I hadn’t been able to hate myself happy.
I hadn’t been able to think myself happy.
I was back to punishing myself for all the wrongs my so-called “I will think my way out of this” mantra was not righting.
The battle for survival became, once again, bloody and raw. My armor was strapped on so tightly, I could no longer breathe. Yet, I kept tightening it. I held a sledgehammer like a mighty warrior intent on beating myself to the death. This fight within myself, against myself, raged on and on, until I found myself broken and on my knees, armor trampled and worn, defeated.
As history so often tells us, there is only one thing that follows defeat…
I was a survivor. I had survived physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, abandonment. Surviving was my way of life. This armor I had so willingly chosen had saved my life countless of times. An armor designed to shield and protect my delicate wounds for faithfully for years. Armor designed to ensure survival.
Surely surrender meant ripping it off and throwing it to the side, didn’t it?
In all the years I had lived with abuse, through all the experiences I had survived, I can honestly say I had never been more afraid than I was in that moment.
Remove my armor? How could I expose the bleeding wounds of my childhood, of the abuse inflicted upon me by others as well as myself? How could I ever embrace, not fight against this wounded part of me? How could I ever allow myself to live in ease?
Surrender…my last resort
I started slowly, listening to what my body was trying to tell me. I started tuning into my feelings to understand their meaning. When I felt anger, I sat with it until I discovered the true source. If I felt afraid, I would look the fear in the face and ask where it was coming from, what it was telling me. I would hear the sound of my own laughter and figure out the circumstances prompting it.
I gently peeled a tiny corner of my armor away…testing the waters, and survived.
I became an observer of myself. Like the second bird, sitting beside the first bird whose job is all the ‘doing’ in life, while the second bird simply watches.
I equated this process to a scavenger hunt where one clue leads to the next and to the next.
Things were becoming easier, not as forced or controlled. I was learning, no longer merely surviving.
Soon, I was able to remove another piece of armor through embracing all that was right about me, instead of focusing on all that was wrong. Through embracing my feelings as opportunities for deeper insights, instead of suppressing and ignoring them away.
These insights allowed me to begin the mending of my wounds with threads of love and compassion. To tenderly nurture myself to healing as the moment was right, never rushing or demanding, but moving at my own pace.
As I opened myself to healing in this way, at my own pace while surrendering to love, trust and compassion for myself began to flow freely.
I no longer felt the fight for survival within myself, but instead, started to feel balance…a strange feeling of acceptance and calm as I learned to sit with my feelings without actually becoming them.
I began honoring and appreciating of my experiences, and their magnitude in my life. I was able to accept the emotions connected to them without punishing myself for them. I grew comfortable with feeling 100% of the pain of my wounds without trying to escape or bury it, as I had for so many years.
As I stopped abandoning myself and simply allowed me to be me, a surprising awareness of ease surfaced in my life.
Ease that allowed, encouraged me even, to let go of what no longer served me…the punishing, the ignoring, the escaping and burying, the paralyzing ‘thinking’ my way happy.
With this ease, through not abandoning myself, through honoring and appreciating my experiences, accepting my emotions, my armor faded to a distant memory and way of life, while unconditional love and compassion overflowed into its previous space, truly healing those delicate wounds of my past.
With this ease, came awareness of a growing peace and contentment. Of knowing I would never go backward again. That I would now only reengage with the pain of my wounding or anxiety of my experience in a new way…with more compassion, more willingness, more love. The awareness of having everything I need, right here, right now, to live my life more open and fully.
That was when I understood. I finally got it.
I hadn’t been able hate myself happy.
I hadn’t been able to think myself happy.
It had to be surrender…my last resort.
Surrender to true healing, to love and compassion for my self, my wounds, my abuse, my experiences.
Surrender to ease.
Surrender to happiness.
Surrender…my last resort.
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