Tag: PTSD

HOW TO MANAGE YOUR FEAR & ANGER POST ELECTION

HOW TO MANAGE YOUR FEAR & ANGER POST ELECTION

Fear and AngerPanic, fear and anger are very normal responses to what has taken place over the last week (and months). Many of us feel threatened and angered by all that is happening. We are in hyper-reactivity mode and our emotions have been propelling us forward. Everywhere people are saying and doing things they would not ordinarily say or do.

This high adrenaline response (survival response) is a natural and normal biological response, programmed into our DNA, to give us the biological resources we need to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe in a threatening situation. It is not ALL that we are. Not by a long shot, and it’s important that we take time, now, to reconnect with the rational and more expansive aspects of our selves.

The threat seems immediate and our bodies are responding as if it is. But, it is not, at least for most of us. Our bodies don’t know this, and the adrenaline coursing through our veins is telling us to fight or flee when there’s nowhere to flee and no one to punch! We take this adrenaline to social media and pick fights with our words, or we bark at our kids or spouses. This doesn’t satisfy our bodies need for calm. In fact, it keeps us in a heightened state of reactivity and keeps the adrenaline flowing.

Our best course of action at this time is to do the opposite. It may feel counter intuitive, but we need to make a concerted effort to calm ourselves. Remaining in a hyper alert state for long periods of time is hard on our bodies and will ultimately drain our resources. We may need these resources down the road when a course of action becomes clear.

Now it behooves us to take a deep breath and do everything we can to find our center of calm. We think more clearly when we are calm. We act more carefully and intelligently when we are calm. During challenging times such as these, we need to think and act with the best of who we are, not in reaction to a set of circumstances that at this time is beyond our control. There will come a time for action. We will know it when it arrives. Today, taking care of ourselves and restoring our sense of security within ourselves is our job.

As we live out the coming months and years, our ability to be vigilant in our self-care, will allow us to stay the course. Establishing a sense of security and calm within ourselves provides an anchor that will help us ride out the storms.

In my experience this can be accomplished by engaging in any or all of these practices. You may have your own.

  • avoid unnecessary confrontation
  • decrease exposure to inflammatory rhetoric/media
  • disconnect entirely from the internet for a period of time
  •  limit news/TV/electronic devices
  • take several deep breaths periodically throughout the day – we tend to hold our breath and breath shallowly when we are tense; deep breathing actually activates calming mechanisms in our body.
  • moderate exercise – a brisk walk, swimming, dancing
  • spending time outdoors, preferably in a natural setting away from the hustle and bustle of every day life.
  • pets can be calming – take some time each day to cuddle with yours; no doubt they will be calmer as well!
  • eat healthfully and avoid alcohol and junk food (Adrenal Burnout Soup Recipe)
  • get lots of sleep (even if you need a little help to do so for a while)
  • spend time with people who are calm and with whom you feel safe;
  • avoid those who don’t (it doesn’t mean you have to stop loving them!)
  • soak in a hot tub
  • use essential oils in a diffuser or sprinkle on a cotton ball and carry in your pocket
  • meditate/pray
  • practice mindfulness
  • body work/massage/
  • read positive, reflective literature
  • tune into yourself in silence; heart/mind/body/soul
  • Listen to and follow your intuition

We will get through this together.  Dorothy


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HARVESTING WISDOM by Author Joan Rough

HARVESTING WISDOM by Author Joan Rough

I’m excited to introduce today’s Voices of Wisdom feature contributor Joan Z Rough.  I met Joan through her wonderful blog where she writes regularly about life and “harvesting wisdom”.  I was drawn to the honesty of her voice and our mutual struggle with PTSD. Her voice of wisdom is strong and growing stronger with each passing year. I can’t wait to read her memoir Scattering Ashes, A Memoir of Letting Go will be available September 20, 2016, already receiving great reviews.

Joan describes herself  as “a wife, mother, grandmother, writer, blogger, gardener, artist, healthy food nut, and someone who loves all creatures, especially dogs.” She’s addicted to books, good movies and most especially her grand-kids. There is so much more to Joan that what she does. I will let her tell you the rest of the story. 

