I don’t have many shoes. I wear them and then donate when they look a bit shabby. I see them as a tool. Something to finish an outfit or serve a practical purpose. I like practical, even my heels are chunky and platformed. Comfortable. Neutral.
However, I came across a pair of shoes this week that are different. Stored in the attic with photo albums and other nostalgia, I had carefully wrapped these beauties up and found them between a graduation sweatshirt and pile of 21st birthday cards. Bought in the late nineties, they are kitten-heeled, pale blue and ornate. I remember being awestruck when I first caught a glimpse in the shop window. A stopped-in-my-tracks moment followed by a tentative turn to see the price on the sole . A poor student, I left them on the shelf to only return a few hours later, concerned they’d be gone. I clearly remember the sense of elation as my credit card was authorised. Breath-out, smile. They were mine. Feeling excited, I carried my purchase home. Back in digs, I tried them on and imagined myself on a night out. I could almost hear the compliments from friends and glances from strangers. Bees-knees or dogs-bollocks. I felt pretty good.
I only wore them once.
The reason I know I only wore them once is because they were instrumental in a night out that started on cloud nine and ended in the pits of doom. It was one of those moments that changed me. A subtle shift but enough to knock my confidence. Until now.
Until now, I’d actually given this event little thought. It was one of those awkward memories that pop-up sometimes. It would appear, I’d give an audible groan and push it away. Back down, out-of-sight, not wishing to see, hear or feel anything associated with it. In the past, I often wondered why the brain did that. Now, having had years of training and going through my own personal transformation I understand that it was a past memory ready to be resolved. I didn’t have the awareness or tools to a) know that or b) do anything about it.
Nobody really knows where our memories go but they’re all there. Many memories are processed and put away but there are some that sit, fester and wait. Lurking in the shadows. Our memories influence every decision we make, all thoughts we have and each action we take.
Sometimes we are aware of this. A one-off traumatic event or the sustained trauma of those who have been abused is well accepted as being a cause of PTSD. Our healthcare system is bulging at the seams in a bid to help. However, the rest of us, who carry years of small but impactful damage receive little more support than a packet of pills and a few sessions with a therapist. It’s not that we’re perceived not to matter, we just haven’t done anything serious enough to meet the criteria for help.
Sometimes, we manage to cling on by our finger nails numbed by anti-depressants. Sometimes, we search for answers and fix ourselves. Sometimes, we’re tipped over the edge and then meet ‘the criteria’.
The older we get, the more negative memories we collect and if we don’t have a way to process the memories, the harder it becomes to push them away and carry on.
For many, like me, they experience crisis. Either a single catastrophic melt down or a series of ‘episodes’. Treading water, until something happens and then saying, “I just can’t do this anymore”. That’s when they seek out people like me.
I said, “I can’t do this anymore”, in 2016. I could no longer carry years of unresolved negative memories. Each individual event didn’t matter but the cumulative effect was significant. That’s when I began ‘my work’. It feels slightly ridiculous that what took me years to sort out can actually be resolved in hours. Quickly and gently. No tears or pain.
So when I think about the ‘Night Out With The Blue Shoes’, I now feel detached from it. Like watching a movie. I’m able to view from a different perspective. The falling down the stairs moment is comical. Definitely a grand entrance. The snide comment from a Kate Moss lookalike about the spanx not really doing the job and the embarrassment of my friends are just part of the narrative.
At least I didn’t break anything. Well anything physical anyway. If I’d known what to look for I would have noticed the subtle changes in my self-talk, going out slightly less and my new found delight in chocolate filled doughnuts. After years of ignoring what was happening in my head I can now observe and act. It’s the place I want to be. It’s where I would like everyone to be and I guess I’m on a mission to help people realise…
My name is Laura Kingdon and I’m a Transformation Coach. I help people break free from the stuff that’s weighing them down. Giving them the freedom to create a life they really love.
P.S. I won’t be wearing the shoes again. But it is time for them to come out of the attic and find a new owner.