time passed, and I had an image of myself as a baby in the hospital. (When I was younger, my parents had told me that when I was a baby, I had a bad fever and had to stay in the hospital.) I felt really alone and abandoned. I also had an image of my parents watching me with concern, but not being able to come near me. I believe that this experience was the true source of my feelings of abandonment that I experienced during my private breathwork sessions.

Later, I felt my stomach tensing up. I don’t let people touch my stomach. If they do, I wince and get tense in that area. Benita came over and placed her hand on my stomach and also on my chest, and I relaxed a little. Her touch felt safe, and I didn’t feel any need to tense up defensively. I felt a healing power through her hands. As I kept on breathing deeply, I felt the urge to exhale violently as though I needed to expel something really dark and evil. At one point I even wiped my mouth in disgust and told the evil to leave me. After I felt like the evil was sufficiently gone, I relaxed.

Retreat second day: Reparenting (October 6, 2019) 

During the group reparenting exercise, one member took the role of the stern version of my mom and another member took the role of the compassionate version.

I was able to express to my stern mother how hurt and crushed and shamed I felt by her scolding during the soda incident. I was shouting, “How could you do that to me? I’m your son!”

When the compassionate mother was comforting me, I recalled all the reparenting work I had already done. I said to the stern mother, “I know that I didn’t come with instructions. I know you had your own problems at the time.”

Then I had the chance to play the role of the compassionate father for another retreat member. I placed my hands on her shoulders as she expressed her pain about being neglected by her father. I felt a deep sadness. When she started to cry, I was overcome with emotion and I wept, too. Then I knelt down face-to-face with her. I held her hands and talked to her as her compassionate father. I was still crying, and I couldn’t speak very loudly.

Benita guided me in what to say, such as, “I do love you, my daughter.”

I wanted so much to make the client feel loved, and I had so many affirming words in my heart that I wanted to express. I said, “I’m so sorry,” and went on to say all the different ways she was precious and the activities we would do together.

After a few minutes, the stern father also approached, facing her and standing behind me. He began to speak affirming words. I felt like I needed to allow them to reconcile more fully, so I moved to the side so I was no longer between them. Then I took her (the client’s) hands and joined them with the stern father’s, and I put my hands on top of both their hands, while the stern father continued to affirm her. We stayed that way until he was finished with his healing words.

That experience was one of the most fulfilling that I ever remember. Jesus said comforting words to me in my Sacred Inner Beloved dialogs, and now His love and affirmation were flowing through me to help others.

Post Retreat Debrief (October 7, 2019)

Benita and I had a private session after the retreat. I told her that I didn’t think I was ready to tell my mom that I forgave her. Benita encouraged me to be more intentional about writing reparenting dialogs, and I agreed to do that a few times before our next meeting.

An Unexpected Conversation with my Mother (October 8, 2019)

When I got home after the retreat, I felt a strong desire to ask my mom about the details of the time I was sick as a baby. I told her that at the retreat I recalled a feeling of being abandoned in that incident, even though I have no conscious memory of the event because I was a baby.

She told me that I had a serious infection which required me to stay in the hospital for several days. The doctors had to try two kinds of antibiotics to stop the infection. My mom went back and forth between home and hospital to keep checking on me. The nurses didn’t allow her to hold me because that might disturb the IVs I was hooked up to, so she could only caress me with her hand. But she was so adamant about holding me that she did it anyway when the nurses weren’t looking. She knew I needed that comfort.

For several days after I was released from the hospital, I cried and fussed whenever my mom wasn’t carrying me. Apparently, I was so traumatized that I needed to feel safe in her arms. My mom barely slept for a week because she walked around with me in a sling or I wouldn’t fall asleep.

After hearing this, I realized it was getting late, so I went back to my apartment to sleep. (I live in the same building as my parents.) My soul was so moved with admiration by what my mom did for me that I felt I needed to tell her. I remembered a story that I read in Benita’s book when she saw a beautiful ski jacket. She said, “My inner voice told me to share my joy because expressing my joy as well as my pain was part of being true to my Authentic Self.”

I went back to my parents’ apartment. I didn’t have words, so I just opened my arms to hug my mom and started to cry. She thought it was because I was still feeling the abandonment as a baby. But I said it was more than that, and that we could about it talk later. She wanted to hear the rest of what I had to say right then.