 

HARVESTING WISDOM

by Joan Z Rough

Harvesting Wisdom

By three methods we may learn wisdom:

First, by reflection, which is noblest;

Second, by imitation, which is easiest;

and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”

Confucius

Pearls of wisdom are things we harvest like grapes. We crush them into small bits, allow them to ferment, remove the waste products, and set the rest aside, allowing the resulting liquid to age. By the time we are elders, what we have is a rich, vintage wine, heady with notes of contemplation, emulation, and awareness.

We begin harvesting wisdom the moment we are born. We learn about the world from the way it tastes, smells, looks, and feels.  By the time we’re two or three years old the feel of a wet diaper may begin to annoy us. We follow our parent’s example, and begin to pee in a toilet. If we hold it for too long because we’re having fun playing with our favorite toys, we wet ourselves, and are then made fun of by friends and/or siblings. We suddenly understand that in order to keep from being humiliated, we need to pay attention to the messages our body sends us so that we don’t have to suffer from insults.

I’ll be seventy-four in November and have been harvesting wisdom all of my life. However, you’d never know it based on my behavior through the years. As a child, I was willful and stubborn, yet filled with fear and shame. As an adolescent I became a practiced liar, sneaking about, disobeying, and avoiding my parents as best I could. During most of my adulthood, I carried the scars and the dysfunction that both of my parents bequeathed me; a life built of shame, anger, hate, blame, fear, and victim-hood.

“I believed there was something terribly wrong with me.”

I’ve been unhappy for a good part of my life. Periods of sheer joy and happiness were often washed away by unfathomable depression and torrents of fear and anxiety. I didn’t know why. I believed there was something terribly wrong with me. That I was broken. Damaged goods. Undeserving of anything more than what I already had.

It all came to a head when I became my mother’s caregiver during her last seven years of life. Except for her last six months, she lived with my husband and me. Mom held tight to her fear and denial of death while I tried my best to make life as pleasant as I could for her. When memories of her mistreatment of me as a child began seeping out of the hiding places I had tucked them away in, I grew to hate her and found myself more depressed and anxious than ever. It wasn’t until after her death, that I realized that something had to change in order for me to be happy. If I didn’t I’d go to my grave a sorry soul, hauling my past with me, like a trunk of old clothes that no longer fit.

My goal was to remake myself into a whole and happy human being and to let go of old memories that had almost destroyed me. I took time to examine where I had been and what I had done with my life. I was diagnosed with PTSD, and began seeing a therapist, whose specialty was trauma. She helped me understand that I had been an abused child. That the belief that I had a normal upbringing was a fairy tale, and that I could be whole and happy if I chose to be.

“The more I wrote, the more things came to the surface.”

Harvesting WisdomAfter unending months of digging through the past and trying to find medication that might help me over the panic and overwhelming feelings I carried with me, I began writing out what I knew. The more I wrote, the more things came to the surface. They were things I had hidden from myself because they were painful. Taking an excruciating look back through the years, I saw myself being beaten by my father, while screaming for my mother to stop him. I finally understood the basis for my contempt for her. She never stopped him.

Along with the unearthing of the past, I found acceptance for who I am. I discovered the words and experiences that can trigger negative reactions in me. I began navigating through my days more easily, choosing between what made me feel good and what brought on my anxiety. I questioned my parent’s lives when they were younger, and uncovered the massive extent to which my mother had been abused by her mother. I already knew that my father suffered from PTSD due to his experiences during World War II. But it wasn’t until I myself was diagnosed with the same disorder that I found compassion for him, as well as for my mother.

Regrets followed. I wanted to go back and make it all better. But equipped with tools and knowledge my parents never had, I was better prepared to realize that they had done the best they could. Though I knew I couldn’t change the past and could never forget their mistreatment of me, I let go of my victim-hood. I found love, forgiveness and a deep understanding of them, myself, and the human spirit.

When people hear my story, some comment on what a hard life I’ve had. But I always let them know that though it was tough at times, without the adversity I’ve lived with, I’d never have found myself and the peace I live with now.

It isn’t through sitting in the sun and smelling the roses that one learns and gathers wisdom. It’s through hard knocks, the fermentation and aging processes that we learn how to change ourselves and the world we live in. 

Here’s to the good life, both yours and mine!


