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Dis-ease and the Value of the Healing Journey

August 9, 2013

I began waking up to the affects of trauma in my life, and how ineffectual my methods of dealing with them were, when my life began to crumble around me. In spite of my best efforts to build, understand and construct a life that made sense, piece by piece, bit by bit, the foundation upon which I stood fell away. The ways I coped pre-midlife became utterly ineffectual in handling what I was trying to handle as I entered midlife. My physical, emotional and spiritual resources faded to near nothing. I was burned out, used up, lying bleeding on the floor.

I’ve spent my life searching for answers to the angst and confusion that has plagued me every day of my life. I’ve sought answers in friends and lovers, relationships and solitude, God and spirituality, psychology and sociology, education and re-education, therapy and self-examination, children and husbands, careers and avocations, status and success, pharmaceuticals and self-flagellation. I listened, I learned, I coped, I denied, I avoided, I cried, I despaired…oh, how I despaired. My right life eluded me. Healing eluded me.

I did not know or understand that healing was what I needed. I started life in a relatively healthy body with a nearly normal mind, in a nearly normal family, living in a nearly normal world. Though the record may show evidence of psychology dis-ease starting at an early age, I never believed that there was anything truly wrong with me. I was “normal” by most standards. So what was “wrong” with me was something I could fix, something I could surely find an answer or solution to.

Therefore, I was dazed and confused when every avenue I took, every option I tried, every structure in which I placed my confidence, one by one, fell to naught. The beliefs I held did not hold me up. The support I thought was in place was an illusion. Though terrifying and painful beyond words, I have begun to see it all as a spectacular journey; God’s greatest gift and blessing on my life; something truly worth suffering for.

Before true healing can take place, our false beliefs must be dismantled, our propensity for denial disallowed and our clever means of avoidance relinquished. We must dare to step out of our comfort zone and use every ounce of our freewill and choose to go inward. It is a choice.

Laying ourselves open, tearing off our masks and letting go of our defenses is never easy. In doing so we find ourselves in altogether unfamiliar territory that we likely have no idea how to handle. When we lack trust in ourselves it can feel like a terrifying void. This is precisely why most of us avoid it and choose to look outside of ourselves for the answers. Outside answers make us less aware of our pain, our trauma, they do not heal it or make it go away. We are merely anesthetized; living our lives in a state of confusion, uncertainty, or silent, smoldering desperation, choosing instead to race hither and yon, seeking the next high, the next temporary fix, be it a drink, a drug, a lover, a book, a vacation, a car, a degree, a mentor, a guru, a god, a weight loss program, a new career, a new friend, a puppy, a hobby, an exotic trip.

When we come home from our once in a lifetime experience, and after we share our photos with everyone we know, after the buzz of adventure has worn off, where will we be? Who will we be? If, we choose not to stop and consider this question, but choose instead to jump on the next band wagon, and the next, and the next, in time our life will be over and we will likely be no nearer to finding what we are really searching for than we are right now. If we are fortunate, we are hit over the head by the consequences of our blind choices, earlier rather than later, before we run out of time energy, or health. Or, we make the conscious choice to dismantle ourselves, or more accurately, dismantle the lives we’ve created that serve as insulation and protection from our true selves. If we are lucky, we understand the value and importance of making the choice to pause and evaluate and, when given the opportunity or the awareness we choose to embark on our own, very personal journey of inner healing; wherein we can endeavor to unearth the trauma that traps us and move into the space of real knowing and self-acceptance.

© Dorothy Sander 2013

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. August 9, 2013 1:06 pm

    Another awesome article, Dorothy! You continually hit the nail on the head & go to the core. You are a well-spring of encouragement, hope & compassion all rolled into one. Wishing you abundant blessings as you continue to bless each of us who follow you.

  2. August 9, 2013 2:27 pm

    Thank you, Dorothy, for sharing what has to be a painful unearthing of emotions. I struggle with these issues, as well. It helps to have someone put a voice (so eloquently, I might add) to the pain. I also believe that the journey of healing, especially as we age, becomes a gift. Thank you, again, for putting this struggle into words.

    • August 9, 2013 8:25 pm

      I am glad you found some connection to my words and thoughts, Patti. Trauma teaches but it does not define us. It does, however, gives us a different kind of vulnerability and openness to and understanding of the pain of others. Perhaps that is the biggest gift of all. I appreciate your thoughts and your heart.

  3. August 9, 2013 2:54 pm

    Beautifully written piece, Dorothy. I too am on this journey and though at times it is far from easy, I take joy in all that I am learning about myself. This is the best part of aging. Taking the time to breathe, take a look behind us and go into what’s next without the urgency of youth.

    • August 9, 2013 8:29 pm

      Wonderfully said, Jzrat! It is indeed a joy to be open and willing to “be” with ourselves at this time of life, no longer running away from or fighting with the truth.

  4. August 9, 2013 9:01 pm

    “Before true healing can take place, our false beliefs must be dismantled, our propensity for denial disallowed and our clever means of avoidance relinquished. We must dare to step out of our comfort zone and use every ounce of our freewill and choose to go inward. It is a choice.” Perfectly articulated, it is our choice, our free will–the very thing that makes us human, our best self and our worst self. Choice. Thank you for writing this!

  5. August 10, 2013 3:01 pm

    I read this post yesterday, Dorothy, but had to come back today and let you know that I continue to think about what you wrote. You have a beautiful way of expressing universal truths, and as a fellow woman over fifty, I just want to say thank you.

  6. August 11, 2013 12:03 pm

    What a beautiful, introspective, yet recognizable journey for so many of us. We do indeed need to look within, to spend that time, and find what heals and nourishes.

  7. Patty Grace permalink
    August 13, 2013 3:50 pm

    Dorothy, thank you for sharing this. You definitely have a gift!

Trackbacks

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