I told her about the soda incident and my “revised version” where we cleaned up the mess together, and where I asked if she was stressed.

She said that was very mature of me to think that way, and remarked how much the retreat must have done for me. She told me that she was stressed when I was young because of family tensions and mistreatment. I knew about some of this mistreatment, and now she was confirming what my intuition had told me. The mistreatment was likely the cause of her outburst at me when the soda overflowed.

After a few moments, I felt a strong desire to reconnect with her, and I reached out for her hand. She gave me her hand but also hugged me, and I cried again, and she cried a little, too. Then I told her that I was ready to forgive her. I now understood that her harshness was due to her own problems at the time.

We talked about some of our recent conflicts. One was where she made a comment that I was neglectful for not putting away the leftovers. (I couldn’t do it right away because I was occupied with something.) Her comment had really triggered me and after stewing on it, I had told her it wasn’t ok to attack me for being irresponsible.

When recounting this incident, my mom said that she often says things in an off-handed way just to make conversation because she feels like silence is “stuffy.” She suggested that I just “argue back” in a friendly way when she says offensive things because she feels better when doing that. But I told her that I feel worse when I need to confront people and that my feelings are easily hurt. I told her I prefer nonverbal communication, so instead of filling the silence with banter, how about just a hug?

The amazing thing is that I realized this “nonverbal” preference of mine during a private session with Benita, and now I had the knowledge to express that to my mom.

We hugged one last time before I went off to bed. I didn’t cry this time but felt very much at peace. When getting ready for bed, I had a song playing in the background. Before the retreat, this song would bring up a sad yearning feeling, as in “I don’t like where I am now, but I know somehow it’s going to get better.” But listening to the song now felt very different, as in “I’m in a good place. I feel ready to spread my wings and soar!”

This was an absolutely miraculous outcome … one I didn’t expect to happen so soon.

So many different things that I experienced while working with Benita came together at once: reading her book, the private reparenting, the group reparenting, the breathwork visions, the one-on-one sessions, being with kindred spirits at the retreat, remembering Benita’s jacket story.

I feel that God brought everything together. Each piece was necessary for this transformation.

Now my mom and I have made a habit of embracing almost every day.

Final Closure (October 10, 2019)

I woke up feeling very loved by God. He said to me, “Though you are lost, I will go to the ends of the earth to find you and bring you to Myself.”

God had one more thing to teach me about my past trauma.

Up to this point, I had two versions of the soda incident when I was five years old: the historical one that originally traumatized me and the one where my mom was perfectly reasonable and we cleaned up the spill together.

A third version came to mind.

Mom scolds me, and I start to cry, but then she immediately says, “I’m sorry for saying that. Come here.” She embraces me until I feel accepted again. She says again, “I’m so sorry I said those hurtful things. You’ll always be my precious baby.” I hold her tight and feel her warmth until I feel entirely comforted. When she feels that and notices that I loosen my embrace, she looks into my eyes and says, “Ok now? I’ll hold you as long as you want.” I say, “I’m OK now.” Then she grabs two cloths, hands me one and says, “Let’s clean this up together.”

I realize now that it’s important not to completely cover over a traumatic memory with an idealized version, or to hold the traumatic one and the ideal one as separate versions.

Loved ones will hurt us sometimes. That’s the reality of this fallen world. But God provides means of reconciliation and understanding and healing. When that happens, in God’s time, we become free to merge the hurt and the love into the beautiful tapestry where both darkness and light play their part. The light appears so much brighter when seen against the backdrop of darkness.

~ The End. ~   Lovingly shared by “KL”

Did you find this story compelling? If you are interested in attending a Highly Sensitive Person Retreat or a Deep Emotional Healing Retreat, please click here for the retreat schedule in Georgia, USA.

Click here for a complimentary 10-minute phone interview to see if you are a good fit for these retreats. Make your plans well ahead of time because you will need to fulfill prerequisites.

Complete the contact page and Benita Esposito will do her best to reach out to you within 48 hours.

