Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I deserve a life of joy and wonder

Yesterday I had an email from a woman I met online when I first began the healing journey away from abuse. She too had an encounter with a psychopath. She too was lost and hurting, wondering what on earth had happened to her life.
Finding what was lost, claiming what we deserve is a continuous journey in love.

Healing from these encounters takes time. Yet, we have a tendency to believe we should be over it, done, finished with the hurting. As if healing from an emotional rape has a timeline and can be accomplished by following the direct line from A to Z.

There is no alphabet encoded path to healing. No step by step process that states do this and in 23 days you will be healed.

I used to hate the word, 'organic'. As in, the process is organic. I've learned to love it. Healing from abuse, any kind of abuse, is an organic process. It begins within you. It moves within you. It changes within you so that outside you can live the life you've always dreamed. The life you deserve.

One of the most difficult aspects of healing that I have encountered with many many people is embracing the belief, I deserve to heal.

So often, abuse leaves a trail of shame and self-blame. Like Hansel and Gretel looking for a way back through the forest, the abused drops grains of self-respect along the path leading to their abuser. Caught amidst the deceitful web the abuser must weave to keep the victim trapped within their embrace, the seeds marking the path back to self lie like fallow fields of grain, never to be reseeded.

To heal, I had to believe I was worthy, deserving, able to heal. I had to choose to believe I could heal.

That's hard.

The wounds inflicted by an abuser run deep. They run wide. They run wild within our psyches. Choosing to believe I could heal was the first step to healing.

Taking action that supported me in healing was the next step. That included writing, therapy, exercise, healthy eating, loving self-care. I had to take positive actions that affirmed my belief I could heal. It was up to me.

One of my mantras in healing became, "Never say never."

It is often instinctual to say, "I will never .... Heal. I will never trust another human being. I will never love again," after an encounter with an abuser.

Truth is, we have no idea what the future holds in store. All we can do is our very best today. All we can do is be true to ourselves in this moment so that the next is a continuation of our very best.

When I say, "I will never trust again," I am saying, "I choose to set myself up today so that I will not be trusting, or trustworthy in the future."

When I say, "I will never love again," I am saying, "I am terrified the past will repeat itself. I will avoid at all costs loving anyone -- and that includes myself, because love hurts and I don't want to hurt like this again."

Saying 'never' is lethal in healing. Never is the dam holding us back from claiming our right to live the life of our dreams.

There is no straight line in healing. There is only the choice to do what is loving, caring, healing -- or not. The path to well-being is winding and circuitous. Four+ years after that encounter, I still find corners of unease -- not because of him, but rather because the tapes in my head fire off messages that undermine me, disturb my peace of mind, unsettle my well-being.

Those tapes were there before I met him. Some things haven't changed! What has changed however is my awareness of them and my ability to navigate rough waters, to walk through rocky terrain, to be determined and convinced of my right to live my most beautiful life today.

I can't unwind the tapes from the past. I can limit their playing continuously in my head today by living free of the belief I don't deserve to heal, I don't deserve a life of joy.

Truth is. I absolutely do deserve a life of joy and wonder. We all do.

It's up to me to live it up and be magnificent! This is my one and only life.

The question is: Do you believe in you? Do you believe you deserve a life of joy and wonder? Or, do you keep yourself stuck in the belief bad things happen to you because you deserve them?


Anonymous said...

Louise, you are a healing salve for the soul. You said:

>>>Taking action that supported me in healing was the next step. That included writing, therapy, exercise, healthy eating, loving self-care. I had to take positive actions that affirmed my belief I could heal. It was up to me.<<<

Well-said! That is what I am concentrating on now! The whole problem is that I almost nearly believed him when he said his love could heal me! (rolling eyes) Self-healing is the only avenue to true wellness, but I tried to take the shortcut across (very) rugged terrain! The genuine path is much longer, but paved with real healing; no temporary bandaids or topical anesthetics.

Strewn on my path to healing, though, are a lot of broken eggs covered with derogatory phrases! ;)

M.L. Gallagher said...

I've got some of those same eggs! Isn't it wonderful when they're smashed? Pretty powerful;)