by Living Liminal cross posted from her blog Living Liminal
I have to confess that I found myself reacting the other day to some words which had triggered me, and left me hearing repeated echoes of past abuse. I reacted. I struggled. I felt like I’d lost my footing and was flailing around trying to find my balance. “Not again,” I thought, attempting to regain my equilibrium.
And as I wrestled with that reality, I was dragged down by the weight of failure. After all, I’d experienced so much healing since I lived in that old head-space. What on earth was wrong with me!?
But when I stopped the self-recrimination long enough to listen to my heart, I started to see that I’d simply fallen into an old, discarded trap – the false teaching which says that after you say the magic words everything is all better, and nothing will ever trouble you again.
But real life is not like that. We fall down. We get up. There is no magic.
So yes, I’d fallen down. And yes, I could get back up. But here’s the really good news. The healing I’ve pursued has left me better equipped to get back up again. I don’t need to pretend I haven’t fallen. I don’t need to stay down the hole. I’m no longer imprisoned by the toxic conditioning of my past.
I haven’t ‘failed’. I simply fell down.
But the experience has been useful, because it’s made me stop and think. And it’s helped me to realise that I no longer believe healing means:
- that we don’t get hurt any more
- that we no longer get triggered
- that we have all the answers
- that we have no more struggles
- that we are now perfect
- that we have “arrived”
But it can mean:
- that we can more readily acknowledge the pain and process it
- that we can identify triggers and have strategies in place to deal with them
- that we have made peace with the mystery
- that we have hope in the midst of the struggle
- that we can embrace who we are – imperfections and all
- that we are continuing our journey
And it seems to me that’s a much happier and healthier outcome.
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