Credentials: Retreat Facilitator, Benita A. Esposito, MA, LPC

Highly Sensitive Person Retreat

Two days: May 30-31, 2020. North Georgia Mountains, USA

Early Bird Date: March 30, 2020

  • Have you ever been told you are too sensitive, just get over it?
  • Do you have intense emotions that fire rapidly and last longer than other people’s?
  • Do you become overwhelmed by conflict and aggressive people?
  • Do you feel distressed when you have too much to do in too little time?
  • Do noisy crowds and social chit chat at networking events irritate you?

Do you have a highly sensitive personality?  Take the quiz.

70% of all highly sensitive people are introverts. All Highly Sensitive People are welcome in this retreat … if you are an introvert, an extrovert, or an ambivert. Join us!
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Who Should Attend
This retreat is a safe place for Highly Sensitive People to do deep emotional healing and excavate their Authentic Self so you can experience inner peace and self-confidence. This retreat is for people who are at an intermediate or advanced level in their personal/spiritual growth journey.
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Retreat Goals
I’ll help you understand the highly sensitive person trait so you can increase your  self-awareness and self-worth. You’ll grow in your ability to know your true identity and express your Authentic Self. You’ll enjoy more fulfilling relationships and create a fulfilling career so that work is an expression of your soul.
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Do you want to get to know Benita Esposito before applying for this retreat?
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I’m a Highly Sensitive Person Therapist. I am a highly sensitive person (HSP), a licensed professional counselor, a life coach and a spiritual counselor with four decades of professional experience to help you make faster progress on your Hero’s Journey to the Authentic Self.

The-Gifted-Highly-Sensitive-Introvert-Book

Click here to read my short personal story about being a Highly Sensitive Person

You may read my book — a memoir and teaching stories about my trials and triumphs as an HSP, The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert: Wisdom for Emotional Healing and Expressing Your Radiant Authentic Self.  It’s available as an ebook, paperback and an audiobook.  Click here to purchase it on Amazon. You can also go to Audible.com or your iTunes app for the audiobook.

Click here to watch my book video.

Highly Sensitive Persons also might like my guided meditation CD, A Journey into Wholeness. Click here.

The Research on Highly Sensitive People (HSP)

A new personality type emerged from Dr. Elaine Aron’s groundbreaking psychological research: the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP).

Only 20% of the population is highly sensitive. That means 80% of the population is wired differently than we are. No wonder we feel misunderstood.

I particularly love counseling and coaching highly sensitive people because I am one.

Gifts of the Highly Sensitive Person
We’re conscientious and responsible. We are deeply moved by the beauty of Nature and the arts. We are touched by the feelings of those around us. Many of us are empaths. That means that we actually feel the emotions of others. That helps us be adept healers, friends, lovers and team members. We’re troubled by conflict, and we want to decrease the violence in a world. Our intuition tells us what needs to be done to help people feel comfortable, and we truly want what is best for everyone. Sometimes we can predict the future. We easily see outcomes that others can’t see. We love deeply and passionately. When emotional intimacy is combined with sexual intimacy in a loving healthy committed relationship, there’s nothing better.  Without it, we feel empty. We are happy when our creative juices are set free. A world filled with harmony, mutual respect and creativity sounds just right to us.

Happy mature woman outdoors in the parkHighly Sensitive Person Problems and Relationships

Anxiety and depression are familiar, especially if our personal or professional relationships are not healthy, or if we grew up in a dysfunctional family.

It’s easy to feel what other people feel, and we can understand people at depth. But, we may feel like we are losing ourselves in a relationship, especially if people don’t nurture us in return. We tend to give more than we receive.

It’s challenging to assert ourselves and express our needs because we defer to people-pleasing. That leaves us feeling depleted after a while. We want harmony. We want to keep the peace. Ironically, we can also become harsh and aggressive if we have not yet mastered the art of setting boundaries tactfully.

Some of us highly sensitive people actually take on the pain of others, which helps the other person heal, but leaves us exhausted. If you have this type of sensitivity, you are an “empath” like I am. Before we understand this trait, we may not know that we are taking on emotions that actually belong to others. Our bodies may experience chronic fatigue and pain and we may not know why.

We can feel like a ball tossed around on turbulent ocean waves, unable to find a stable base inside ourselves.

We might try to get family members to change so we can feel calm inside. But it rarely works, even though we may use that approach for years before we become exhausted.

We need to commit to cultivating inner peace no matter what is happening on the outside.

Too much stimulation from the environment stresses us. We’re like cats whose sensitive whiskers and ears sense tiny movements all around us.

