I continue to slip back into old habits and patterns. As I said in my previous blog, I’m extremely self-aware; so self-aware that I can tell you exactly what I’m doing and why I’m doing it and yet am completely unable to stop it. It begins to feel like an out of body experience. “Anne, what are you doing? Stop doing that, just stop.” I’ve been struggling lately with balance. It’s important to have my breakthroughs and feel all the feelings that go along with those breakthroughs, but how long is too long? At what point do you stop and move on? I don’t know.
Sunday morning, I was barely awake. I honestly don’t know if I was more awake or more asleep. It felt very much like a surreal experience. All of a sudden, what was going on became very clear. I felt an internal battle. It literally felt like my insides were battling each other. Part of me wanted to go through the growth and the other part of me didn’t. Then I heard very clearly, “I’m afraid I’ll lose myself if I grow too much.” I fell back asleep.
I have been spending a lot of time thinking about my own growth and trying to pinpoint what’s missing. It feels like there’s a huge gap in my growth. I’m having breakthroughs, I’m feeling my feelings, I’m recognizing when my lack of self-worth is triggered, I understand (usually) what my anger means. There are all these “pieces” and then there’s just a big gaping hole.
Today I was listening to a podcast about post traumatic growth. Brooke Castillo is a life coach who works with a variety of people on a variety of issues. She said when she has people who come to her who have been through traumatic events, if they’ve been to therapy for it she tells them she doesn’t need to know the story. “You only need to re-live a traumatic event one, maybe two times to truly feel it, and then you can let it go. It’s important to feel the pain and then let it go.” There it was…that’s the big piece I’ve been missing. Let it go. I’ve never learned how to let it go. I’ve never learned how to let anything go. I either pushed everything away or I played it over in my head over and over and over again.
I thought about that a little more and realized it on an even deeper level: I hold onto everything, every traumatic event I’ve ever made it through because without those events, who am I? Who would I be if I let it all go?
Brooke described trauma as a vase being shattered: Post traumatic stress is trying to put the vase together again as if it never happened because it “shouldn’t” have happened. Post traumatic growth is taking those pieces to create a mosaic, something new and beautiful from the shattered pieces.
The next big piece of my growth will be creating something beautiful from those pieces instead of arguing with reality.
“When you argue with reality you lose, but only 100% of the time.” -Byron Katie