Updated: Jan 13
What is Transmutation?
Transmutations is Change. But not just any change, transformation into something new.
Sometimes when we think about changing, we draw from our past selves, who we once were or thought was better than who we are now. We think things like: I want to be that person who was always happy, energetic, and comfortable being who they are. But ultimately that person still carries the flaws and traumas you are holding now.
You just dealt with it better then, your mask was good, and you were suppressing all the things you are probably feeling now. If that last sentence resonated with you at all, then know that you are ready to transmute your traumas into something great! That vulnerability and acceptance you feel mean you are ready to face things or consider that readiness. Because only when we are not in fear or doubtful ways of thinking and feeling, can we embrace what we learnt from it, then move on.
That's where Transmutation comes in. It takes what is and changes it completely.
Alchemists would use this term when referring to turning an object into something else entirely. For example: Transmuting lead into gold, literally making matter so malleable, one could turn it into anything they would desire. I thought if one could do this with matter, why not emotions? Why not be able to Transmute your foundational emotions, such as Shame, into anything we desire to create? Using that energy towards positive feelings and behaviours - Even recreating these deep highways we spoke of in Part 1: Shame, a Foundational Emotion and making new streets, roads, and highways, scraping the old ones completely. So that something new can arise.
If only we looked at pain as the foundation to growth, maybe fear and doubt wouldn't get in the way.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, Transmutation: The act or process of changing something completely, especially into something different. Other definitions I explored mention Alchemical ways to Transmute one object into another. According to Oxford Languages, to illustrate how serious of an endeavour Transmutation is: the changing of one element into another by radioactive decay, nuclear bombardment, and the conversion or transformation of one species into another.
So if we genuinely want to grow from our doubts and fears, we have to experience pain. It's like a right of passage towards growth, truly feeling everything, accepting its happened to you, and feeling content with it. Reflecting on the fact that you wouldn't know what you are truly capable of, or what you wanted vs what you thought you wanted without this pain. If only we looked at pain as the foundation to growth, maybe fear and doubt wouldn't get in the way. Instead, we could automatically revert to reflection mode, rather than letting ourselves create another trigger for our pain receptors.
Something to consider about Fear and Doubt: There was a moment, probably in your childhood where most fears you've yet to shake, have taken root. Their foundation is vital to identify. When did this happen to me? What exactly caused it to happen? And why is this still affecting me now? All excellent reflection questions anytime these triggers happen from your foundational, child-like traumas. When a child gets hurt emotionally, it is often too young to understand why they feel that way. They know that they do, and it's usually their first experience dealing with these strong emotions, which create a street in their brain. Deeply rooted foundational emotions, they simply revert to that street whenever they feel threatened like that again. Which then turns into a road the more and more they revert to that specific emotion. And finally, we have that strong, deeply rooted emotional highway like Shame.
The emotionally damaged inner child is a loaded topic that I could write a whole other article on. So I'll keep things simple. Identifying that inner child who is; hurt, wants to cry, scream, and be rebellious, or stay in their fear and doubt, is very conducive to your healing. My obsession with the foundation of things and their patterns, especially emotions is the secret to all things felt. I'd like to share a poem that I wrote about my inner child, what she felt and how she has grown. I'll also share the preface I wrote, before the poem. As both are very telling of who I am now vs that inner child.
"The people I loved most had manipulated me, my thoughts, and emotions to believe I had to prove myself to them. I had to be who they wanted me to be. I have to show up every day, wake up at the crack of dawn, work a career job (only one of their choosing), be pretty, energetic, smiley, and put on a show!
Just for them….Why?
I honestly don't know, I'm still trying to figure that part out….
I wish I never cared at all
I wish I was free to be the inner me.
Inner Young Girl
She's been pushing and prodding.
Leaving me both confused and amused
Dreaming and growing
Always letting things slide and divide.
She reminds me to be me.
That playful energized me.
She has some bumps and bruises.
They stopped her from playing
And dreaming of a world she created
I've pushed her down for so long
She stopped singing her songs.
Her voice is magnificent and loud.
Not meant for all crowds
She is me, I am her
I'm out, I'm free,
I can play and sing again!"
As you can see, I allowed my inner child to speak on this day, about a year ago for the first time in 29 years. And she has been talking and peaking out ever since. Allowing yourself to make choices that otherwise seem selfish and unnatural, is the only way this will work. You'll have to step out of your comfort zone. Make bold and big choices to yield significant results like ripping off a band-aid. It's a lot of concentrated pain, but only for a short time. After a little while of healing, it'll be like nothing ever happened. It may scar a little, but that usually reminds us of the pain we overcame. When I face my fears and doubts, I'm not that inner young girl as much as I was before. She isn't healed yet, but I'm confident she can be. Because now I don't turn to that scary traumatic anxious place I would usually turn to in fear or doubt.
I can actively stop myself from using that street and creating a new one, where I choose to build off that trauma rather than tear down.
I allowed myself to be in the most vulnerable place in my life to rebuild myself into something completely different. Transmuting my past self, and all her foundational emotions into more logical thought out emotions. Allowing more logic in than feeling is always a smart way to reflect. Emotions can sway logic if you let it.
Ultimately that inner child is looking for love and forgiveness as well. Forgiveness is a potent emotion. All relationships need those two things to survive, and trust being the foundation of any good relationship—even the one with your inner child. Emotions are necessary so that we may forgive ourselves and move one. That usually comes in the embracing part of reflection.
To conclude, allowing your brain to change and transform into something new is easier said than done. It took this long for it to become the way it is now. So one can't expect a change this big to happen overnight.
However, it'll all depend on the actions and time you decide to put towards yourself. It will look different for everyone, as we all have our ways of thinking about healing ourselves. Some may turn to God and pray steadfastly for repentance and forgiveness, so they may start to heal their heart through Christ. Others may seek out shamans and look to heal themselves through energies and crystals. And some will look for a psychologist, therapist, or any scientific way to truly understand how the brain works so that they may apply those principles towards healing. All of these and any other methods of healing are encouraged. There is no "one size fits all" for this one.
All of our brains are different; we all feel differently and heal differently. One commonality in all healing practices is Love and Forgiveness.
Anyone can use all the tools in the world to remap their brain and change, but not without another deeply rooted positive emotion to keep us on goal. Which I find fascinating and beautiful because that means solutions to problems like these are endless. Which I will be discussing in Part 3: How to Transmute Foundational Emotions.
I will be giving tips, tricks, and wise words to hold on to during more challenging times when those solutions I present don't always work. I really hope your inner child speaks to you soon.