Healing the Enemy Within (Or how to break up with Camilla)

"When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you." -African Proverb

In the past few months, I've come the to realization that there is a still a part of myself (maybe 10%) that I don't fully love and accept. Ugh.

I'm sharing this to try to be helpful to you. It's my belief that if we don't face ourselves with honesty we can't ever really move forward and experience all the wonderful that life has to offer. 

It's astounding and heartbreaking to me that at this late stage in the game (I'm 47 now) and after what seems like a lifetime of seeking and self discovery, that somewhere inside me is still a subconscious diabolical voice (let's call her Camilla) that says, "You are not a good person." 

This is how I figured it out; several months ago, someone fairly close to me insinuated that I wasn't a good person. It wasn't said directly, it was wrapped in a number of insulting comments, and my diabolical subconscious (Camilla) grabbed onto them and allowed the insinuation to hurt me. Camilla quietly betrayed me and fully agreed with the assessment. 

At the time, I staggered away feeling defeated and shut down and sad.  And it felt very, very familiar.

Camilla then said to my conscious brain (in order to stop this feeling), "You have to prove to this person that you are not bad." 

And this is where the real issue lies. See - if I need to prove to someone that I am not a bad person or that I am reliable or not selfish or truthful (etc) - I don't actually have control over how I feel about myself or my life for that matter.

Every time I walk out the door, or look at a text or read an email someone simply has to insinuate that I'm a bad person to bring my joy, my light, my love for myself and my happiness to a screeching halt.

Someone can simply whisper to Camilla and Camilla will say, "Yes, you are right. Elisa doesn't deserve to be whole or happy or fulfilled. She deserves to suffer because she is bad." And the bullshit continues.

Funny thing is, if this person had insinuated that I was a racist or that I hated my work or that I didn't love my children let's say - things that I know are utterly ridiculous (there is no Camilla voice inside my head saying these things to me) - I would have laughed in their face and walked away feeling just fine, thank you, very much. 

But because they spoke to Camilla, who believes I'm not good - it rings true and I react from that place of shame. Can you relate?

However there is a blessing here - this person (the insulter) gave me a huge gift by putting a spotlight on this subconscious belief. The gift is the opportunity to eradicate that voice once and for all. So thank you. I honor you for helping me to see myself more clearly and for pushing me towards 100% self love and acceptance. (Easy path to forgiveness here.)

Now that I am aware of this thought (AKA Camilla) - I can examine it. Why do I feel this way? What did I do to make myself think this? What do I do to myself to reinforce this thought? What was done to me so that this thought was reinforced throughout the span of my lifetime?

I think usually these answers come pretty quickly. You know what you did or what was said or done to you as a child or how you felt growing up, or, as a young adult, the experiences you had that shaped and honed this voice. Usually these things are not buried very deeply. 

But if it's harder to find and/or you want a black and white testament to the voice it helps to journal, just to write a stream of consciousness - I'm a bad person (or whatever your Camilla says) because this was said to me or I was treated this way or I did or didn't do such and such...

IMPORTANT NOTE *Don't get caught up here in self pity or self loathing, shame or blame - just get the answers you need. This isn't the real work.

The real work is: how can I move past that thought and move fully into a love for myself that strengthens a new thought: "I am a good person (or whatever the opposite of your thought is) and I always operate from that place fully and consciously."

After reviewing the genesis of your thoughts, confront them one by one, asking yourself "Is this the TRUTH of who I am?"

Then answer this with your heart. Your heart is the antidote to that subconscious voice. Your heart is the real you and you need to lean into it and give it the reverence and the voice it deserves. 

This moves the diabolical subconscious lie into a beautiful conscious truth.  

For me, Camilla was created long ago and I reinforced it as a young adult with some of my actions.

In the years that followed, I did recognized a lot of it and I did do spiritual work around it, I did ceremony, I asked for forgiveness for my part in the belief, I uncovered the reasons for some of the circumstances that led to my thought pattern, I worked towards releasing it,  I prayed, etc. But she never fully went away.

And now, today, thanks to this person who spoke to my subconscious - I really, truly, have come to the realization that most of that voice isn't mine and that I have suffered enough.

I have accepted the pieces that I was responsible for and I have forgiven myself. 

However, sort of like an addiction, these thought patterns operate under the cover of our subconscious and when we are not vigilant, they can and will recur.  

So I address the feelings when they happen - that familiar, awful "You are bad" feeling. It's the familiarity that clues me into the fact that I'm listening to Camilla and not my heart - and I confront it with the truth of me; this is mostly not mine. I have suffered enough. I am pure love and light. I am goodness. I am whole. I am forgiven and I deserve happiness. I break up with Camilla - I tell her to stop bothering me, I've got a life to live. 

When there is no enemy within, when we let our Camillas go - then we hold the keys to our own well being. We hold the keys to our happiness, our wholeness, our truth. We become strong. We become sure footed. We become invincible. We become unstoppable. 

And then what we can offer the world grows exponentially.

And isn't that what it's all about? Healing ourselves truly heals the world because we now operate from a place of mindful consciousness. We are no longer held hostage by our subconscious, no longer reacting from a place of non reality. And it is from that place where our magic can really take hold.

I hope for you the deepest of peace, the comfort of a thousand arms around you and the wholeness that you seek. It is within us all. Camillas be damned.






← Older Post Newer Post →


  • Loved every single word of this! So relatable. While reading this my insides, excitedly screamed at me, “here is our tribe! Yes!”

    lisa on
  • Elisa,

    Thank you for sharing. As you can imagine, this is incredibly relatable- I think we all have a Camila (or two lol).

    It is a wonderful reminder that we must always keep working and searching, growing and learning, all while giving back and teaching others.

    The soulful journey through divine femininity is not for the weak hearted, and you are strong and wise.

    Everything is as is should be.


    Jessie Hope on

Leave a comment