Over the past couple of weeks, I have watched social media feeds fight with one another for what is the right message that gives you the best results. I cannot relate to most of them. I enter social media daily with a desire to change the way we talk about the impacts of trauma. I had no idea that others (you) struggled to connect the words to the inner angst we carry in a world that dismisses our untold stories.
I am on the receiving end of your questions and the things that matter most to you. I know so many of us are hurting and feel alone in navigating what healing is. I wanted to share two things that have helped me tremendously and hope you take what resonates and run with it.
– I stopped participating in external pressures that tell me my life is supposed to look different. At every turn, we all have messages telling us that others have conquered something that we are failing at. I say phrases out loud (and often when I am alone) that help me identify when something seems to be shaming me to take action, while dismissing what is true about how my mind and body works and/or what I have experienced.
Most recently I finished the book “The Courage to be Disliked.” It is complex. It is one of the greatest books I have ever read and also felt remarkably uninformed around trauma. So, while riding this epic philosophical roller coaster, I am curating the perfect asterisk, or marking my notes, and then come up on a page that I interpret to say that trauma is in my imagination. So, beside the paragraph, in all caps I write the word “BULLSHIT.” This helps me identify what is true for me. It helps me know I am not responsible to embrace an idea that counters my own work and the sacrifices invested there. These challenges are an invitation to examine other parts of us while observing others, but I have found observing others to be difficult to do without naming the challenge first, then proceeding with an expanded observation.
– I have also healed from learning about silence and the gift of being alone. I was embarrassed to figure out just a few years ago that I am an introvert. I have exhausted myself with a highly extroverted life in my pursuit of what I thought would pay me back if I worked hard enough. I did not know how much of a cover up my career was and the ache of being an introvert who wanted to be alone, but did not know how, without feeling so much pain.
This has taken years to understand. I believe community is so important. I believe safe relationships have such a strong role in our healing. I also believe that healing enough of our fears and the things that taunt us, can give us room to feel safe inside of ourselves and that is an understated gift. The ability to be alone in silence and welcome your body and mind to that space is where new foundations are laid. There are many ways to move towards this, and there is not one way that works for everyone. Mine was traveling, writing, exploring and deep trauma work via EMDR and inner child frameworks.
Whatever brings you peace when your world is silent, is something to invest in. Make it a priority.
I am going to write to you once a month. We are working on other ways to connect with you all in this space, so stay tuned for that.
In the meantime, check out what we have going in the coming months below.
Happy New Year, Survivors. It has been a great pleasure to cross paths in a place where our stories are being told.