We tend to be light sleepers and insomnia is common especially when traveling and sleeping in strange environments.

Because we are so sensitive, we need daily relaxation just to stay centered. We need to meditate to restore our inner peace and regain energy.

In a world that values high productivity and undervalues naps, HSPs can get burned out if we don’t take a stand for good self-care. That includes healthy food, 7.5-8 hours of good quality sleep, exercise, supportive relationships and satisfying work.

Highly Sensitive People don’t like:

  • People yelling at us
  • Conflicts that aren’t resolved
  • People making too many demands
  • Loud noises, crowds and violent movies
  • Rush hour at high speeds, bumper to bumper traffic
  • Temperatures that are too cold or too hot
  • Odors, chemicals and other things that don’t bother 80% of the population.

Needs of the Highly Sensitive Person

Highly sensitive people need authentic, genuine emotional connections more than most people. We feel empty inside when we don’t get it.

There’s a deep ache. We need quiet time to go inside. Our spirituality is important to us. We need to learn how to regulate our emotions when we’re stressed. We need beauty. We need to meditate. We need to slow down. We need to be creative.

We need help to learn how to manage our highly sensitive qualities.

We have incredible gifts to help people and to make the world a better place. We are counselors, healers, artists, writers, philosophers, teachers, IT geniuses and pastors. We facilitate healing for people, we’re creative team members, and we understand people at depth. We’re intuitive and spiritual.

We must take good care of ourselves, or we have a high price to pay, higher than most. When not balanced, we get irritable, sick, exhausted, anxious, depressed or feel physical pain. Like Goldie Locks in the story of the three bears, we like our porridge not too hot, not too cold, but just right.

Retreat Activities

The activities unfold organically to meet the needs of the participants. I offer several healing modalities: Processes to help the group bond, feel safe and supported. Guided meditations with soothing music. One-to-one coaching in front of the group so everyone learns vicariously. This is a spiritual healing format. If you want hands-on-healing, I will do that. If you don’t, I won’t. I honor your choice.

Breathwork is one of the primary transformational healing process used in this retreat.  It’s intense and deep so you’re likely to experience impressive results. We work directly with the body-mind-spirit to access unconscious emotional memory, sometimes as far back as in-utero and infancy. We want to heal the very beginning of life-long patterns so we can be free to be who we really are: our Authentic Self.

This retreat is not for beginners. Participants must want to feel deep emotions where they can heal the root of unconscious material.

Most people have prior counseling or life coaching or group work. You may be currently working with another therapist and use this retreat as an adjunct to your therapy.

Requirement: Please read all these articles before applying for this retreat.

  1. Breathwork Description
  2. Breathwork Client Anecdotes
  3. Breathwork Q&A
  4. Breathwork Testimonials

Prerequisites for the Retreat

  1. Attend a minimum of three private sessions. There is an additional fee for these sessions. We can meet at my Blairsville, Georgia office, or meet via phone or videoconference.
  2. Read all the Breathwork articles above.

Photo: Benita A. Esposito. Hiawassee, GA

Location: Young Harris, Georgia. Overlooking Lake Chatuge and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Two hours from Atlanta, Chattanooga and Asheville.

Schedule

Saturday and Sunday
Arrive at 9:00-9:15am
Group 9:30am – 12:30pm
Lunch Break  12:30 – 2:30pm
Group  2:30 – 5:30pm
Saturday evening: group dinner

Please be flexible on the ending time to accommodate the needs of the group. We will take one long break during the afternoon to walk at the lake, meditate, nap or deepen friendships. It’s your choice.

Retreat Tuition for two full days: $595.00

Early bird $25 discount by March 30

Register Now: This is a small group so you will get plenty of personal attention. Space allows for 6 people so register early to save your seat. Contact me for payment instructions.

Pre-requisite: Minimum of 3 private sessions.

Click here for a list of Lodging and Restaurants.

Contact me, Benita A. Esposito, MA,  Licensed Professional Counselor, for a complimentary 10-minute phone interview.

Facilitator: Benita A. Esposito Credentials. Masters degree in Clinical Psychology and four decades experience.

