Because of some of my life experiences, I have often wondered what makes the differences in what one person experiences compared to another? For instance, why did I always feel like women who had been brutally sexually assaulted, some beat beyond recognition, left for dead, seemed to be able to bounce back, lead productive, happy lives, enjoy meaningful relationships, and live otherwise “normal” lives seem to fare better than I did, someone who’d just been touched on and humped a little?
Before the thought could fully form in my mind, I saw the problem. A couple of them actually.
In my past few years of studying human thinking and philosophy, I came across some Buddhist teachings that resonated with me. One in particular was “comparison is the thief of all joy”. And while I found it easier for me to say that when it came to accomplishments that I felt that I should have made, but hadn’t, I’d never thought about it in terms of comparing my negative life experiences to those of others.
Maybe another survivor came from a wonderfully loving family that spoke life into her, encouraged her, and supported her. Or maybe she didn’t and that was her reason for survival and wanting change. Regardless of how good or bad that I may feel that my life or family was, none of that has a bearing on my life NOW and that I continued to allow the negative experiences from my past cloud what should have been a bright future.
So, instead of making comparisons, I decided to do some digging.
And underneath the emotional fallout, the broken bones that never quite set right, was a scared little girl.
She didn’t care that bills needed to be paid. She didn’t care about civil unrest or celebrity drama or anything else.
All she cared about was the fact that she was hurt and that no one had ever acknowledged that pain or expressed remorse.
So, I began to do this practice for myself.
And, I’ll admit, at first, it seemed completely pointless and silly.
But, then, the wound opened up, as fresh as the day that it was inflicted.
And I cried.
I cried until my eyes ached and it felt like my breath had all but left my body.
I realized that I’d never truly acknowledged the seriousness of what had happened to me.
I jumped from trauma directly to “get over it” like everyone was telling me that I needed to.
Yet, my inner child, my subconscious mind was like, “Do not pass go. Do not collect $200 until you deal with this.”
So, I did.
And I forgave myself for being a child.
I forgave myself for holding onto all the pain for so many years.
And I celebrated myself for surviving for as long as I did.
And I gave myself permission to let it go.
And I began to heal.
And every single day is a fight.
Every. Single. Day.
But, no matter how hard the day is, I take comfort in knowing that it keeps getting better.
It really does.