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Out of the Shadows : A Tale of Redemption and Self-Actualization

May 28, 20235 min read


“Anger is something inside of you that doesn’t agree with what’s happening.”

Rev. Nathan Kohlerman

In my teenage years, I was clicked up with gangs, committing violent crimes, and destroying my life in every way imaginable.

What I realize now is that deep down inside, I didn’t agree with who I had become in hopes that I could avoid the pain…that I wasn’t even aware was there…

So I chose to become who others wanted me to be.

By doing so, I finally felt “accepted” after years of feeling like I didn’t belong here in this world.

(because ultimately, I didn’t know how to accept and love myself)


It took the back window of the truck getting shot out (with a bullet hole in the dash) after an armed robbery for me to realize that I was out of alignment with myself, my values, and my purpose.

…pummeling people for “pleasure” just to get my adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol demands for the day…

…using women for my own selfish desires to get my “quick fix” of oxytocin…then on to the next…

…getting f*cked up on anything - everything in between from alcohol to heroin - hoping that I could shroud my suffering with hits of cheap dopamine…

…you name it, I was probably doing it…

…except meth.

F*ck meth…and Fentanyl.

It took me almost 10 years after getting the back window shot out to start asking myself :

“Why am I so angry ALL the time?”

“Why can’t I feel anything else BUT anger?”

“Why is it that I feel like EVERYONE is out to get me?”

…and after doing a sh*t ton of work around this, I found a few things that I would have never guessed before :

  1. I didn’t trust anyone (especially myself) and if I was angry all the time towards the world, nobody in close proximity could inflict pain upon me.

  2. I thought the world was out to get me because I was doing terrible things, getting away with it, avoiding every reality possible to own my sh*t, and created this story that “karma” was gonna “get me”

  3. I chose to put myself in dangerous situations because deep down, I didn’t want to be alive (my first suicide attempt was at 7 years old and I STILL have suicidal thoughts randomly to this day)

After making these 3 discoveries, under all of my anger and all of my rage was just a hurt little kid who didn’t want to feel hurt anymore, who wasn’t taught how to feel, or how to navigate BIG emotions that felt f*cking terrifying at the time…

…and if you have that kid inside who feels the pain I’m talking about, you already know what I’m talking about.


Over the last 10 years in personal development, healing, and leadership development, the lessons are quite simple. I want to share them with you here 👇

  1. Be gentle with yourself.

  2. Honor the process, no matter how intense it might seem.

  3. Love yourself a little bit more every single day.

Understand that this work within is not about completely eradicating the darkness, it's about learning to navigate through it.

Every mistake you make, every stumble and fall, is just another lesson to learn and grow from.

It's okay to feel afraid, to feel lost. It's okay to not know where you're heading.

You are NOT your past.

Your experiences shaped you, but they don't define you.

You have the power to redefine who you are, to rewrite your story.

Yes, it hurts.

Yes, it's hard.

Know that it's in the most challenging times that we find our true, authentic self.

The struggle is part of the journey.

It is in our moments of struggle, when we feel like we've hit rock bottom, that we build the strength and resilience to rise.

You have to trust in your journey.

Trust in the process.

Trust that every experience, every emotion, every memory is a stepping stone towards becoming the person you are meant to be.

Take it one day at a time.

One moment at a time.


Allow yourself to feel…

…to heal.


…that there is always light on the other side, but the journey to it might seem long, steep, and often unbearable.

…that every step you take is a step closer.

…there is no deadline when it comes to healing.

…there is no 'right' way to heal.

Your journey is uniquely yours.


…that it's okay to ask for help.

You don't have to do this alone.

Reach out.

Connect with others.

Share your story, struggles, and victories.

You never know who might need to hear it, who it might inspire, or who it might help.

I invite you all to share your thoughts, your stories, your journey in the comments.

I envision change makers like you and I creating a space of love, acceptance, and healing for all to be welcome…

Where all parts of you, I, and them can be welcome.

You are not alone.


…your DARKNESS is your DHARMA.

It's a part of you, a part that shapes you into who you are.

Embrace it, learn from it, grow with it.

…and above all, keep in mind that there's always light on the other side.

Keep going.

You've got this.

Bless Your Beautiful Life,

Nathan Kohlerman

PS : You can read other blog posts not featured here online : Mudras & Middle Fingers SubStack

Personal DevelopmentShadow WorkHealingTransformationTraumaSomaticsBreathworkEvolutionPhilosophyLife CoachingSpiritualitySpiritual DevelopmentCommunityHero's JourneyConscious LeadershipLeadershipPersonal GrowthPersonal ResponsibilityOwnershipConsciousnessAwarenessActualizationRealization

Nathan Kohlerman

Nathan Kohlerman is a Devoted Father, Reverend, Speaker, Visionary, Multi-Disciplinary Therapist, Veteran, Founder of NeuIntention®, and Co-Founder of Refuge Leadership Academy. With a diverse background in transpersonal psychology, integrative somatic therapy, metaphysics, energy medicine, mysticism, leadership, and shamanic healing, Nathan has worked with professional athletes from the NFL & PGA, 7 & 8 figure companies, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, veterans, and elite coaches on how to awaken their inner wisdom, overcome adversity, and create the life they desire from the inside-out.

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