Warm Greetings to all of you, my dear readers! Welcome back to The Art of Onward.
Last week was a heavy one for me, and I thank each of you for your warmth and encouragement via private message. The outpouring of love and kind support truly gave me strength, and I thank you each from the bottom of my heart.
As I contemplated this week about my list of losses, I continued to return to the first in the list: I had lost my faith.
Today, I'd like to share with you how without faith during exactly the moment I thought I'd lost it, I would not be here today, to hopefully inspire your healing journey with this blog.
PTSD is caused my various types of traumas, as we are all well aware of, and I didn't even realize I was suffering from it. No one told me ... which again halted my recovery, because I didn't know where to look for help. I know it would have been super helpful if my therapist had told me, but she didn't, until about a month prior to my emergency surgery. When she did, I felt this huge wave of validating Aha! realizations wash over me. My lack of focus, my odd behaviours at times, the fact I was finding myself staring blindly at shelves at the grocery store ... it all started to make a little more sense. And when nothing in life makes sense anymore, it sure is valuable to have at least my journey somehow defined.
Do I want it to define me? By no means. Not for a second. Because I'd rather be defined by my personhood, my heart and what I have contributed to this world we all find ourselves living, and journeying in. But in that moment, it helped to define what I was up against, and sometimes that's the key to stumbling in the right direction ... there was a light of clarity in the distance of the darkness I could now move toward.
But let's return to the faith I thought I'd lost.
Looking back it was not the faith, it was a massive disappointment, and subsequent anger, that I felt abandoned by my God. Somehow I'd been living in the belief that just because I was a conscientious lover of people and this earth, I would be surrounded with the same type of person, or that I would somehow escape the hardships others were suffering from. If I worked hard enough, if I was a good enough person, if I continued to prove myself, somehow I would be exempt from that kind of soul crushing pain.
Somehow, inadvertently, isn't that type of ignorance judgemental? I didn't realize it, but if this was my belief, then was I judging others who were suffering? Not consciously, but these are thoughts and realizations to explore.
The answer of course, is no. Just because we do all the right things, with a proper motivation of love and light beneath it all, does not mean life will be golden streets lined with our favourite flowers.
Nope, not at all.
Sad story, but truth.
Back to the concept of faith - it wasn't faith I lost, it was the innocent ignorance I'd somehow adopted. Believe me, it's gone now.
Faith is the belief in what we can not see. If that is so, then the mere fact that I was angry at my Divine for allowing this to happen inspire of my best efforts, denotes the fact that I always believed God was there.
But it took some time to settle in to the peace of that. It got bumpy, and stormy, in my soul. Traumatic Loss will do that to a person. And that's okay!!! Just know this, deep within, at your core,
you may FEEL alone, but you ARE NOT alone.
You may FEEL ignored or disposable, but you ARE NOT either of those.
You may FEEL lost, but you will be okay.
Write it down. Say it out loud. Replace the nasty voice that loves to attack so often. That voice is NOT TRUTH.
Close your eyes, relax your jaw, your forehead, your arms, your hands (oh my everything was so clenched and muscles so bundled up, I could hardly move, so much so I couldn't open my mouth to eat for months!), let a peace of love wash over you. Not shine on you, WASH OVER YOU.
Now take a deep breath, and allow it to FLOW INSIDE YOU. Enjoy that. It's yours. It's always there, if you feel it or acknowledge it or not, it is there. And yours for the taking.
Feel the Divine, however you define it, and open to receive. There is only good there. Only Love. Only Light. Only Healing. And it is yours, no matter where you are in your day, you can take a few moments, and receive. Truly RECEIVE.
I thought I had lost my faith, but when I realized that was exactly what was keeping me breathing, even if I could not do much else, and felt useless in my weakness, a peace filled me. Because I was able to finally accept this:
No matter how alone and isolated I felt, I was not alone. My Divine held me close, I didn't realize it at the time, but I was being held and slowly carried toward healing. And I continue to be. Because the journey doesn't end, and we so easily feel desolate within it. I choose the word "carried" very specifically, because I had no strength on my own, I needed to be carried. I needed God to take the weight off my shoulders, my being, and carry me for as long as it took.
I am grateful for my faith. I am grateful I can rest and lean in to the fact that when I have nothing left, my Divine will carry me. Takes a lot of pressure off, right?
I leave you this week with this:
Our Feelings are Not Always Our Truth. This week, try to remind yourself of that fact, and learn how you can guide your feelings, when you focus on what's true. You are not alone. The Divine is here to breathe you, to love you, to carry you.
There is rest in that.
Please remember to share this post with one person in your life this week, who you believe will benefit from this post.