Read more about the challenges and gifts of the Highly Sensitive Person in my bestselling book:

The Gifted Highly Sensitive Introvert: Wisdom for Emotional Healing and Expressing Your Radiant Authentic Self  by Benita A. Esposito

P.S. If you’re interested in receiving individual counseling, life coaching or spiritual counseling, you can start by contacting me for a complimentary 10-minute interview. I’m happy to help.

Refund Policy

All refund requests must be made via email. Complete the contact form.

• 30 or more days before the retreat, there will be a full refund minus a $50 processing fee.

• No refunds 0 – 29 days before the retreat, but you may apply your fee to private sessions or another retreat within 1 year, minus a $50 fee.

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Healing Trauma with Breathwork: Abortion and Open Heart Surgery

This story was written by one of my clients who chose to remain anonymous. I’ll call her Sally.

Sally was a smart business leader whom people respected. She felt confident at work, but she had trouble forming fulfilling friendships. She felt empty inside.

When Sally began the Deep Emotional Healing Retreat, she had no idea that her difficulty was rooted in unresolved trauma. This story illustrates how quickly transformation can occur when we do body-based emotional-spiritual healing.

Breathwork accesses unconscious memories that rarely surface in talk therapy. That’s why breathwork is such a powerful therapeutic tool.

Here’s Sally’s story.

For a long time, I had been living in my head and keeping my distance from people. I wanted to get in touch with my spiritual heart. My objectives for the Deep Emotional Healing retreat were to make a deeper connection with myself and others.

During the first breathwork session, I experienced pain and a tight knot in my pelvic area. It was so painful that I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Benita placed her hand on the spot, applied pressure and coached me to breathe through the pain.

I realized that I was angry and agitated. The experience reminded me of the time when I was 20 when my ex-husband forced me to have an abortion against my will.

I experienced great pain, guilt and grief from this experience. I am very angry with myself for allowing someone to have such control over me.

Benita and I decided to have another healing session the second day of the retreat. This is what I experienced during the next breathwork healing session.

We said prayers, played music and everyone sat close to me for support. I started breathing deeply and I felt the painful knot in my stomach. My body started contorting and I had to sit up. People laid their hands on me for support.

I spontaneously shouted, “No, No, No! Leave Me Alone!” And then after a few minutes I screamed, “Help Me, Help Me!” I repeated these words over and over, feeling them deeply. This went on for a long time. Finally, I laid back down and I felt very calm and peaceful.

Benita asked me questions about what happened. I said that I had wanted my daughter here with me in the physical plane. I always knew that this child was a girl. I felt like I was talking to my daughter on a spiritual plane. She explained that she knew that this pregnancy would not reach term, and that we were not going to be together on the physical plane. She said that she is always very close to me and does not blame me in any way. I felt very calm and peaceful after this experience.

I had more insights about this experience during the following week. The feelings, sensations and words that I spoke during the healing session reminded me of another traumatic time in my life.

When I was eight years old, I had open-heart surgery and was in the hospital for several months. It was a terrifying experience. To make matters worse, I was in a training hospital so each morning 10-12 doctors would come into my room. They asked me questions and took blood. I was under an oxygen tent and I would crawl up into the tent and tuck the corners under me. I screamed at them to go away and leave me alone.

It was a very scary feeling of helplessness. It took many years to be able to go to the doctor and get a shot or have them take blood without getting scared and crying.

During the breathwork session, I was curled up like I was in the oxygen tent. I screamed at them to leave me alone. I begged for help like I tried to do when I was eight.

During both of these experiences, I felt great helplessness like I had no control over what was happening to me. But with Benita’s support and the help of the group, I was able to fully process the painful experiences and sensations. I was able to breathe through them and then my body finally released them.

Immediately after the breathwork sessions and now a week later, the physical and emotional pain of these two traumatic experiences no longer haunts me.

I feel a kind of inner peace that I’ve never known before.

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If you’d like to experience deep emotional healing, contact Benita A. Esposito for a complimentary 10-minute phone interview to see if her psychotherapy, life coaching and spiritual counseling is a good fit for you.

You can experience rapid healing in the following retreats: highly sensitive person retreats, breathwork retreats and deep emotional healing retreats.

View the Retreat Schedule: click here.

Benita A. Esposito, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor credentials.

Offices in Atlanta (Sandy Springs) and Blairsville, GA.

Distance counseling and spiritual healing is available via phone and videoconference from the comfort of your own home.

