“To feel the Love of God within you is to see the world anew, shining in innocence, alive with hope, and blessed with perfect charity and love.” – ACIM, Lesson 189
See the world anew. What a concept. What a challenge. What a daunting task some days. We often go through so many days in a row that all feel the same, a little numb, a little tired of the day-to-day business. With PTSD, we are tired of summoning courage each day, tired of fighting down the fear each day, and tired of swallowing down the rage.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t live like that. I can’t. I made it my daily task to find something, anything, each day that gives me hope. There is no surviving PTSD without it. And here’s the tricky part: it is as easy as shifting your focus, and it is as difficult as shifting your focus. Ha.
Because some days shifting our focus is easy, right? We have that attitude as we set out on the day, and the universe rewards us with baby birds, friendly cashiers, compliments from strangers, hugs from kids. And we sigh and say, “I DO have hope. Life is good. Things are getting better!”
Then there are the days when, try as we might, our focus won’t budge off the damn trauma. We could encounter the same rewards as before, but they would seem trite, ordinary, meh. Right?
Don’t despair on those days. Our healing minds and spirits are like muscles. I learned this trying a new exercise where I got into position, then the instructor said, “Now, lift your leg.” My leg wouldn’t budge. She immediately, wisely said, “If your leg won’t lift, imagine it lifting, and do the count.” I did. I did this for two more classes. On the third class, my leg lifted.
So on those days when we are trying to shift our focus and it doesn’t feel like it’s working, we are still actively engaging that part of our minds and spirits that so deeply desire to heal.
In the spirit of seeing the world anew, I recently decided I needed a new meaning for the acronym PTSD. Not to dismiss or belittle my trauma, but to transmute it, as is always my goal.
So here it is:
These are the steps I take, almost daily, to heal.
Pray – Prayer is action. Prayer is never static. It is a dynamic way to engage your spirit with the Divine (from whom you are not separated anyway!) When I feel helpless, prayer is my catalyst to act.
Transform – If you’re stuck in an emotion, identify it so you can transform it. If you’re anxious, it is fear. If you’re depressed, it could be unexpressed anger, which stems from fear. A Course in Miracles, and many spiritual paths, state there are really only two emotions: fear and love. To transform fear in any form, you must love. Love yourself, those around you, pets, God, find someplace to send love. Love will return to you a thousand-fold.
Surrender – Surrender to God. Surrender to your feelings. And it’s okay to surrender to your trauma in order to heal it. You can accept it by surrendering to it. It happened. Now surrender to the Divine for your healing.
Deepen – Truly healing from trauma means to confront ourselves and our fellow man on a truly profound level. If you just try to get on with your life, without a thoughtful examination of your life and your psyche, your trauma will revisit you. This healing must be deep. Take a full breath and dive in. Reflect on each day and deepen your awareness of your healing.
That is my new PTSD. It feels active and loving. I hope you find some healing there too.
You are Still Beloved.