Harvesting Wisdom

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SCATTERING ASHES, A Memoir of Letting Go
will be available wherever books are sold on September 20, 2016
and is now available for preorder on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

 

WHAT EARLY READERS ARE SAYING:

“A brave story, beautifully written in an authentic, raw voice that strikes a universal chord about mother-daughter relationships, breaking the cycle of childhood abuse, taking the responsibility for one’s own healing and finding forgiveness.” KATHLEEN POOLER, Author of Ever Faithful To His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse

“In this well-wrought memoir, Joan Rough shows us the beauty of becoming the alchemist of one’s own life. What happens after she invites her elderly, narcissistic mother to move in to her home will often set your teeth on edge. The amazing ending, however, will leave you standing in awe at the power of love.” SHIRLEY HERSHEY SHOWALTER, author of Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World

MORE ABOUT SCATTERING ASHES

Depression – The Masks We Wear and How to Remove Recognize Them

Depression – The Masks We Wear and How to Remove Recognize Them

depression
ARTIST: Lance Johnson
Click on image to visit website.

Depression is often characterized as a deep sense of hopelessness. It typically arises after a devastating rejection, disappointment or loss. I described a little of my experience with depression in my recent posts,  Living Under the Cloud and  A Crack in the Night Sky. Depression, however, set down its roots within me in childhood when I was doing my best to cope with a world that was far more complex than I was equipped to handle.

What I am beginning to understand and wish to share with you, is that while depression can be an insidious state of mind that sets up housekeeping within us, it is useful to also see it as a mask. It is not who we are, but rather a lens through which we live and view our lives.  I believe, that if the mask went on, it can be taken off. It just may take a broader approach and a little more work than we heretofore have understood.

One of the dangers of modern medicine is the conviction that medication is the best and most expedient solution to a majority of ailments.  While it may be expedient, and provide some sort of relief, it may not always be a cure. Modern medicine has done wonders for many illnesses. It has also sidelined solutions for many others. We’ve become a quick fix society that doesn’t understand the need to dig deeper for healing.  Science and medicine continue to narrow their focus, to specialize and fine tune. Drug companies continue to come up with medications to treat the most popular illnesses. Depression is one of those popular illnesses.  What I believe is needed in spades is a broader approach. Specializations can’t see the forest for the tress.  Medication for depression is too often a band-aid approach.

In order to effectively treat and heal depression, particularly chronic depression, it is absolutely necessary to listen to and treat the whole body. Depression is classified by clinicians as a “mood disorder.” This “mood disorder” is the mask. Getting to what lies beneath is more of a challenge. It is my conviction that those who suffer must be shown how to step back from themselves and the labels  to learn to see themselves differently. Stepping back creates the space that can allow in new ideas, new treatments, new methodologies, new understandings of what it means to heal, what it means not only to survive, but to thrive.

Depression was not well understood when I sought help in the 1970’s. It took a decade or more for science to hand me antidepressants and therapy as a solution. It was a God send for me at the time, but it was not a permanent solution. A decade later I was not rid of depression, as my physicians and therapists told me I would be.  At that time psychiatrists were the only medical professionals authorized to prescribe  psychotropic drugs and from whom I received my first explanation as to how they worked.  My doctor told me that antidepressants would “ jump start the synapses in my brain and once mine would eventually begin to work again without help.”  I understood enough about jumping cars to understand the concept and it sounded plausible. What I didn’t think about, nor did he seem to be concerned with, was why was the battery draining and what would keep it from becoming depleted again.

After several relapses and futile attempts to go off antidepressants I was then told by therapists and physicians to just accept that my body was not going to do what it needed to do. They encouraged me to look at my condition as one similar to diabetes, a condition that could be managed with medication.  I had no choice but to accept the sentence I was given, but I never liked it.

I wasn’t convinced that it was quite that simple, although I had not yet found an alternative answer, nor did I even understand the nature of the problem.  Medication and therapy were the only options I was given and I relied on them to get me through the child rearing years.  It was not easy. In fact, while I functioned, and even well at times I felt almost “normal”, I lived under a cloud that threatened to pour at any moment.  Therapy was more of a crutch than a cure and I tried a wide variety of therapies and therapists over the years.

I have functioned, more or less, throughout my life with one hand tied behind my back, and I am fairly certain that there are plenty of people just like me who are doing the same thing. Whether the rope that keeps us bound is depression, anxiety, fear, narcissism, PTSD, or any other mental or emotional condition, I do not now believe that it is always in our best interest to ride the waves in a boat designed by drug manufacturers and over specialized physicians.  Their perspective is far too narrow and has become far too complacent.

