Remembering Trauma

How we use are minds to go through the remembering process of trauma can be a powerful tool to help launch us forward, or a cruel weapon to keep us down. What many don’t understand is the choice is ours. Our perception is our power. We can use it to lift ourselves up or to beat ourselves down. We get to choose thoughts of love or fear as we travel back in time. This is no easy task when the trauma is severe. Processing through the lens of love doesn’t mean that the memories won’t make us cry. The difference is when we process the memories through a lens of love—the tears ignite our souls. When we process the trauma through fear—we run into our darkness. 

How We Live is How We Remember

When we choose to live in our darkness (fear), we immerse ourselves in the fear, anger, rage, hate, resentment, greed, envy, and separation within us and in the world around us. Our energy attracts like energy, so we are drawn to seeing the darkness in others. We act as magnets because we need to keep pulling in examples of why the stories are valid. We live in a place of separation from ourselves, others, and the Universe. 

When we choose to live in our light (love), we immerse ourselves in the love, compassion, empathy, joy, forgiveness, wholeness, and inclusion within us and in the world. We connect to the best in humanity. We attract the light in others. We are making the stories we are telling ourselves valid and we are connected to ourselves, others, and the Universe. 

Can we fake it? On the outside, yes, but our magnetic pull comes from deep inside us. When we are not honest about seeing our own darkness, we may attract the wolves in sheep’s clothing (narcissists, abusers, sociopaths, etc.). We are running and we will be handed lesson after hard lesson to try to help us to move into the light, but as long as we keep telling ourselves to live in the fear, we stay in the dark.  

Why is How We Remember Trauma Important?  

The stories that play in our heads about our past experiences are more powerful than most people realize. Our memory of trauma can ignite buried feelings of shame, guilt, and fear that internally contribute to feelings of unworthiness, abandonment, and separation. There is a piece of us that may feel completely unlovable from the shame attached to an unhealed trauma. When we engage and swim in those feelings, they will permeate into our everyday lives and affect everything we touch. One unhealed trauma can lead to a life filled with resentment and separation, which often times leads to unhealthy addictions. Remember, like attracts like. When we hide from our own darkness, we are living in our shadow. We are caught in that dark tunnel of our minds. 

Here’s the awesome part, all it takes is one seed of light to come in and spread in order to help us start lighting our pathway out. That seed can come from a person, book, posting, place, event, video, story, meditation, therapy session, church service, tree, flower, etc.? That one thing can help us see more light. Eventually if we keep taking one step at a time out of our own mental prison, we become the light.

When we can look back at trauma without feeling the dread and hopelessness, but instead see what we learned from experiencing the trauma without the blame, guilt, and shame—we stop paying the steep price of living in the dark. We start finding hope in what was once madness. We see the strength in the survival. We begin realizing that we are not the traumas we survived. Our worth was there before learning the important lesson in life that the trauma taught us. Now, WE RISE in LOVE. This is where the best solutions come from. Remembering the trauma becomes a tool to help us live better and wiser. With that, we become the light. 

Getting Help

This isn’t an overnight process, and some of us may need a lot more help than others. There are plenty of tools and people out there to help. If remembering past traumas feels like a weight, here’s my suggestion to you:

Get out a Post-It, 3×5 card, or a piece a paper. Write down: “How do I become the best version of me?” Keep this question close to you, and be open to see, feel, and hear the answers. If you hear the same advice multiple times, you can guarantee the Universe is trying to help you.  Pay attention if people recommend specific books, therapists, practices, exercises, videos, articles, meditations, mindfulness practices, gratitude journals, courses, church services, foods, etc.  Just be open! Our worst enemy is a mind living in fear. Our greatest ally is a mind living in love. Be conscious of where your mind is. 

With Love and Gratitude, 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 83 – Taking Responsibility for Inviting Dark Energy into Our Internal Homes

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part III: Living the Journey

Making the Now Count: Rebuilding our Lives

Day 83: Taking Responsibility for Inviting the Dark Energy into Our Internal Homes

“I think we are all advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 A.M. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends.”

