Friday, January 15, 2016

It's an inside job

Humans are capable of enduring tremendous pain. We can go through huge amounts of physical suffering and recover. Some learn to live with and be productive with enormous chronic pain. And the same is true for chronic emotional pain. I lived with a morass of emotional suffering for years, traumatized, depressed, and not understanding the weight of the burden I carried. I was productive. A successful student, I worked, had friendships, and met and married my husband. To others, I was doing what young people did, socializing, studying, working. And I had no idea just how much I hurt.

How would I know? I had nothing to compare it to. Insecurities, doubt, and depression had long been my emotional base-line. I functioned and met responsibilities but now, looking back, I would hardly call it living.

Many others live the same way. Hurting people continue to get out of bed in the morning to meet responsibilities with little experience of joy. It is the myth of Sisyphus all over again, pushing the boulder up the hill, only to inevitably have it roll down the hill again. Where is the meaning?
Meaning is found within, in one’s own heart, one’s own spirit. As I like to say, it’s always an inside job. It isn’t possible to find this deeper meaning if one is disconnected from one’s true self. This was the case with me. I had little idea who I really was. What did I enjoy? What brought me pleasure? What was I naturally good at doing? Could I even listen to my own body? This does sound a bit like “finding myself.” And it is.

When someone experiences sexual, emotional, physical, or verbal abuse or neglect in childhood, that person is thoroughly stripped of the self. The adult who seeks to recover must discover the self anew. “Finding myself” may be a source of joking but the idea is founded in the truth that one’s spirit can be stolen. The questing adult must go about finding this stolen part of the self and restoring it to the center of one’s being.

How to go about such a seemingly daunting task? It is really quite simple. Begin by going within. This may be with the help of a therapist, a friend, a 12-step group, or through the liberating power of meditation. Simply take a step. One small step begins the journey to freedom.

If I can help you in any way on your journey, please contact me at Blessings.

© 2016 Janet Tuck