Day 236/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
As I sit each day to begin to write this blog, accompanied by the essays on Sarah's beautifully written pages I can't help wondering how very different life is for those who have deep and long-held trauma.
Art, poetry, music. Creative pursuits are incredibly difficult to entertain from that space. Often any attention to them is absent altogether with no energy available to direct to pursuits outside of your own inner survival.
There is a tendency to want to share how it should be done, why it's beneficial and encourage you to something that you don't have the capacity for. However in these daily writings I am attempting to write my truth. More than advice I want to share my journey, the real journey.
To tell stories about how it's really been to be human in a body and mind that doesn't want to be here. To push through each day as if I'm marking time for it all to be over.
That's the stature of a person who has sustained the trauma of not connecting with early caregivers. The isolation, the lack of safety, the complete absence of trust in life and other people, and not forgetting abject fear that resides in the body and continues to activate at some level in each and every new encounter. These are the legacies of early childhood trauma; the failure to build a reliable, resourceful, predictable and safe relationship with primary caregivers.
When there is this experience there is little creativity. It's not possible to draw on your imagination to find innovative solutions when every internal resource you have is directed towards survival.
Some stats for you. According to recent readings of psychiatric articles and journals on this topic of trauma experiences, around 51% of the population have this inheritance. In view of this you would be forgiven for thinking of it as the human condition. It's almost our normal way of life.
It needn't be. There is a reason that trauma has become such a popular discussion in therapy circles and generally in recent times. We are waking up to the fact that we are barely functional in body's that carry trauma.
Sarah says today that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you can hear your story in mine, take this time to simply enjoy some of the beauty in life around you. Listen to the bird song as it threads your thoughts together. Admire a flower, walk at the edge of the lapping water as it gently arrives and recedes on a nearby beach.
When all else has failed you, the fact that you are here, in this body, reading this material means that something and someone has supported you. That something might be the air you breathe, the earth's gifts of food that you eat, the water that you drink and the earth beneath your feet that holds you upright. And that someone is the resourceful, capable you that gets up and gets going each day in spite of conflicting inner needs and desires.
There is now so much support from trauma informed therapists to help you recover from the worst of it. Take the courageous step and ask for help. The right therapist will know how to support your inner conflicts even when you don't want to be there but go anyway.
As the trauma in your body releases its grip on you, creativity arises and begins to fan the flames of interest and exploration. Innovative solutions are more accessible. And forgotten memories that connect your life together begin to emerge. Your temperament becomes more predictable and steady, your thinking becomes clearer, relationships begin to improve and you begin to feel safe and trusting for the first time in your living memory.
This is my experience.
Take care of you. 🌷
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.