Healing Grief: Breathwork Opens the Heart and Mends Relationships

This story was written by one of my clients and posted with permission.

 

My mother died when I was two, and then an abusive stepmother raised me.

I have worked with Benita Esposito for 10 months. I have done both personal counseling as well as incredible couples counseling with my husband. I’m so grateful that I accepted her invitation to attend a Deep Emotional Healing Retreat that included breathwork. I was apprehensive. It seemed a little unnerving to not have control over the outcome, or know what would come up during breathwork, but I enrolled anyway because I trusted Benita.

My background
I’ve had a life-long insecure attachment style that has impacted all my relationships, including my marriage of 17 years. One psychotherapist suggested that I do a year of CBT (cognitive behavioral talk therapy) and start on an anti-depressant. I knew deep in my soul that what I needed was healing on an emotional level.

My birth mother died when I was barely two years old and my father remarried four and a half months later. I had been the third of four in my family, and then overnight I had three older step siblings, so I became number six of seven. My birth mother was very sick during my first two years of life, and she also had another young baby. So you can imagine that getting individual loving attention from her might have been challenging. I was often cared for by aunts and grandparents before my birth mother passed away.

My stepmother was not a nurturing woman. In fact, she was either mildly or extremely abusive during my childhood. The abuse included verbal, emotional and physical aggression. The verbal abuse lasted until I was 40 when I finally began to stand up for myself. Needless to say, I was not “attuned” with my stepmother when I was growing up. I still call her weekly and do my best to care for her. I do this out of love for my deceased father and my commitment to being a Disciple of Christ, not out of a great love for my stepmother. I have grieved for years about not having a deep mother-daughter relationship.

From the beginning of my 17-year marriage, I tried to develop a healthy loving bond with my three stepchildren. They rejected me from the very beginning. Even though we had lots of counseling with other therapists, I continued to feel very vulnerable and emotionally unsafe with my husband and his children. I’m sensitive to criticism and triggered when I feel emotionally abandoned. My husband’s family has told me that I am touchy and defensive. The optimist in me kept thinking, “If I can’t have a loving attachment with my stepmother, maybe I can have one with my stepdaughters.” Fortunately, God does compensate, and I have a daughter-in-law that I’m very close to, as well as other young women that are open to the love I have to share.

During the Breathwork

My overall goals for the retreat were to develop a deeper relationship with all my stepdaughters, to heal my feelings of abandonment, and to finally earn a feeling of secure attachment.

My focus during our first session of breathwork on Saturday was to (1) heal the grief of my mother’s death, (2) heal the hurt of the childhood neglect and abuse, and (3) heal the grief of my father’s sudden passing when I was 35 years old.

I was surprised at how quickly I began to cry, but this was no ordinary cry. The crying turned into vigorous sobbing that was loud at times. I am still amazed at how much grief came out of my body. I cried for almost an hour! At one point, I was grieving the absence of my mother’s loving embrace. I could not remember ever having a loving embrace. Oh how I wanted to feel that! The intensity of the ache was more than I can describe.

Just then, Benita knelt next to me, and reached down and hugged me heart to heart. I sobbed and sobbed in her loving embrace. I think she must have held me for ten minutes. She hugged me until I could finally take a deep breath. Then she released her embrace, as I did.

When we finished our breathwork session, I was filled with extraordinary love and peace. I was overwhelmingly grateful! I felt so known and loved by my Heavenly Father. I felt so known and loved by my Savior. I felt so known and loved by the Holy Spirit that He directed Benita to embrace me exactly when I needed it. This was a life-changing embrace!!! I am forever changed!!!

My heart had been occupied by grief, but now it was open, ready to enjoy deeper loving relationships with those around me.
On Sunday, round two of breathwork started. I quickly found that there was nothing to clear. It was all gone! The image of a fire truck came to my mind. I know that may seem weird, but it was as if it required a huge fire hose (not a small garden hose, or even a pressure washer) to aggressively wash away all the grief on a deep cellular level. I knew that my healing was complete. In fact, the message I got was that I was now “whole and complete”.