Those of us who are riding the waves owe it to ourselves and other sufferers to push the edges of our condition, to challenge the status quo, to do more than just survive. We owe it to ourselves to dig deeper, to try new avenues, to ask hard questions and to accept and love ourselves through it all.

Mental and emotional illness, is more accepted now than it was fifty years ago. If I had been born just twenty-five years earlier I might have spent a good portion of my life in a mental institution undergoing shock treatment. Before that I might have been sequestered behind bars. I am grateful for what was available to me and the relief it did offer. However, I think we can do better. I believe we can work toward acceptance and understanding in a way that doesn’t simply pat the suffering individual on the head and send them home with a pill and a therapist. Mental health issues are more accepted, but they still make us uncomfortable.  We don’t understand them and they frightened us. We fear what we don’t understand. We marginalize what we fear.

All you have to do is look at the state of mental health treatment in this country to see our fear and disregard for the suffering.  Public institutions are underfunded and understaffed. Research is funded more often by drug companies than independent research.  The mentally ill too often end up wandering the streets or end up behind bars.  For those who manage to function more or less normally, current treatments are not often healing treatments.

Depression and anxiety have plagued me most of my life.  Pain is a powerful motivator and it has been the  impetus behind my never-ending quest for understanding. It has driven me to question, research, study, contemplate and experiment, not only to find relief for myself, but to find true healing for all who suffer from this painful, life altering condition. In the process I have amassed an enormous amount of experience and knowledge on the subject. I have seen the commonalities between myself and those I’ve tried to help. The threads that weave us together are the threads that can set us free.  As we untangle these threads we loosen the mask  and the painful pressure beneath is relieved.

As I continue this backward glance at my own struggle with depression and the effect its had on my life, I hope to reach into my knowledge and experience and pull out the most important threads required for healing.  One by one, I hope to offer what insights I am able to offer, not only on the healing process but on mental health treatment in the twenty-first century.

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY

THE MASKS WE WEAR

WHEN PLANS CHANGE, AND THEY ALWAYS DO!

WOMEN STYLIN’ AT EVERY AGE

 

Manifest Me – One Year Later

Manifest Me – One Year Later

writer, freelance writer, poetI began this blog a little over a year ago. It’s hard for me to fathom how far a person can travel on the inner journey in such a short period of time. When going through change and upheaval it seems, at times, interminable. The thing I’ve noticed over the years, however, is that real change takes time, not to mention serious commitment and focused attention. When we dabble in change nothing really happens. On the other hand, if we dive in hook, line and sinker with plenty of support and guidance, deep, lasting change can occur.

When I decided to start this blog, I only had a vague idea of what I was meant to do here. I knew intuitively that I needed to be more honest in my writing – to write more from my heart and less from my head, but beyond that I didn’t have a clue what that would look like.  I lived my life in the shadow of so many things that were not me. It was time to dig deep and find the courage to excavate and express the real me. The universe, or God, or whatever exists to see us through these things, always shows up to meet such desires and yearnings with exactly the thing we need. Crystal was the angel that delivered the goods in this regard. She knew where to lead me and what to do to give me the support and direction I needed.

If you’ve read my posts here over the last year you know some of what has transpired and some of what I’ve learned along the way. For me, it’s been an experience that continues to spin in ever-widening circles and there is still work to be done – but there will always be work to be done – always a deeper level of awareness that we can attain – a higher consciousness we can continue to aspire toward. That is the true joy of living. Knowing there is always a richer, deeper, fuller life experience ahead of us – and as time goes on, I have found it is most often an inner experience that we crave.

Over the last year, on a practical level, with Crystal’s guidance I have been able to change my eating habits. I have been gluten, dairy, sugar-free much of the time, striving always for better than 80% free. I’ve increased my level of exercise and as a by-product lost 20 lbs. Crystal insisted that I not focus on my weight, and I didn’t. It’s always been a lost cause for me. She repeated again and again, that when we are aligned physically, mentally and emotionally with our true selves, the weight will come off.

More importantly, my brain is clear, I’m managing my PTSD better and better all the time.  I feel centered, anchored and happier more often and I have made great strides in developing resiliency.  I’m learning to ask for support, to allow myself to have support when it’s offered, and to give myself what I need when I need it.  In turn I have more to give to others.  I’ve learned to listen to myself more carefully, to follow my intuition more often and to trust that I know who I am. Is life perfect? No, and that’s okay. It’s not supposed to be. I do believe, however, that we can feel better than most of us do, most of the time.

