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Our words are powerful. They can empower or disempower, they can soothe and they can create worry.
As a survivor of childhood trauma, I’ve heard a lot of words and ideas that made me feel bad about who I am. Shame is a feeling that can take decades to overcome. The last thing we need is someone telling us that “we create our own reality.” Of course, from a spiritual and self-sabotage perspective, I have to agree with that saying. But years ago, I would have told you differently.
I feel it’s important to understand that we do not create our own abuse. The idea of being responsible for everything that is going on in our lives causes a lot of insult to injury. Abusers often tell us that we were at fault somehow for what they did to us. That’s them not claiming responsibility for their own actions. They are the creators of that reality and they made you participate in it. For years, we believed that we were at fault for everything that went wrong and became apologetic and hypervigilant. We lacked self-esteem because that treatment destroyed our confidence.
Phrases that lead to more insult to injury are:
“You attract who you are.” You attracted the abusive person because you are a bad person.
“Everything happens for a reason.” The abuse is helping you somehow and you should be grateful for it.
“Forgiveness will heal everything.” I’m supposed to make forgiveness my priority, and make excuses for the abuser and let them off the hook, pretending nothing happened.
“You create more of what you focus on.” My favorite one. I’m not allowed to go through my healing steps because I’ll attract more pain and suffering through that. This is why I think that the “law of attraction” is utter bullsh*t.
There might be more to add; I’m sure you can think of something. A lot of these are created for people who either caused the pain or enabled it somehow, as a way to avoid embarrassment, and many of us repeat these ideas, unaware that it only helps the abusers to avoid responsibility.
We quickly try to avoid having to talk about difficult things because it causes a lot of discomfort. Humans are “comfort creatures.” It’s natural to try to go to what makes you feel good but it usually leads to denial. Discomfort is an invitation for us to lean into it, learn something from it, and transform ourselves into a higher, more awakened state. All my traumas had been catalysts for my spiritual awakening—and that’s the greater truth.
Trauma healing is long and tedious; it happens in steps and each perception gained helps us climb that latter of ascension. We can use our experiences to help us transform ourselves into who we were meant to be in this lifetime. We can use them to become more awakened.
I sometimes laugh silently at all the people who ever caused me pain because, inadvertently, they gave me the key to my personal freedom. From my perspective today, I am grateful for all of what life provided me with: the darkness and the light.
I found that the brightest lights shined when I emerged from the darkest depths of my soul. “The dark night of the soul,”an experience many awakeners talk about, is the experience of falling backwards into an abyss; you keep falling and falling until you start to relax and realise that the fall won’t kill you. You suddenly remember that you have wings you haven’t used in a very long time. So you simply learn to fly.
My abusers gave me the key to remembering my wings. So, thank you.
I do have to say though that as much as I was victimised, I also have been the cause or participant in creating pain for others. We often are completely unaware of how our lack of perception creates suffering for others. Pain is an invitation to lean into our souls for the answers. I just talked about this in my podcast yesterday; we forget our ability to tune into our own soul, our higher self, or subconscious mind for the answers. Trauma helps us to become aware of that ability. We pray and ask ourselves or god for the answers—the way out.
“Show me the way and I will do as you ask of me.” There always is a way and if you can imagine it, it’s possible. So, imagine a lot.
My imagination saved me. I knew it was possible to heal, I knew I could climb the mountain, I knew that I was limitless even though my environment tried to put limitations on me.
From a self-sabotage perspective, I know I probably stayed longer inside the valley of suffering then was necessary. My childhood adaptive behavior told me that I needed to stay a victim for others to nurture me, so I could be accepted in the tribe of people who make suffering a virtue. I’d fit right in. But I didn’t want that. I still felt imprisoned.
My past does not have to become my reality over and over again. My past is not my identity. It’s just something that happened to me. I realised at some point that I needed to let go of what no longer served my greater vision for myself, my kids, and our lives.
Each healing step gave me a new perspective in life that kept changing and I was changing myself through that. We can’t run away from what’s here now, because through facing it, we get that next key to make another step toward personal freedom.
I didn’t get to where I am today because I believed that “I create what I focus on.” I got here because I didn’t shy away from the difficult things; I had the courage to heal. I moved right through the darkness because I understood that the darkness was a part of me and I can’t be afraid of that. By embracing all of who I am, by asking the right questions, and by having the courage to do what it takes to ascend, I arrived and I also didn’t arrive anywhere. I came back home to my true, higher divine self, remembering that nothing can ever truly harm me, as long as I had the courage to face it.
By surrendering others to their own journey, I realized that I did not have to forgive anyone but myself for not having my own back sooner.