-Joan Didion

We are the only ones who can invite dark toxic energy into our internal homes. We are the only ones who can turn our homes into dilapidated shacks by not taking care of them. No one is to blame for how we feel inside of us, but we are responsible. The outside world may take away choices from specific situations and we may be led down some paths that our mere physical survival is a miracle—Inside we have choices. We can write whatever story we want about our internal lives. We can connect and/or disconnect to any perspective of truth, story, feeling, and/or thought. We just have to be open enough to see that inside us is where true freedom lies.

In Part II, I wrote about accepting our pasts and releasing the unknown future. The more we can get into the NOW, the less likely that those stories from the past and the attachments to some unknown future will be used to tear apart our internal homes. Trauma therapy uses techniques to help detach a person from the story of their trauma. This doesn’t mean the trauma didn’t happen, but the story of it is what keeps it hurting us now even if the actual trauma happened decades ago.

When we let these stories live inside of us, we are living within a dilapidated shack that needs a re-model to make it the internal home of our dreams. The problem is when our internal world has a dilapidated shack at the center of it; we invite dark and toxic energy into our internal world on a regular basis. We actually are comfortable in that energy because that is where we internally live. We attract people in the physical world who will bring us the energy we feed on to comfortably live within our internal worlds. If we are attached to an internal world filled with chaos, we attract chaos. If we are attached to an internal world filled with fear, shame, blame, guilt, shame, judgment, hate, and vengeance—YOU GOT IT! The Universe will give you what you are asking by what you are projecting out. If your words to the Universe don’t match what is going on inside of you, what is going on inside of you will trump any words you speak. The darkness we invite in is our teacher for some VERY important lessons.

We are responsible for any darkness in our internal homes or dilapidated shacks. Every home will have dark spots, but if we are willing to see them, shine the light on them, and clean up that area where the darkness touched—WE HEAL!  We learn the lesson the teacher brought us. We get better! We strengthen the light within us.

Part of the process to being a better me is being able to see our own darkness with clarity. Our darkness has a beautiful purpose. It can serve us if we are willing to look at it instead of letting it grow, fester, and spread. When we attract someone to our lives that shows us our internal chaos, we have the opportunity to clean up our own darkness. We can’t assign this cleanup, remodel, and/or gut job to anybody else. If we want to change, we have to take the responsibility to look at ourselves when presented by the darkness in our physical world. If we are attaching to it, we bring it inside of us and we’ve invited it in.

6 Steps to Transforming the Darkness within Our Internal Homes

  1. Recognize the dark energy festering inside of you that was triggered by an outside source (person, animal, event, object, etc.). How are you responsible for inviting this energy in? What about this outside source created your own darkness to stir up inside of you? What about this source are you attaching to?
  2. See thought options that can shine light on your darkness. Don’t focus on changing your thoughts here, just look at your options of thoughts. What thoughts could bring peace, calm, joy, compassion, empathy, trust, faith, hope, freedom, positivity, purpose, etc. to the dark room in your home? These are your cleanup products and tools to help you fix-up any space the darkness affected. Once you know your options…
  3. Choose an action to help you turn your light on. The light switch can be prayer, dance, meditation, yoga, conscious breathing, mindfulness practices, walking, consciously exploring nature, and the list goes on and on. Many of these tools have been mentioned throughout the series.
  4. Spot the toxic waste left behind from past darkness. Be careful because toxic waste can be tricky to handle. It likes to spread poison within our homes making the structure weak. Like mold, it can hide inside our walls. The more open we are to let the darkness pass through us, the more we will be able to see any toxic spots that are trying to linger, fester, grow and spread. These are those deep belief systems (perspectives of truth) that are latching on to keep the dark thoughts that were triggered alive. The thoughts that were triggered are exposing some of the toxins left behind from long ago they show themselves as entitlement, envy, greed, sloth, vengeance, cruelty, victimhood, and rage—Just to name a few. All of these are derivatives of FEAR.
  5. START CLEANING! You see it; now clean it up with the products and tools you’ve been given. The more you get these toxic energies cleaned out, the closer you get to living and leading a purpose-filled life with a deep connection to your Divine source. Your light gets brighter the more you clean out.
  6. Be grateful for what the dark energy within you exposed. Be grateful for the teacher and the lesson. Now, the old you might have sunk into the depths of shame and guilt when you invited dark energy into your home. You might have contributed to making rooms darker and turning off more lights to the point where things around you began to fall apart and crumble. The better you has the opportunity to grow and expand from the exposed darkness. You have learned how to shine your light effectively into your home and find the secrets hidden in the walls. This is something to be EXTREMELY grateful for.

