Living with PTSD means some days will be better than others. No matter how much I have overcome, there are days in which my PTSD level will be quite high; today was one of those days.
I have come to accept and to embrace days like this. This may seem odd to some, after all why should I embrace the feelings of fear, despair, pain, confusion, among others?…
I will tell you why, because by accepting and embracing the feelings I do not get stuck in an old traumatic moment nor holding onto old patterns of beliefs and fears, on the contrary by allowing myself to feel the discomfort, pain and all that comes with it, I allow myself to get rid of them, to release, to breathe again, to heal.
When one simply denies your body’s way of talking, one is simply putting off feelings which will come back intensified. Your body/your soul knows better than anyone how to heal itself. People go through life afraid of feeling pain, seeing pain as something which is to be feared, hated, avoided. Pain is not the problem, the problem is our misconception of what it is and what it does.
Pain is your body’s way of making you are aware that something inside of you needs your attention, needs your love. It helps you to look in deep and helps you resolve that which you don’t want to face.
Pain helps you vomit all the trauma, the misguided ideas or ways of looking at things. Until one is willing to vomit all the trauma out of your system, avoiding is simply giving it a place in your life, allowing room for trauma to grow and to cripple you.
Tantra explains beautifully how one should not deny the body but rather work with it; to become fluid with all its emotions so one may open all chakras and allow energy to flow freely, miracously, creatively.
Pain is not the enemy; to feel pain is not something anyone looks forward to; I certainly don’t; but I have come to see the gift which arises from embracing it. At first it may bring you down to your knees; for me it can get to the point where I can feel very cold and can’t stop shaking, I easily cry and it can become hard to identify why I feel the way I do. Talking helps, although the shock can be so much that words seem to escape me and I feel as if someone simply has taken my vocal chords away; still I stay with the feeling.
Today I held on and held on and kept reminding myself to be gentle with me. Reminding myself to be gentle with me has to be my priority and although hard at times, it is slowly but surely becoming my mantra. I know at a cognitive level that in accepting who I am and all that which happened to me, by embracing my old hurts, my shadow, I allow myself to feel love; a deep genuine love from me for me. Only by feeling love can I offer it to anyone else.
The old demons remind me of how much the hurt imposed stayed with me at a cellular level, whenever they return I know they are trying to show me something, to let out a bit of the trapped hurt yet I still wouldn’t wish what I go through at those time to even my worst enemy. There are times I will “win” and walk myself through the process quite easily. Other times it takes me a while to get back on my feet and feel alive again; at those times I forget these so called demons are but my inner child, parts of my cellular memory pushing forward asking/demanding to be healed, to be heard, to be loved. When I do recognize the emotions for what they are and what they are trying to show me is when I make peace with my demons and see that darkness is not to be afraid but embraced and loved, only in doing so can it be transmuted. Only in doing so can I retrain my brain and allow new connections; healthier neurological connections.
The deeper the trauma, the harder it is to see clearly at those times. There are times when I have to just succumb and weep without knowing exactly what trigger me and why; at those times I have to trust that after the storm I will be able to understand why. Physical and mental abuse, traumatic events, isn’t something to simply be dismissed neither can you allow them to become the reason why you stopped living.
I choose to see my past and walk through it. I choose to recognize the strength in me that was required to survive some of those events. I choose to also look at my own mistakes and see them as lessons, that way I prevent myself from having that behavior become a pattern; instead it becomes wisdom. I do not let others make me feel ashamed of who I am; I didn’t ask for the abuse. Neither will I live my life with my head held down for being human and making mistake. I am learning to embrace all of me little by little and the more I do the healthier and happier I feel. I would not be who I am today had my life been different; I can’t change the past but I certainly can change my present and by doing so impact my future.
Embracing the pain has made me stronger but also less rigid. I stand for what I believe, I am opinionated about not simply turning the other cheek when others keep abusing you. I don’t preach vindictiveness, I preach the ability to walk away from those who seek to put you down because you are worth it. I don’t pretend to be okay, at times I am not. I can feel intense anger, pain, frustration which are all natural human emotions; I am healing.
I may not always feel capable of dealing with those around me but when the wave is gone I always make sure to talk to those who surround me and to give them choice. I know how hard it may feel to watch someone you love go through a rollercoaster of emotions and how all that can impact the life of those closest to the person who is recovering. The most important thing is to give choice. Once the pain and anger are gone and you are thinking clearly, love those close to you enough as to give them choice. If they stay be thankful and use that as your fuel for next time; use their love as fuel, as a reminder that you are worth loving. If they can’t stay don’t blame them (I am not referring to people who don’t even know you or who belittle you but to those close to you) Respect the fact that it may be too much and allow them to exit your life if that is what they need, otherwise without choice one can become a trigger for someone else and none of us have the right to impose.
Please don’t feel ashamed of your scars; scars are a testament to your life. They have contributed to you becoming someone whose soul and mind can see deeper than the average person because you allow yourself to dive in places within your subconscious which most people don’t like to look in.
Don’t choose to be a victim, don’t fake healing. Survive if you have to right now (survivor) but aimed to live (warrior). Choose to take control and make pain your ally. Let it teach you and guide you towards your own betterment.