It’s time once again to raise the ante. Manifesting Me requires reaching just beyond our comfort level as often as we can. Manifesting Me requires owning who we are as clearly as possible, lining up our insides with our outsides, not hiding behind masks, facades, or mental constructs. It requires being fully present within and without.

The next step on my journey is to raise the ante on my outward expression of true self. I am taking on this challenge by continuing this conversation more openly on my website: DorothySander.com. It will be me owning my experience in body, mind and spirit – in the world. It will be me saying what I think and feel without hiding behind an artifice or an idea. There, if you follow me, and I hope you will, you will find more of what you found here, more about what I have learned and am learning as time goes on. You will find guidance as I discover it on things such as overcoming trauma, the body/mind/spirit connection, developing deeper levels of self-awareness, and more on my own spiritual journey as it unfolds.

I hope you’ll join me there and/or add your name to my mailing list below to keep apprised of new posts, workshops, book reviews, and more. I value your presence in my life. Your experience informs mine as much as mine may inform yours. We have so much to learn from one another and so much love and support to offer one another. Please join me and thank you for being with me here throughout the last year.

Dorothy

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The Power of Our Imagination

The Power of Our Imagination

Friends and Acquaintances by Gale Franey
Friends and Acquaintances by Gale Franey

A person’s ability to imagine is a potent source of power that every person alive possesses. We may believe that our imagination has been displaced by pain and trauma or that we no longer have access to it, if indeed we had any to start. Or, we may be operating on the assumption that we need to think our way out of the emotional and psychological quagmire that keeps us fixated on our problems.  I believe,  that regardless of the state we are in, our imagination is available to us and can become a potent ally in our efforts toward health and wholeness.

We are all born with the power of imagination. Think about it. Can you remember a time in childhood when you were so immersed in play, your imagination so taken with the imaginary world you had summoned up that what your mind had created  seemed absolutely real to you?

I remember creating a home in the woods across from my childhood home. Tree trunks became walls, mounds of snow were fashioned into chairs and fixtures. What my friends and I created was absolutely real to us. I’m pretty sure to the eyes of an adult it would simply have been snow and woods. My perfectly crafted kitchen, complete with a pot of soup atop a beautiful white stove would have been rocks, and branches.

Our imagination is a source of power available to us at all times. Those of us who have been traumatized or who have suffered severely in our lives have turned a good portion of our imagination over to our pain.  What is fear if not a thing devised by our imagination? Perhaps the more potent our imagination, the more severe our pain.

Since my accident and subsequent PTSD, all it takes is a flash of an image at the right moment to set my heart racing. In a nano-second I am plunged into the arena of my imagination, re-living the accident as if it were presently happening. I had just such an experience last week while exercising at the club I recently joined.

I always choose a treadmill that faces a large window, so that I can focus on the big beautiful tree across the parking lot, rather than the TVs that are on the wall to either side of the window and always on. I had done so this day, but I just happened to glance at the TV, almost a side-wise, mostly unconscious glance at the screen to my left. Just as I did, an image of a man driving a car, his face painted with impending doom and terror, flashed before my eyes.  In the following nano-second the impact occurred,  and my imagination jumped into overdrive. In a split second, I was thrust into the midst of my own nightmare. Captured unwittingly, I felt as if I had no control over my suffering.

If we can recognize the power that our imagination plays in our lives,both for good and ill, we can begin to direct its course. We can choose where we will put it to work. You may say, “but we have no choice when fear overtakes us, when the physiological effects of PTSD become the driver of our emotions and imaginations” but, I believe we do have a choice. Our basic survival instinct may be broken. Our brains may replay horrific images and memories, seemingly without our say-so, but I believe we can, bit by bit, take back our power and retrain our imaginations to work in our favor and in cooperation with our healing efforts.

Using one’s imagination to counteract depression, anxiety, and trauma is a tool that is always at our disposal. Instead of choosing to let fear run the projector in our mind, we can choose hope, beauty, love, and reinforce these things as often as possible in our day-to-day lives. It’s not a quick fix. It’s a process, a practice, and ultimately a choice.

This is the fundamental principle behind the gratitude journal. When we stop and think about something good in our lives for which we can be grateful, a mini-film plays in our imagination – a reliving of something positive – and positive feelings flood our bodies. This, my friends, is far better than the flood of fear that when left unchecked leaves us only to continue suffering.