We now can create an even better space than we had before. We took responsibility for our mess and cleaned it up! So embrace the darkness and what it shows us. Fighting it and/or numbing it (addictions) will only make it stronger. We want to learn from what it has to show us. We want it to help us spot the areas we need to clean up and re-purpose. You have all the products and tools you need in this very moment. The more you use the tools you already have, the more that will become available to you in order to grow and expand from the place you are.

If you are reading this piece separately, I invite you to go back and see what you’ve missed in the series. The 90-Day A Better Me Series is like a puzzle. You want to have all the pieces to see the whole picture. Here’s a quick link to the category so that you can go back and explore what you’ve missed: https://fromalovingplace.com/category/90-day-a-better-me-series/

For best results: I suggest reading the series all the way through. You may find that by doing this you are led to people, places, and/or things that open up new doors and pathways to lead you to be living a purpose-filled life—Miracles abound! You just have to take the journey and trust that at this moment, you are exactly where you are meant to be.

 

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Today’s Letter from A Better Me: 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 83 – Taking Responsibility for Inviting the Dark Energy into My Internal Home

 

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 29 – Self-Abuse

90-Day A Better Me Series

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation

Day 29: Self-Abuse

“If you abuse yourself very badly, you can even tolerate someone who beats you up, humiliates you, and treats you like dirt. Why? Because in your belief system you say, ‘I deserve it. This person is doing me a favor by being with me. I’m not worthy of love and respect. I’m not good enough.’”

-Don Miguel Ruiz

In The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, he wrote a few paragraphs about abuse. Reading the passage up above broke my whole world wide open. I felt the foundation under me shake and my house of fear began to crack apart. That is exactly how I felt, Like I deserved being emotionally beaten down. I had to face that I was allowing him to continue to talk to me like I was a piece of trash is because that is how I felt about myself.

 Side Note:

If you have a similar reaction to the material, please exhale now. Make sure to do it all the way. Get all the air pushed out of you and take a few deep breaths. If you need to stop reading and take a break because this passage triggered you, do it. Even after all this time and all the progress I have made, I can’t even believe how awful I was to myself, and how much pain I would allow myself to go through to prove it.

If we don’t want to be treated badly, we have to stop abusing ourselves. If we can’t look in the mirror and be kind to ourselves, we are attracting the energy of hate into our realities. This can come in a variety of ways. People may see us as having a chip on our shoulder. If we have friends they are the kind that will commiserate in our victimhood. We attract toxic relationships. We attract bosses who disrespect us. We have drama all around us. We might not experience it in all these areas, if there is a place we feel confident, we won’t experience it there. What areas we do feel it, we sit and blame the world without taking responsibility for the real person who is hurting us—Ourselves. Our own personal perspective of pain, fear, and suffering is hurting us. We believe someone’s view that says we HAVE to blame someone else for our pain, but the truth is suffering starts in the mirror.

If our perception of ourselves is abusive and full of fear, shame, blame, judgment and hate (like I’ve covered over the last 28 days) we will perceive the world outside of us according to how we evaluate our inner world. If we are abusive to ourselves, emotionally, physically, and/or psychologically we will sabotage everything that will take us to a level of happiness that we are uncomfortable with. The outside world treats us the way we tell it to.

