Back then, I had many forms

pain never made me real in the first place

I’ve read Margaret Atwood’s “Shape Changers In Winter” 4 times today; and every time I read it I become more translucent. I’ve also been listening/crying to Molly DeWolf’s “8 Seconds” a lot recently.

In “Surviving To Thriving” Walker notes that the final stage of working through grief from C-PTSD/Abuse requires a different type of feeling; which means surrendering to our internal experiences of pain without judging or resisting them, and without emoting them out. Feeling “occurs” when we direct our attention to an emotionally or physically painful state and surrender to this experience without resistance. When we relax acceptingly into our pain, we can learn to gently absorb it into our experience.

Arthur Janov wrote  “Feeling is the antithesis of pain…the more pain one feels (processes), the less pain one suffers”.

I’ve been thinking about and embracing a lot of tender disciplines in my life over the past year; it’s taught me so much about gentleness. I’m still learning how the light gets in. I know that I don’t have to be a pain or grief factory to make myself real anymore (it never made me real in the first place). Somehow the idea of manufacturing pain and reliving the same trauma over and over again has become something that I am just uninterested in. If that’s anything, it’s evidence of grace at work.

I don’t know precisely how grace entered my life, or how I stay connected to it - only that it flows through my life like mercury rises through a thermometer. I think it came in when I stopped having certain (boxed) expectations for what those tender disciplines would deliver, and just trusted that they would benefit me. Most of my work is wrapped up in trust, recognition, and astonishment.

Early in recovery, I had an incredibly limited idea of what and who I could be. I used to connote joy to the absence of pain; because that was the extent of my experience.

All I can say to that is thank goodness to how wrong I was.

My therapist and I were talking yesterday morning about how I don’t have fear of the future because I’m excited about whatever comes next. Everything I’ve experienced so far (even the worst others have to dish out, even the grief and loneliness) has benefitted or transformed me into someone better.

Maybe Paul was onto something when he said: “you have to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.” 

It takes guts to tremble
It takes so much tremble to love.