Everything is either an opportunity to grow, or an obstacle to keep you from growing. You get to choose. ~Wayne Dyer
I’ve been going on walks lately, grateful to live in a quiet neighborhood where I can truly just listen to nature when I walk. When I lived in a busier place, I tried wearing headphones for music, just to block out the street noise. But I couldn’t. And I still have a hard time with headphones. As many years as it’s been since I experienced trauma, I still have to be able to hear my surroundings at all times.
This is just another “gift” from traumatic stress. It’s not hyper-vigilance any more, but it is vigilance, and I suspect I will always have it. And I’ve decided that’s okay.
Meditating on this thought, I realized that someone on the outside might think I’m not healed. Not truly healed. But I realized that just as our traumas are deeply based in our perception, so is our healing.
I perceive I am healed, therefore I am.
At least for now.
Because I am entwined in a relationship with the Divine, I have complete faith that as I am ready for another level of healing, the opportunity to experience that healing will present itself. Healing is fluid, it is constant, it is a very real field of vibrational energy. And because it is a part of God, healing will never abandon us.
So the burden on us, then, becomes accepting where we are in our healing, and accepting that healing is never done.
I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us. ~ Anne Lamott
Some people I hear from who suffer from PTSD just want to be done with it. They want to be healed and over it and never have to think about it again. This is not only impossible, but leaves no room for God to take our hand and lead us to healing. I completely understand. At one point, I was hoping someone would invent a pill or a surgery that could remove select memories from the brain! What I would have missed in terms of growth had that been possible, is beyond my comprehension. I’m not the same person I was before, thank God. Through healing from trauma I was led to greater growth than I would have sought on my own.
In his book Upside, The New Science of Post-Traumatic Growth, author Jim Rendon quotes Rachel Yehuda, director of the Traumatic Stress Studies Division at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She says,” Trauma causes change. There are a lot of opinions out there about how that change manifests, but you just don’t stay the same. That is a really radical idea. You do recover in some ways, but that recovery doesn’t actually involve returning to the baseline. It involves recalibration towards something new…”
Yes, “recalibration!” That is exactly what it is. We have to accept that we will not return to who we were before. We have to reframe our self-perception and move forward with our new, fragile self, holding tight to God. There comes a day in post-traumatic growth where you realize you will never be the same, and that it’s okay. You will recognize your “new normal” when you reach it. Time and therapy will get you functional. Faith and acceptance will help you more fully heal.
If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete. ~ Buddha
It’s important that we accept ourselves exactly where we are in our healing. Uncomfortable in crowds? That’s okay. Need a light on at night? That’s okay. Need to check all the locks three times? That’s okay. We have suffered a trauma and whatever we need to do to feel safe and secure is okay. There may come a time when we don’t feel the need to do those things, but there may not; and that’s okay too.
Our trauma is our own. Our healing is also our own. No one can walk in our shoes or judge where we “should” be in our process. Love yourself right where you’re at.
You are Still Beloved.
July 13, 2016