Thursday, January 24, 2013

Challenges and First Steps

The journey to healing after emotional trauma is a strange and complicated trip.  There are so many emotions to be dealt with.  There is understanding and accepting.  There is pain and sorrow.  There is the suffering of healing.  There is anger and moments of hatred.  And there is also the apprehension and fear of the unknown, the question of “what now”?

I have faced this journey sometimes with bravery facing each emotion head on and letting it sink deep into my psyche.  Other times with cowardice, hiding in fear from the raw emotions that would batter and toss my soul on stormy seas.

Each time I have learnt something.  Sometimes, something about myself, and other times, I have learnt about the driving forces of society or those people beyond my control.  I have learnt to be more tolerant of failings and shortcoming, my own as well as those of others.

I have learnt that it is possible to look at all the broken pieces in one’s life, examine each piece, struggle with learning the lesson and then find a new home for that shard somewhere safe, to be picked up again later.

There were days when I struggled through the examination like a warrior in battle, fighting on in desperation.  There were days when I scratched and clawed with bloody raw emotions at the walls of emotions that encased me like a prisoner in their clutches.  And then there were days when I would cower in fear in the darkest depths of lonely caverns, covering my eyes and hiding from the truths I must eventually face.

But every day, step by step I creep closer to the end goal, being once again able to pick up all the broken shards of what was and reassemble them into the vessel of what will be.  In coming to understand and accept all that has happened, I have gained the tools and the skills to move forward.  I see the next step before me, the next challenge to be faced.

In rebuilding who I am, I must differentiate between the roles I have played in life and who this person is that I call “me”.  I am not the mother, the nurturer, the caretaker.  Those were my duties and responsibilities that came with the job.  And yet I am faced with a blank slate once again.  Who am I?

It has been so long since I have asked myself that question.  I can easily explain what I do, what I like, what I aspire toward.  But when I face the question “who am I”; I have no answers.  I face the unknown as surely as a new born baby faces learning about the brave new world he finds himself in.

I am more than the things I have done, the things I am doing or the things I plan to do in the future.  The challenge is to find out what that something is.  That is the ingredient that will define the colour and landscape of my future.  The act of being is as important as the acts of doing. 

As a person who has always faced the challenges of what needs to be done and doing it, I need to learn this new to me lesson; who am I, and even more importantly I need to come to realize that I have value beyond what I can do for others.  

And therein lies the crux of my dilemma, so much of who I am is tied up in what I do for others.  Isolating who I am, separate from what I do is a substantial challenge.  Realizing how important this different path will be in my journey of personal growth is the first step of this new adventure.

Renate Dundys Marrello
2013 – 01 – 22

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