Making the choice to pay attention to what our imagination is doing, to become conscious of the imaginings that are transporting us to painful places and choosing, when we can, to imagine positive images and outcomes can begin to create an environment where healing can take place.  Our imagination can become our best friend instead of our worst nightmare.

How Long Does It Take A Wound to Heal

How Long Does It Take A Wound to Heal

Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth 1948 The Museum of Modern Art, NYC
Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth 1948 The Museum of Modern Art, NYC

The wounds of childhood run deep. They run broad and wide and fester when they do not experience the light of understanding, of compassion, of acknowledgement, of love. Tears may be shed, cries and protests may erupt in the moments during or following an injury, but when unattended, the wound is covered up with ignorance, indifference or cruelty. The injury  is ignored as if it doesn’t exist, as if it never happened. The sands of time, layer upon layer, muffle the sound of the heartbreak, cause the bleeding to disappear from sight, but healing cannot occur. The bleeding and heartbreak continue on out of sight, underneath a layer of scar tissue.

I received a laceration to my hand in an accident, now four years ago, that has a left a scar. Shards of glass from the window beside me, the window I instinctively pressed my hand and arm against to brace myself as the car rolled…and rolled…sliced the tendon between my pinky and ring finger as it shattered against me on impact. Once the car came to a standstill and I found a small portion of my senses I knew I had suffered a serious injury to my hand though I could see nothing but blood. Somehow I knew that beneath the blood my fingers had been rendered useless. I even thought I had lost my pinky. It was instinct, out of sight awareness that led me to this conclusion.

The surgeon craftsman in the trauma center repaired the damage to the best of his ability though he had to be creative with what was left of the sinewy tissue. He enjoyed the challenge. I was grateful for his confidence.  After two hours of surgery, it took twelve weeks of bi-weekly physical therapy and home treatment  to regain some use. It took better than a year for the pain to stop and two years for me to stop being aware of the discomfort of the minor malfunction. This wound, was a simple, fairly obvious wound to attend to and heal, in the overall scheme of things.

The deeper wounds, the ones that are out of sight and remain unattended, discounted by ourselves or overlooked by those who have the power and awareness to help us heal, do not receive the treatment they need, the support of a team of experts, the attention of skilled rehabilitation specialists. We are left to carry them by ourselves, live with them and to attend to them in whatever way we can.

The accident left me with a TBI and PTSD. Both were not diagnosed or attended to in my post-accident medical treatment and it wasn’t until my hand began to heal that it came to my attention that I had been crippled in a far more significant way by the accident. I had not lost my finger but I had lost my life as I knew it,  my sense of security, my ability to trust myself or the world around me. I could not think. I could not remember things for five minutes. I could not plan or execute. I could not leave the house.

In that car, that day, I had been a sitting duck. I was a passenger in the car. I had no control over any part of my life. I was a victim just waiting to be victimized again. And, I was. Thank God. In spite of the pain and anguish I experienced during the years since, it does not compare to the anguish I suffered for a lifetime prior as I lived with buried wounds day in and day out, fighting depression, anxiety, self-doubt, deep, deep despair, fear, insecurity, uncertainty, failure, failure, failure. That accident shook everything loose in one fell swoop. I was turned inside out and upside down, literally and figuratively, my insides poured on the sidewalk to be picked through and inspected.

One by one, piece by piece, bit by bit, day by day I sort through and heal, sort through and heal. If the truth were told I’m still afraid to let go of the deepest numbness that replaced feelings too intense to hold, too lethal to bear. Yet, I know this is the only way to continue healing. One must open up the wound, must shower it with attention, understanding, and above all love, allowing tears to flow, anger to surge so that healing can take place. If we keep the lid on it, it we keep the bandage on the cut it is slower to heal and may never heal at all.

Ripping off the bandage is painful. It is best done with another, with someone who loves us and who can hold space for us. It is not something that can or should be done alone. Allowing love in is part of the healing process. Allowing others to care for us, to hold us and touch our hearts again is what we all long for. It’s what we all require.

So, how long does it take a wound to heal? It takes as long as it takes, but it begins when we take notice of the wound and give it the attention it requires. The healing process moves forward each time we shine the light of truth, understanding, love, acceptance and forgiveness on our hurting places. It ends when we no longer think about it.