This doesn’t mean that once we have a good self-concept and we take the time to take care of ourselves that challenges won’t come our way. Whatever comes our way has the opportunity to help us grow or allows us to sink back into old patterns so we get the chance to go deeper. Sometimes the greatest challenges help us find the path to serving the world in the healthiest way possible.

A friend of mine once gave me the suggestion to get a picture of myself as a little girl and talk to her in the way I think she deserves. Our emotional maturity stops the second we stop looking at ourselves for the answers and start blaming the world for how it treats us, this is the time we become vulnerable to addictions and abusive cycles in our relationships.

When we are victims of trauma early in our lives, it is very challenging to come into adulthood with a healthy self-concept. We weren’t emotionally mature enough to see beyond the black and white. This person did this to me or this happened to me, so it is the fault of the person or event. It is easy to stay the victim once we have been a victim. We don’t know better. I know I didn’t! I tried everything I could think of to try to help myself like therapy, church, spiritual groups, reading, in-treatment programs, outpatient programs, affirmations, writing, reiki, healings, and meditation.  Even with all I tried, I had to go through years of suffering to finally get that my problem was how horrible I was to myself. None of the help I got stuck, because I was still abusing myself.

After focusing my unhappiness on someone else’s drinking for way too many years and letting that be my excuse for treating the situation with hateful energy, I finally reached the point I needed dig down through the rocky foundation and get rid of all the hate making my life so miserable. The 12-steps of AL-ANON helped me dig myself out of the hole I created. I didn’t realize how powerful my shame cycle was until I dug myself deep into the work.

I didn’t go through this phase of my journey alone. That helped me see that I wasn’t the only one who beat themselves down. I started looking at the world differently. I wanted to live a healthier life, so I started seeking different ways to view the world. Everyone is different, but what I realized is that I needed examples of different ways to do things. I needed to see relationships that were healthy even in the midst of struggle. I had to teach myself a new way of looking at myself. Otherwise, I would continue to send this hateful energy out just for it to be returned back to me. I was done with this vicious cycle.

After peeling away layer after layer I started to see patterns of self-hate that went back beyond me. I saw how toxic my parents relationship was and how I continued that cycle because it felt normal to me. I had belief systems that worked against me in so many different ways to squash my value and self-worth. It was important to me to acknowledge the beliefs that hurt my view of myself.

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We will get the lessons we are ready to learn from. We might need to build some strength and courage before we can go deeper into what we are feeling. I got to the point that I attracted a narcissist to my life, because I needed to see just how far my darkness went. If it wasn’t for that extreme lesson, I don’t know if I ever would have figured out how cruel I was to myself. If you haven’t read the shame section in 90-Day A Better Me Series, it is an important one to look at in order to set yourself free from the self-abuse cycle. Shame was covered on Days 7-12.

Just for Today

Get out a piece a paper or a notebook. Look in the mirror. STAY THERE! What is coming up? If it gets uncomfortable stay longer! Write down how you are talking to yourself. This can be a layered process. If you feel like this is too intense to do right now, Louise Hay has a book called Mirror Work. It guides the reader through a whole program of doing the work in the mirror, one day at a time. On your journey with me, I don’t spend too much time here, but it is an important place to go back to make sure you are being honest with how you really feel about yourself.

Come back later to see today’s Letter from A Better Me. If you are ready to really dive into the work, you can sign-up with me to do the 35-Day A Better Me Boot Camp (click here for details).

When you are doing this work it is very important to be gentle with yourself. Don’t abuse yourself for abusing yourself. Our pasts can help us grow or hinder us from growing. It’s all in our hands.

With Love and Gratitude,

 

Rachael Wolff ©2019

Did you read today’s companion piece? 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series: Day 29 – How I Abuse Myself