The Three Paths to Healing: How Your Deepest Wound Can Guide You to Craft a Monumental Life, by Dominic Mitges
September 2, 2018
The Three Paths to Healing is a book born out of the single most trauma-tizing experience of my life and the reconstruction of that life.
On January 10 2005, my father killed himself in a very violent way inside our family home. I really don’t know what was worse for me; being inside the house immediately afterwards and witnessing the scene, or the recurring movie that played in my head of him walk down the hall of my college residence the evening before; the last time I would ever see him alive. I felt that night that there was something wrong with him, but I didn’t know how to approach it. Part of me was afraid, the other part of me just rationalized it away. It is a decision I have come to regret and will forever, for the rest of my life.
My father’s death took an unbeliev-able toll on my entire family. I was one of his few supports at the time, and I felt as though I had failed him at the time he needed me the most. Suicide is a death unlike any other; it creates a massive ripple effect of guilt and shame. Friends and family are left asking “What could I have done? What didn’t I do enough of?” You are forever haunted by so many questions that you know you will never, ever receive an answer to.
Then there’s the stigma; the whispers of the people around you, people who you once thought were your friends you now find out are gossiping about you behind your back, they distance themselves or cut themselves off from you. People close to you start blaming you, saying you didn’t do anything, that you didn’t do enough. Then they talk about your father, and people who die by suicide in general, saying they are “selfish,” that it’s an act of cowardice, that “they took the easy way out.”
I spent a lot of the time between the ages of 19 and 22 feeling tremendous guilt, grief and loss and feeling over-whelmed by it all and unable to cope. In 13 years, I have never found words adequate to describe the feelings of emptiness, numbness, and pain I went through during those years.
Over the years, I have done an excruciating (most of it truly was excruciating) amount of work to pull myself back from the depths of my own personal inferno, access the wisdom and the lessons within my painful past, and use them to bring myself to a place of resilience, strength and a level of personal success I thought I would never achieve.
I have had the privilege to work with the best healers of all disciplines all over the world. I have done an exhausting amount of meditation, introspection, and personal reflection. And I have had the great fortune and humble pleasure to use my experiences to personally help others who were suffering like I once was. To share my wisdom, offer guidance and counsel to those in their darkest moments.
As a result, I have come to realize there are three paths to healing oneself. They are as I outline in the book: Guided Healing, Self-Healing, and Healing Ourselves through Healing Others.
Guided healing is working with a healer of any kind; counsellors, psychotherapists, life coaches, shamans, energy healers, etc. Working with a healer can help us gain a new perspective, which in turn can help us draw strength from something that once weakened us. I discuss how to find a good healer, that they should be someone whom you feel drawn to and connected to, much like any other relationship you would look for. I also talk about some of the most powerful healing modalities that I have experienced and continue to use.
Self-healing is about no longer avoiding uncomfortable feelings, but going deep within to allow them to surface. It’s about taking off the masks we wear to cover up our pain. Self-healing is about staring down into the depths of our soul with eyes wide open, ready and willing to face whatever we find staring back at us. It is about grieving fully, releasing the memories and emotions you have stuffed down and blocked out. It is about seeing reality for what it is and coming to terms with it. It is about how to be accepting of yourself, how you have been living, and how to turn it around.
Healing ourselves through healing others is about how we can take the pain, the trauma, the heartbreak, that we have now worked through and leverage it to help others who are now where we once were. It is about how giving purpose to your pain is the ultimate way to take back the power you once gave to it. One of my favourite lines in the book comes from a Shamanic healer, Dr. Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D. who states, “In shamanic traditions, you are not completely healed until you become the healer yourself. This doesn’t mean you must heal others, it just means you must bring beauty, meaning, truth, and honesty into the world. That’s when you become whole again.” The experiences we have long believed to be the most disem-powering are actually the doorways to a deeper, more fulfilling life. I believe strongly that those who have felt the deepest of pain also have the most soulful capacity to radiate the humanity we need displayed most in today’s world.
Ultimately, my wish is for this book to be a starting point for the reader that sets them on a path to redefining all the experiences life has brought forth for them. That they can start their journey of reconnecting with the parts of themselves they once thought gone forever, and use them to build a better life, and a better world.
The Three Paths to Healing is available for purchase on www.amazon.com.
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