Bulletproof New Year’s Resolutions: Healing, Not Willpower

Every January first, millions of people around the world make “The List”– lose weight, get in shape, stop smoking, renounce sugar, decrease judgments, increase tolerance, and for some, find the courage to heal.

Depending on the “resolution,” the new you lasts anywhere from an hour to a few weeks or months. Very few people are able to do what is required to shed lifelong emotional patterns rooted in unresolved trauma. Anxiety– and anxiety covers a lot of emotional territory– drives all addictive behavior. Trauma is painful. Addictions are anesthesia for that pain.

If you’ve been in “counseling” or some kind of therapy for a reasonable period of time and you aren’t healing or changing, either you have blocking internal beliefs I call “stoppers,” or maybe your therapist has emptied their conventional toolbox and quietly labeled you “treatment resistant.”  That’s a common practice among licensed mental health professionals—sometimes they blame the client for not healing instead of acknowledging a blind spot in their own skillset.

With the exception of some serious mental illnesses only a psychiatrist should manage and a batch of intractable personality disorders such as borderlines and narcissists, most people who seek counseling just need to know the root(s) of what happened to them and how to heal.

Here’s the short “how to” list that I cover with every new client:

  • Your life isn’t the way it is because of what is wrong with you. The issue is always A) what happened to you and B) what did you decide because of that, consciously, i.e. “my father cheated on my mother, so men can’t be trusted,” or a negative belief was imprinted into your subconscious at some point. You didn’t get “this way” in a vacuum, so stop collecting dime-a-dozen self-help books that promise you their secret formula to the perfect body, endless love and financial security in just minutes a day.


  • Self-diagnosis is a lot like the advice Dorothy got when she crashed the party in Munchkinland: “It’s always best to start at the beginning.” The beginning is your childhood, unless you had a traumatic birth, were unwanted in the womb or have a past-life “bleed though” causing problems under the radar in present time.


  • Write out a trauma timeline for yourself: age, what happened back then, what emotion(s) are attached to the memory NOW, rate the emotional charge on the memory as you feel it NOW, from 0-10 (10 being most intense emotional charge) and note where you feel the pressure of that stuck trauma energy in your body. That’s your blueprint for healing. For example, age 7, dog died, sadness, emotional charge 8/10,  pressure in chest/throat when thinking about it.


  • Panic attacks, phobias, as well as feeling you’ve “always been this way” are indications that the root of your problem is like an iceberg—the most dangerous parts are under the water. You’ll have to dive deep, preferably with a professional experienced in iceberg excavation. Parts of your consciousness, energy, soul, whatever you want to call the essence that is YOU, might be dissociated. You can google “dissociation,” but I see it intuitively as when part(s) of us are not in present time and are stuck one dimension away, like a DVD on “pause.” Those parts need to be rescued and recovered back into present time for healing and restoration.


  • Being ensnared in emotional patterns are just what they sound like—they auto-repeat, like wallpaper. Everywhere you look, the pattern stares back at you. What our parents did to us, intentionally or not, we tend to do to ourselves and sometimes to others. If we were abused, we abuse ourselves in some fashion. If we were neglected, we tend to neglect ourselves.


  • Procrastination and self-sabotage are rooted in an anxiety/avoidance pattern. List: what are you afraid will happen or not happen if you just do it? The list of “stoppers” is almost endless: fear of being judged, shamed, rejected, abandoned, etc. After you make the list, ask yourself, “what, when or whom does this remind me of?” Connect the dots.


  • Everyone is born with a survival level sense of intuition, that’s why it’s called the “sixth sense.” The problem is that when we get that subtle inner knowing, that “gut feeling,” sometimes we don’t want to know that we know. Listen to your intuition, it’s there to protect and serve you.


  • The body speaks to us in metaphor language. When we interpret body-talk we are “reading energy” and that is a skill, not a gift. Minus a physical injury, back pain is notorious for being emotionally based: “get off my back, stabbed in the back, (betrayed) feeling unsupported, you feel nobody has your back, backed into a corner,” etc.


If you are close to someone and you know they won’t take offense, you might say, “Wait—do you realize what you just said? Maybe that’s why your back has been hurting and chiropractic isn’t helping.” Begin to notice when you and others speak metaphor language. Read the energy, then take appropriate action. Others might not like it. But you won’t die from that

For a free handout, “Introduction to Metaphor Language” culled from intuitive assessments on thousands of clients, see https://suehannibal.com/shop/free-downloads/