Cultivating Change: November Meet-Up Recap
We opened the discussion with the word change. By going to the Breaking Free meet-ups we are already cultivating change in our lives even if we just go and listen. We need to check in with those who understand or care about us. There are physical manifestations of all the secrets and holding in. We talked about the need to find a safe place to express ourselves; in therapy, physical activity or creating. Therapy can consist of EMDR or other forms of therapy, whatever works for you. Same with physical activity, use it to get out toxic anger and fear. With creativity, it can come out in many forms: reading, writing, knitting, crafts, painting etc. But we need to find a way to safely expel the anger and fear without harming ourselves or others. Saying we are FINE when we are not is not healthy, we need to take the time to process what we are feeling. Don't stuff it or it becomes like a popcorn dish you cook on the stove, it just gets bigger and bigger until it pops open and spills everywhere, although looking at it from the point of an exploding volcano is probably a better comparison.
Anger is common in those who experience trauma, we use it as protection. Anger is not a wrong feeling. As mentioned already we need to find a way to express it or shelve it until we find a healthy way to discuss it with someone. Using our voice to tell our story, to share with others, to express ourselves. This is why the #metoo movement is so powerful.
Change is scary but it's not as scary as we think it is. We need to stop judging ourselves, we need to have compassion for ourselves like we would for others. Many of us aren't breathing and are holding in secrets and hiding who and what happened. So many of us, once we left our abusers, carried on in their place. We silenced ourselves with substances (drugs, alcohol, food, gambling, self-harm, shopping, work, checking out, escaping and other addictions). Looking to outside sources will not bring internal peace.
It was shared that our energy enters the room before we enter the room. And many of us spend so much time trying to figure out/ guess others feelings and actions that we don't know our own and often don't have control over how we act or feel around others. We talked about feeling responsible for our perpetrator's actions against others, some felt like they were to blame if they couldn't get them convicted and others felt like they had to keep it in to protect themselves. We have to make a choice to let go of the outcomes, to do what we can when we can and to let go of the results. To make sure that we take care of ourselves, and to have compassion for OURSELVES. To speak what we need to and surrender.
We need to find a purpose through our trauma, to do all of these things, using our voice, finding a safe place to express ourselves, experience release from the toxicity of our trauma, to walk through the fire of our trauma. Fire creates rebirth. Whatever gets me to my Higher Purpose. This is important. It's not to say our trauma was meant to happen or should happen or to give the old platitude that everything happens for a reason because that's not it. We get to use the fire to create rebirth. That's our choice.
We've talked about forgiveness a few times and it is a sore subject for many (including and especially myself) we talk about using other words, peace was one that resonated with a few. I thought in honor of this I would find some quotes on forgiveness and share with you. Two of them came from reading a blog the very next day that had nothing to do with trauma but they were speaking about forgiveness and so I went in search of a few to add.
I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of an epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night. ~ Khaled Hosseini/The Kite Runner
Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heal that crushed it. ~ Mark TwainDarkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only, Iove can do that. ~ Martin Luther King Jr (I don't think this means we need to love them, but ourselves.)
When you forgive, you in no way change the past -- but you sure do change the future. ~Bernard Meltzer
Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness. ~ Marianne Williamson
It's one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody. ~ Maya Angelou
To forgive is to set a prisoner free and that prisoner was you. ~ Lewis B. Smedes
When a deep injury is done to us, we never fully heal until we forgive. ~ Nelson Mandela
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free. ~ Catherine Ponder
There is no time requirement when it comes to forgiveness. Each situation is different. One thing it does not mean is that you are obliged to forget. It just means you are ready to move on and find some form of healing. Either by gathering up the pain and packing it away to be thought of from time to time but forgiven nonetheless or by releasing it from your body like a fragrance from a violet and moving beyond the crush of the heel.
We need to have self-compassion, to find forgiveness for ourselves not for them.
~ As observed and shared by one of our meet-up attendees, Jesi! ~