After the Retreat
A few days after the retreat, I had a phone call with one of my stepdaughters to clear up some things that had happened months before. I’m so grateful that I could start the conversation by sharing with her that I had completed my grieving, and that I now had a greater capacity to love her. During the conversation, I allowed her to share anything that was upsetting her so I could apologize. The best part was that I did not get emotionally activated at all! I could see her points, and commit to creating a deeper partnership with her. In the past, I could not do that because there was way too much hurt inside of me.

How grateful I am for Benita’s exquisite expertise and her powerful intuition and caring Christian heart that facilitated such profound healing. In addition to Benita, I found the other participants to be loving and wonderful as well. It was a powerful, safe, beautiful environment to have such a healing experience.

Forever Grateful and Forever Healed.
LH, Atlanta, GA

 

CONTACT INFO FOR BENITA A. ESPOSITO

If you would like to schedule a complimentary 10-minute get-acquainted phone call to see if Life Coaching and Spiritual Counseling with Benita A. Esposito are a good fit for you, please complete the Contact Form. You should receive an email within 48 hours, Monday-Thursday.

Breathwork: My Personal Story

Are you tired of limiting patterns sabotaging your life? Would your life be significantly better if you did not have to deal with emotional wounds that pop up at the most unexpected times?

If you keep doing the same old thing, you will keep creating the same results. You cannot solve a problem from the level of the problem. If you are ready to do something significantly different to achieve your fondest dreams, read on.

Breathwork is the most powerful tools I have ever used to reach enlightened states of consciousness and to heal long-standing patterns.

Let me tell you my story.

Before I discovered breathwork, I participated in talk therapy but still kept repeating the same old patterns. I was anxious, depressed, driven, and insecure, but I hid it under a mask of confidence. Most people never knew I suffered inside. I was successful in the ways of the world but I felt lonely and my body hurt a lot. I was frustrated and felt I had wasted a lot of my life not living up to my potential. I disliked suffering so much.

Then I met a teacher who helped me turn my life around. He was gifted with a keen intuition that could see right through me. I wanted a teacher to really know me and to love me with my warts and all. I was so fascinated by the results he facilitated that I wanted to learn how to do the same kind of highly effective work with my clients.

My teacher helped me connect with my buried insecurity, fear, pain and anger. I couldn’t fool him and that’s just what I needed. He helped me move massive amounts of blocked energy. I learned to connect with my subconscious material instead of being heady and anlytical.

I learned to listen to the messages of my body and my emotions, and I learned how to mine the wisdom there. I learned how to use the power of the breath, sound, music and movement to transform blockages. Breathwork is the most powerful tool I have found to generate deep healing and transformation.

When the student is ready, the teacher appears.

I will be eternally grateful to this teacher for showing up in my life. He was the major catalyst for my growth. I laid a whole new foundation for my life because of him. It is so much easier to manifest my fondest dreams because my energy is not tied up in old emotional wounding. I no longer feel like I am pushing a boulder uphill.

I am happy to report that I have learned how to facilitate this powerful transformation with my clients. I have become my own best friend and I feel a deep sense of inner peace, and I can you help learn how to do this, too. Breathwork will save you years of therapy, money and suffering.

We’ll be doing Breathwork in the weekend retreats that I offer:

  1. Deep Emotional Healing
  2. Highly Sensitive Person

Please contact me if you would like a complementary 10-minute get acquainted phone chat to see if the Highly Sensitive Person Retreat or individual sessions are right for you.

Contact: Benita A Esposito, MA, Life and Spiritual Coach and Psychotherapist.

Offices in Atlanta and Blairsville, Georgia, USA

Breathwork Retreat

Do you wish you could accelerate your personal and spiritual growth?  I don’t want you to miss out on this powerful experience … if you are ready to make deep profound changes. Breathwork helps you heal and develop emotional intimacy within yourself and with your loved ones faster than any method I know.

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Healing Hurtful Relationship Patterns with Breathwork

Josephine is a 30-something highly sensitive person. Kind, creative and smart, she had an unconscious habit of choosing men who hurt her. This is her story told in her own words. It shows how we worked together in spiritual counseling to end a pattern of abuse so she could become her radiant Authentic Self. Read more

Turning Fear into a Friend: A Breathwork Story

“How I transformed fear into my friend,
and myself into the Beloved.”

If my story began as a play, the opening scene would be as follows:

[Setting]: Inside of a walk–in closet. The darkness is so dense you can barely see your hand. Read more