“A rebirth out of spiritual adversity causes us to become new creatures.” ~James E. Faust
December in much of the world celebrates many forms of birth, rebirth and rededication. It is perceived as an uplifting time of year with people giving gifts, traveling to be together, and sharing common beliefs. If trauma has touched your life, you are likely having a different experience.
Often, the holidays are challenging for survivors of trauma. There may be triggers, family issues, or just that haunting feeling of being different from others. Sometimes we feel we just can’t be as happy as other people, or as happy as we once were. How can we reclaim our happiness and our holidays?
As with much of our trauma healing, the secret is in re-framing, and turning it over to God.
Re-framing our thoughts about the holidays has to do with focusing on the idea in the James E. Faust quote above. We have been through spiritual adversity, and we are becoming new creatures. I would venture to say that no one who experiences trauma is the same person after. Nor should you want to be. Trauma changes us.
“How could you rise anew, if you have not first become ashes?” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
We had no choice in the trauma that we experienced, but we have choice in what we do afterward: how we heal, how we grieve, how we move forward. We can let it change us into a hard and bitter creature, or a creature who is wiser, deeper, and who can offer grace and healing to those around them.
Claim the holidays as your own rebirth. Be reborn into your vision of the next step in your healing.
We can draw a parallel to our first birth into this incarnation. When we were born, we had no conscious choice as to whom we were born to. Our personality, resilience factors, and appearance were genetically and environmentally fixed. As we grew and became our own person, some of that changed, but much of it is a through-line in our lives.
Just as our first birth, our rebirth carries a set of circumstances we cannot change. We have survived war, sexual assault, child abuse, domestic violence, natural disasters, a sudden death – you name it. But we have the power to now visualize who we will be in the next chapter of our lives.
Look at your next step. Who do you see? Do you see someone who is nervous, not sleeping, depressed, or withdrawn? Do you see someone who is engaged, productive, rested, healthy, and (dare we say) happy? This is your chance to choose. This is your opportunity to give birth to that which is pregnant in you: hope, peace of mind, and the Divine spark.
Our rebirth is as much a miracle as our original birth.
How do we accomplish this rebirth? I believe we need these four steps:
Forgive: We must forgive those who have wronged us, or peace of mind will forever be elusive. As long as we carry this burden, we only weigh ourselves down.
Engage: Be with others. It is good to be alone, but not lonely. Depressions feeds on loneliness. You will have to force yourself sometimes, but feel the fear and do it anyway, as they say.
Give: You may feel you have nothing to give. Everything of yourself has been stripped away. But if you go to the soup kitchen, give out presents to homeless children, or in any way make someone else’s holiday brighter, watch what happens. Rebirth.
Visualize: Spend time – real time – visualizing your new self, the creation of your rebirth. If you’re having trouble, ask God to show you. See this every day, as many times a day as you can. The Universe will conspire to make this vision reality.
As we struggle to be reborn, include the Divine in all efforts. God is our midwife! Just as human birth is painful, spiritual rebirth brings psychic pain. The Holy Spirit is the balm for this pain. Call on the Divine to guide you, heal you, keep you safe, and hold you in the light of love and peace. Feel the warmth of pure Love fill you and soothe the pain.
Rebirth doesn’t happen overnight. Like all healing, it is a process. But why not take this season as a starting point? A catalyst for your new self to begin to emerge? You have nothing to lose, and your self to gain!
This holiday season, be reborn in the sure knowledge that you are Still Beloved.
“This Christmas, give the Holy Spirit everything that would hurt you. Let yourself be healed completely that you may join with Him in healing, and let us celebrate our release together by releasing everyone with us.” ~ A Course in Miracles T, XI
Victoria McGee 12/21/15