On trauma work and being right on time

Apr 18, 2023 | Life in Progress, Midlife

I have been working with a trauma therapist who specializes IFS (Internal Family Systems) and EMDR. The IFS sessions are blowing my mind. Inside each session, my current adult self is reaching back through the years to my younger self. Lately, she (adult self) has been traveling way back to visit three year old me. I am comforting her. I am getting to know her. I am thanking her for the brilliant ways she kept me safe. And I’m trying, little by little, to convince her to come with me, to be free. To leave her post of vigilant protection.

It’s deep, good, solid work. And, as I travel back and visit these younger versions of myself, I feel an immense deepening of my love for myself. It’s astounding, really.


(NEW work, A Return To Hope, available here)


As I do this work, I imagine my future self looking back at me with awe. She is calmly waiting, holding space for what’s to come when all the parts of myself – the little me, the teenage me, the new mama me, the current me –  all come together, fully integrated and free. She feels like Spring, this future me. She is what arrives after a long and dark journey of Wintering.

I’ve been thinking about how the timing of all of this. At almost 48 yrs old, my life has significantly calmed down. My child needs me a lot less. I’m no longer starting an art biz, growing and managing that art biz, and keeping myself endlessly busy.  Inside the calm, I have found myself here, inside this wild mid-life journey, perimenopause causing all sorts of physical and mental ruckus, going on an inward quest to heal long held beliefs and traumas stored in my body. I couldn’t have done this work 5 years ago or even 2 years ago. My life wasn’t still enough yet. I trust that I’m right on time.


No matter where you may be, may you know this truth: You are exactly on time. And you are on a path of becoming. Be gentle on yourself along the way.

Big love, Kelly Rae

PS: The new 10th Anniversary Edition of my mixed media mantra painting class begins next week! Join us! 


Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (19 comments)
  1. Sharon Brubaker

    I knew there was a reason I was down to you and the beautiful art you’ve created! As a SA survivor, I feel so much heartache and sorrow for the sweet five year old within me. I am so furious with the 15 yer old that ruined her. Yes I need to embrace her with compassion and love. ART (accelerated resolution therapy-similar to EMDR) therapy has helped me begin this process along with Mending the Soul.
    I want to paint. I have paper, brushes, watercolors.. but I’m frozen. The perfectionist won’t let me. I love what you do and hope to at least try some day. Thank you for touch my soul with yours.

  2. Lorraine

    I have also experienced EMDR in therapy and found it terrifically useful!

  3. Laura

    My goodness gracious Ms Kellyraeroberts,
    I believe you are so wonderful and beautiful inside your busy busy life!! Thank you for ALL of your sharing of who you are and connecting with all of your admirers. Ms. Brave soul! I love your art so very much!! Continue to find your way as we all need and want to. Best, Laura,age77

  4. helen

    i absolutely love IFS. I have a quote that resides on my sand tray at my counselling practice. Essentially it reminds me that my journey has molded me for all my experiences, that I haven’t wasted time that everything is right on time.

    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Yes, yes, yes!

  5. Linda Henderson

    I am on a journey myself. It’s been just s a few years since God revealed to me that my fears, insecurities, and criticisms come from an emotionally neglected childhood.
    I blocked it all out and as a result, created fibromyalgia in myself. That is my belief , the stress and shame had to go somewhere.
    Through painful yet necessary examination, I am now in remission from the fibromyalgia.
    Along the way, I’ve learned that I am an HSP (highly sensitive person), and an introvert.
    Taking the time to search inwardly, poke at scars and wounds and reveal them to the light, I am evolving into the best version of myself. The learning never ends. Which is exciting for me, because I love to learn.
    Thank you for being open about your particular path.
    It reassures and encourages others to know that they are not alone.
    Take care. Be proud of what you’ve accomplished as you pushed through
    the muck of the past.

    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Loving your perspective and all that you’ve found along the way. Indeed, the learning never ends. Love that. xoox

  6. Coco Anderson

    Oh Kelly! I so needed to read your story. I stopped EMDR a few years ago because I just couldn’t handle my young self and the responsibility of trying to “see” her and the worry of what I might find in regards to my parents, and how I would handle that information became too overwhelming then…but maybe I am ready now! No pressure right?
    I’m so happy to hear you are in that enviable peaceful place to find your happy again! It truly is inspiring. xoxo

    • Jasmine

      Dear Kelly, its lovely to read your inspiring emails & art. Art can be so rewarding & even in times of strife a comfort. I am enjoying making more time for my creative hobbies x

    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Hi Coco, keep trusting your heart, whether it leads you to more EMDR or not. Sending you much love!

  7. Lisa Mingus

    I have followed your art journey from your early days. Multiple pieces of your art hangs in my hallway and makes me happy everyday. Your art has inspired me and lifted my spirits with the gentle reminders. I am grateful for your art and the kindness of your spirit that is up lifting. You are an angel and I admire you for sharing your journey through art and heartfelt communications. You are worthy of the work to reconnect with those things that may be holding you back.

    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Thank you, Lisa. This means a lot. xxo

  8. Miranda

    Oh yes! I have been doing IFS for a while now and like you, it’s blowing my mind! I’m 53 and trusting that I’m right on time too!

    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      It’s such a gift! And yes, we are right on time.

  9. Diana

    Thank you Kelly Rae..for your courage to share it all.
    Have experienced all the discombobulation and the sisterhood is lifting you up. YOU lift us all up. We Love you. Keep going

    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Thank you so much, Diana. I feel the love. xoxo

  10. Carolyn

    ❤ I totally understand not being able to afford the classes. I’m retired on a fixed income. My best to you

  11. Melissa Fabucci

    Kelly, I am truly happy for you! Your first Mantra class has a special place in my heart – I go back to it again and again.

    • Kelly Rae Roberts

      Oh, I love hearing this, Melissa!


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I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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