This afternoon I feel very differently than I did this morning; that is because I allowed pain to flow with me. I was gentle with me and I allowed my higher self to guide me.
In Tantra we say your soul is always speaking to you. Your higher self talks directly to the Universe. This may seem wacky to anyone with less knowledge of Tantra, metaphysics, but the truth is even your basic physics agrees that our human bodies emit electromagnetic frequencies. Einstein studied it intensively. I invite you to research it.
Our bodies, our minds are like a radio antenna and if we allow ourselves to feel, it clears the channels for open communication with the universe. The universe is made up of perfect frequencies and we are its extensions.
I am no guru, I am on my own path of self discovery. I am simply sharing my experiences, my learnings, my wisdom; for wisdom isn’t born from theory but experience.
So as I started my day feeling all those familiar yet uncomfortable feelings, I allowed myself to flow. My partner and I talked. We talked about what I was feeling, why did I think I was feeling that way and how my life is taking me to places I would not have ever dreamed of. All our plans for the day changed as I felt a tremendous need to visit a metaphysical store, one reputable, knowledgeable. The one I used to know is now gone, and I did not feel like heading to Vancouver to explore. I wanted to find something small, cozy. A place that reminded me of what having a family feels like; a place with people who knew and understood the subject. I pulled out the phone and searched, there was nothing really close by except for two places, one of which was close. Had it not been close I would have probably gone there simply because I’ve been there before; although I did not get the feeling the my soul was aching for. We got in the car and headed out for this new place, after a couple of errands we got there and I was pleased; from the moment I got there I was pleased. The location was in an older part of town, with lots of antique stores which I love. The store was small and the people were lovely. At first I was embarrassed to explain what I was doing there; I was looking for something specific; I built the nerve to say it, after all the only way I can help myself is to be honest about who I am and what I live with. I felt welcomed, embraced and understood. After some breathing exercises, signing up for a workshop, talking about my symptoms and getting what I needed, we headed out to the cashier. One of the ladies asked my partner if there was a clone of him, which I found absolutely lovely. I was not threatened by it as she wasn’t disrespectful on how she said neither was she flirting with him. She was pure, beautiful, clean; I was flattered actually because someone else saw why I had chose him.
Life has not been easy for us; he wasn’t always like this an neither was I. People and their preconceived ideas of who we are at times have been difficult to deal with. The age difference between us makes it harder for people to understand. I have had people say that I have father issues or that he is going through some crisis. Well Yeah I do have issues, who doesn’t? Yes he has a past, who doesn’t? We take care of our own selves and each other, neither one using the other for a particular preconceived misguided idea which many people in society like to assume out of their own personal injuries, insecurities or unhappiness…So really to see two beautiful people of which one expressed out loud something I already know, felt really good for both of us.
To be good isn’t to be perfect. Neither should anyone live a life pretending to be perfect; what a jail!. To be good isn’t to go helping everyone else yet not helping yourself first. One can not go pretending to have it all figure out, pretending to be understanding of everyone else, meanwhile those close to them get neglected.
Being good comes in many ways, as diverse as the universe itself; being good however has nothing to do with how popular you are or with how much you help others so long as you get something back from it, whether monetary or recognition. Being good is about being you with everyone, without pretenses, without masks, without thinking you are better than everyone else. You are you and you are awesome; to what extent will depend not on how much you have or how many people you can impress but rather how much can you be you in a world that seeks, promotes, accepts and delivers fake.
Being good is not about not having a past, is about learning from it, is about being you when everyone else wants you to be something else in order not to rock their comfort level. The person who never made mistakes has that much less experience to share with the world. After all mistakes really are learning experiences; they are only mistakes if one does not learn from them.
Had I not listened to my soul, had I stayed at home and coward at the negative emotions which almost paralyzed me, we would have missed that experience which was beautiful and healing for both of us. I am not suggesting to force yourself to step out of your home if you are not ready; I am hoping you learn to differentiate when your mind and body need you to rest and when you are secluding yourself out of fear.
I don’t have all the answers; I doubt anyone does; but I can tell you this, when those feelings come up, let them. I know it will hurt, I know it will feel like all you want to do is push them away, DON’T–stick with them gently. Be gentle with yourself. Love yourself even if you feel your mind fights you back–do something you love, be it having a warm bath, meditate, dance, go out to enjoy a quiet meal at a peaceful place or whatever it is that makes your soul dance, do it!. You are worth it!.
Now I leave you with a beautiful quote about beauty, goodness and perfection….
““For everything in this journey of life we are on, there is a right wing and a left wing: for the wing of love there is anger; for the wing of destiny there is fear; for the wing of pain there is healing; for the wing of hurt there is forgiveness; for the wing of pride there is humility; for the wing of giving there is taking; for the wing of tears there is joy; for the wing of rejection there is acceptance; for the wing of judgment there is grace; for the wing of honor there is shame; for the wing of letting go there is the wing of keeping. We can only fly with two wings and two wings can only stay in the air if there is a balance. Two beautiful wings is perfection. There is a generation of people who idealize perfection as the existence of only one of these wings every time. But I see that a bird with one wing is imperfect. An angel with one wing is imperfect. A butterfly with one wing is dead. So this generation of people strive to always cut off the other wing in the hopes of embodying their ideal of perfection, and in doing so, have created a crippled race.”