If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.
This was a necessary piece to write, but it was difficult for me to sit down and get started. There was some stuff that got triggered or “unearthed” for me this summer during various events and it's been difficult to put into words what I've been feeling and experiencing. I think I was able to get a good start while writing this. Of course there are more layers and I will address them as they come to surface.
For the past several years I openly admitted to being a control freak (it’s not that I wasn’t prior to this, but I’ve been more honest about it lately). Yes, it’s true. For those who know me this probably isn’t shocking. I like structure (and then freedom within that structure to be free and spontaneous), I like order, and I like things a certain way. And yet, I am in a vocation where nothing is certain—at least on an inter-personal level. When I was in a parish, I knew where the Bible and candles were—and that was about it! I also am actively involved in my denomination’s youth program and there is plenty of uncertainty in that realm. My friends and fellow youth workers and I would joke about which activity we wanted to “control”—we’re all on the spectrum of wanting control. The good thing with these people was the ability to laugh at ourselves and also keep each other in check in case we got a little overboard.
And then we get to the summer of 2016. The political climate is more than anyone can bear at the moment. Vitriol is spewing and people's defenses are up--no one wants to let their guard down in case that leaves an opening for the opponent. It's ugly. This energy is dividing friends, families and co-workers. It’s permeating throughout the entire culture and we are all feeling on edge.
The violence we are witnessing is perhaps one outlet for this energy and the world feels incredibly unsafe now more than ever--despite evidence to the contrary. We are living in tension.
The earth is more fragile as we are past the point of no return in a lot ways regarding the environment. We need to make a global shift for the sake of the planet. In the mean time, we are witnessing a wide variety of healthy and unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with all this tension and feeling out of control in so many areas.
~Al Gore: An Inconvenient Truth
If anyone tells you, “Oh yeah—I’m totally a control freak!” they are admitting that they had no control/were out of control for a part of their lives. Granted, as children we are quite limited in the control we have over our circumstances. However, for many children there are times where they have the freedom to be themselves*. I had those moments during childhood until I didn’t. There were a couple of personalities as I was growing that interrupted that for me. It was incredibly traumatic and it wasn’t until I was around those personalities for an extended time this summer than I recognized a certain level of trauma I need to heal for myself—and yes, I will do the healing. During those times in childhood I wasn’t cognizant of what exactly was being taken from me. I just knew I needed to find a safe place until the storm moved on. Summer “vacations” were the worst during my school years as I had to wait an agonizing amount of time until I could get back home. The only breaks I had were during church camps and such.
This summer I thought I would be okay—and I was wrong. I still have healing to do. The good news is that I have a safe place to call home and friends who help me when I’m limping a bit. And yes, I have a therapist who is helping me process and compost.
* And yes, perhaps I am writing from a privileged perspective and I recognize that.
As I’ve been reflecting on summer events (both global and personal) and what has been triggering for me, I realize that I experienced trauma throughout my childhood…not just during the summers after my parents’ divorce. There were other bullies in my life and I see how this has affected my ability to learn. Yes, I have a reading comprehension deficit (funny because I like to write) that started in Kindergarten. I found this article that explains the impact of trauma and learning. I would constantly beat myself up for not being able to keep up with the rest of my class—I gave up on keeping with my sibling a long time ago. This understanding is actually liberating. I’m not an idiot as I thought for years. I must have had pain stacked up for years that got in the way—I realize this now and as I heal I have the freedom to think. This may sound like a statement of the obvious, but it is affecting me in profound ways. I’m ready to heal and ready to learn.
My “go-tos” for healing situations like this are Emotional Freedom Technique as it clears layers at a time and there are phrases that trap emotions in us, too. I also use the Emotion Code as there are trapped emotions ready to be released and this modality will help point me to what is ready to go.
What layers are you ready to shed? Are you stuck and need help getting started? Message me for an appointment to help you get started in the healing process and resolving the past.