Beginning Your Inner Work

Beginning Your Inner Work September 24, 2023

Photo by Kelvin Valerio:

Several years ago, after spending about 20 years in organized religion as a pastor, I experienced something very real and traumatic when everything that I had stuffed down for 20 years came to the surface. A friend of mine describes it as a beach ball I could no longer keep underwater. It came to the surface in a dramatic way, and I knew that I had to face it instead of ignoring it once again.

Eugene Gendlin said,

“What is split off, not felt, remains the same. When it is felt, it changes.”[1]

When I realized this, I knew I could no longer ignore, postpone, or stuff it down any longer. I knew I had to face it, and I had to go inside.

I often say that one of the most important things we do in deconstruction is to go inside and learn to trust ourselves. But what does that mean, and how do we do it? That was one of the questions I had during this dark night several years ago. I knew and was reading about shadow work and going inside, but it wasn’t until I spent some time in a Hermitage and experienced it one morning that things started moving in the right direction.

I wrote about this experience in my book, Being, because it was very hard to describe in short form. For all of us, it is important that we take the first step to make contact with our inner self/inner child. This first step worked better for me when I did it by myself and then followed up later with the professionals and my friends who had experienced similar things.

It was one of the bravest things I’ve ever done!

Here are a few helpful tools:

  • My book Being: A Journey Toward Presence and Authenticity and its 30-day companion guide.
  • This YouTube video, Guided Meditation for Shadow Healing. will walk you through the experience (13 minutes)
  • The book Bringing Your Shadow Out of the Dark by Robert Augustus Masters

I wish you well on your journey. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Almost every time that I write, I sign off with the phrase. “Be where you are, be who you are, be at peace.” Being where you are is presence, and being who you are is authenticity, and when we get closer to these things, we find peace!

Begin your journey today,

Karl Forehand

** I am not a licensed mental health professional. Please contact a trauma-informed specialist to help you on this journey.




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