“When you are afraid, be still and know that God is real, and you are His beloved Son, in whom He is well pleased.” – A Course in Miracles
Let’s talk about FEAR. The F word that keeps on giving. For trauma survivors, fear becomes a shadow that follows you around all the time. You now know that bad things do happen to good people, that the boogeyman can be real, that your life can change in an instant, or that someone you know is not who you thought they were. You lose trust in your fellow man, and you lose trust in your own instincts and intuition. You sometimes lose faith and trust in God.
Fear can manifest and immobilize you in many ways. Most often it manifests as nightmares and sleepless nights. And if you tell your doctor about it, they’re more than happy to give you a “sleep aid.” There are situations where that might be appropriate, especially since trauma counselors tell us to get back to our routine as soon as we can, and it’s hard to show up for work on two hours of sleep. But I remember hating to take anything that would make me sleepy. I felt I had to be awake and alert, in case someone tried to break in again. But after weeks of sleep loss, regaining a feeling of safety became a priority, and an urgent necessity.
It’s important to always, always remember, that although you didn’t have a choice in what happened to you, you do have a choice in how you recover.
Here again, anger was my friend. I finally got so angry at the attacker and this event that was robbing me of my life, that I decided to stop giving it so much power.
Fear can break you if you give it power. The Divine can take away the fear if you give it over.
Handling the fear, overcoming it, and moving on with your life will be one of the most courageous things you will ever do. And every time you take a step forward, the angels celebrate!
It can be so difficult. Triggers are everywhere: sights, smells, places, news reports, noises, just… people. When you’re triggered, or your thoughts wander to your trauma and you feel the anxiety bubbling up, try these things:
- Take a breath, and look around you. Make sure both feet are on the floor and take a minute to ground yourself. Notice that you are safe in this moment.
- Ask God to be with you. Whatever that means to you. Some people imagine Jesus standing beside them. For others, it’s a Divine infusion you feel in your body. Call on your angels. You will feel calmer instantly.
- Express gratitude. Take a moment to be thankful that you are safe, that you have survived, and recognize that you are never alone.
As a survivor, my path of healing has been a long, circuitous path. I have gathered many gifts along the way, one of which was strengthening my relationship with God to lessen my fears and get to forgiveness. For me, the spiritual part of this journey was most important and through it I made the greatest leaps in healing.
You will have bad days, but you will also have good days. You will have days of rage and days of joy. You will have days of hatred and days of forgiveness. And as time passes, the good days will outweigh the bad. Turning to God, in whatever form you believe, will be like a soothing balm on your burning thoughts. It will breathe fresh oxygen into you when you feel you are suffocating on something stagnant. God will heal you.
This verse from A Course in Miracles was probably one of the most helpful mantras for me as I healed.
“There is no time, no place, no state where God is absent. There is nothing to be feared.”
May the Divine hold you in loving arms that are infinite and eternal.
What do you do with your fear? Leave a comment.
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