It hit me as I was listening to yet another podcast about fully accepting yourself and living joyfully in the moment – that I still wasn’t quite “there”. I still struggle with my thoughts. I still feel angry sometimes for no good reason. I still get insecure or unsure of my decisions.
Do these women REALLY wake up everyday with all that confidence and applied wisdom just oozing out of their every natural movement?
How is it that I have put myself on a fairly regular if not consistently steady diet of positive self-help books and podcasts and still I feel as if I am so slow to learn?
Maybe I need to think of it like my dear husband’s shoulder.
This summer my fifty something husband (he is still in denial) decided to rekindle his youthful hobbies and took a surfboard out in the ocean one sunny morning. I watched and took pictures of the glittering water and his profile catching the waves and riding them in. All was well and I was sorting through and deleting my failed photography when I looked up to find him walking out of the surf holding his arm. Yup. Vacation was about to take a different turn.
5 surgeries, an infection, PT and 6 months later he is still struggling to lift a little weight in a lateral movement. He sometimes gets discouraged but that’s when I remind him of all he couldn’t do just 5 months ago. Like move it at all without excruciating pain.
He IS making progress, although looking day to day it’s hard to see.
But looking way back to where he was 5 months ago – the progress is amazing!
Wounds and trauma take a while to heal. No one can say how long – the doctor can give you an estimate but some heal faster and some need more time.
Maybe our inner healing is the same.
I – like many women – was damaged. I experienced trauma and I had to fight my way out just to survive emotionally. But I still have those inner scars.
Did you know that emotional and verbal abuse leave scars?
After years of any kind of abuse – you WILL have wounds.
Just because they don’t bruise on the outside of your body doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
You will need time to heal.
Even with a steady diet of healthy, empowering words and amazing examples of strong women inspiring you – you will need TIME.
There is not getting around that.
My husband was in a top hospital with highly qualified doctors and nurses, awesome physical trainers, meds – and let’s not underrate the importance of a nurturing partner (oh and dog). Yet even with all of that he cannot bypass the laws that state that healing takes time. He has to be patient.
Similarly, I also need to be patient.
Yes, I have gotten through many challenges triumphantly standing and not losing myself. But have I allowed myself the time needed to truly heal?
I was sick with the flu a few weeks back and in my feverish state I had dreams in which my ex was in the house and was coming after me, pinning me to the wall and threatening me.
I wake up confused and annoyed from these dreams. Why after 15 years of being away from him has my psyche not gotten over the fear I had of him? I can’t control my dreams. Clearly they are pointing out that I still carry some scars…
Will that ever truly go away?
Maybe I just need MORE time. Maybe 15 years is just like 15 months to my husband. He will be mostly healed by then but will still have twinges and little reminders of the accident when he makes certain movements.
Maybe my insecurities, dreams and sudden emotional downs are nothing more than twinges from a past wound.
I need to continue to forge ahead with what I have learned, and believe that just because it isn’t an instant cure, it will still help to bring about healing in the long run.
Like my husband who faithfully went to PT day after day even when he couldn’t lift his arm more than 10 inches. He kept at it.
I too need to persevere.
Motivation doesn’t last. But discipline will carry you to the finish line, the goal, whatever it is that requires more than a momentary burst of inspiration and energy.
And most of the time our freedom, healing and wholeness will never be gained in those fleeting moments. It is in the repetitive, intentional feeding of and caring for our wounded soul. We need to find what brings healing and bathe in it daily.
I need to start off my day with verbal thanks, acknowledging all of my blessings.
I need to affirm and thank God for who I am – ALL of the parts of me.
I need to be real with myself and others about where I am and what I am feeling.
I need to speak truth to the lies that pop up into my head – telling me I am a fraud, telling me I am not enough, taunting me into comparison with others, belittling my accomplishments.
I need to celebrate who God has made me to be and stand in my power and claim my joy and peace. Those are my birthrights!
I need to combat the stress of living at 100 miles per hour by taking that 20 second hug with my husband, rubbing the dog’s belly, breathing deeply, practicing yoga, reading my devotional, praying constantly throughout the day.
And I need to do those repeatedly, again and again, whether I feel like it or not.
When I beat myself up over the fact that I am not 100% I gain nothing.
If I let my feelings run the show I will just spiral into whatever rabbit hole I happen upon. I need to be intentional about my healing.
So as much as my inner child becomes impatient with the process, I – like my husband – can look back over the long run and see amazing progress.
I sometimes wonder why there are no powerhouse women speakers who were victims of emotional abuse over a long period of time.
Were we shamed into silence over the years?
Do we end up so beaten down that we can no longer stand and find our voice?
I REFUSE to let him take that from me anymore – he took enough.
I WILL reclaim every inch of myself and cleanse my mind of every twisted lie he fed me.
I reclaim myself FULLY and little by little, as the “medicine” does it’s work, I will rid my body of every last nasty remnant of the disease of abuse.
Yes, I will probably keep the scars but may they serve as reminders of the journey I have survived, proclaiming my freedom and my strength!
I WILL use my voice to proclaim that even though I was used and abused I am STILL worthy of love, respect and wholeness.
I can live a healthy, joyful life, no matter what the past has dished out.
You also are a survivor, my friend.
That earns you a medal in my book.
You are beautiful, and you have amazing strength.
Whether you survived years of emotional abuse, or parental neglect, or being surrounded by people who constantly beat you down – you are still standing.
And the steps you take – consistently – WILL yield results.
Keep moving into health and healing.
When you feel tired and wonder if it is worth it, if healing will ever truly take place…Persevere! Keep believing that you are worth it.
Because I promise you – YOU ARE.
And you WILL heal. The body is constantly regenerating and so is the mind and the soul! But it takes time.
Healing is on the horizon!