Yes, I Can

If you feel you can’t go on, and you can’t face another day, with everything within you please cling onto this truth: A few weeks ago, or a few months ago, or maybe even a year or two ago, you felt just the same as you do right now.

Your resources had run out, and you had nothing else to give. You felt it was too hard. You’d reached the end of your rope.

And, yet, a few weeks ago, or a few months ago, or maybe even a year or two ago, you struggled through the darkness, and you did make it through.

You managed to keep going.

You managed to survive.

You got up in the morning, and you pushed through all the pain.

It’s true: you were a mess. You don’t know how on earth you coped.

And, yet, somehow you did.

Somehow you found a way to cope.

With everything within you, you held fast to that hope. You fought to find the courage to somehow save yourself.

So if today is truly awful, and the clouds are dark and thick, remember you found courage when you felt like this before.

You have the strength to make it.

There’s reason still to hope.

The future will be better.

Please hold on to that hope.

“Defy that voice within you that tells you it won’t get better.” – Unknown

Don’t Carry it Alone

Difficult days. Tough decisions.

Stress on stress. Anxiety.

Too much to do. Not enough time.

Feeling inadequate. Feeling overwhelmed.

Relationship challenges.

Sadness and regret.

Too much to carry. Too much to bear.

Step back from it all. Take time out for yourself.

Be brave. Open up.

Reach out, and find support.

If you feel pain, you’re alive. If you feel another’s pain, you’re a human being.”  – Leo Tolsto

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In the Bleak Midwinter

Winter in Canada is absolutely brutal. And it is dangerous to let appearances deceive you. Step on fragile ice and you’ll be dead in a few minutes. The icy calm will quickly chill the life out of you.

And though I love the scenes, I pay attention to the warnings. I check for risk of avalanche, and don’t ski out-of-bounds. For nature has a power that is truly awe-inspiring. But she is temperamental, and can quickly turn on you.

When we’re living with betrayal we are in the depths of winter. We may put on an act so others think that we’re OK. But underneath the surface there are powerful scary forces that suddenly rise up, and can wreak havoc everywhere.

if you are in the winter, then you need to heed the warnings. You may need to pull back, and focus solely on selfcare. It’s crucial you’re supported, and you’re heard with understanding.

Right now, you are in crisis. You are in survival mode.

A girl who has lived through trauma has lived through a situation where her body, her mind, her self was not her own. Where she felt disjointed, ripped from her self, safety, and sanity. It was a moment, an experience, a something where her trust was smashed, her worth was gone and all there was was pain.” – Victor Second

Hope in the Midst of Despair

There comes a point when it all becomes too much. When we get too tired to fight anymore, so we give up. That’s when the real work begins. To find hope when there seems to be absolutely none at all.” – Grey’s Anatomy

One day it will be different. One day you will be able to look back and see that life has changed, and you’ve been able to move on. Maybe just a little, but enough to make a difference.

It might not feel like it just now. I get that. Because I have been there too.

I have been in the place where I’ve given up on hope.

Because it seemed there was no basis for hope.

Because I was far too broken to hope.

Because hope seemed like a crazy idea.

I have been there … so I get why you can’t believe, even although you wish you could believe.

Right now, you might be going through something so unbelievably painful that you can hardly get out of bed in the morning.

Something which has stopped you dead in your tracks. Something that’s far too heavy to cope with.

Something that stops you thinking. Stops you feeling. Stops you planning. Stops you living.

I get that. It’s a terrible place to be.    

It’s a place of profound darkness. Inconsolable sorrow. Deep despair.

But you won’t be stuck here forever. I promise you that. Even if it’s hard to believe right now.

Things are going to turn around. Just a little. Eventually.

Please hang in there. Don’t give up hope.

You are going to heal. You will find that spark again.

You are Stronger than you Know

In the depths of every wound we have survived, is the strength we need to live.” – Unknown

You have what it takes to fight this battle.

For within you there is a reservoir of strength. A courage and resiliency you only know is there when you’re forced to face hard things. Things you didn’t want to face.

And when you’re forced to face these hard things, you discover you’re enough. For within you are reserves that you never knew you had.

You’re tenacious and resourceful. You are capable and brave.

You have grit. Determination. Unexpected self-belief.  

And when it feels relentless, and the battle is intense … and when you’re faced with setbacks, and the pressure is immense …

You keep on pushing onwards. You will not give up the fight. You won’t succumb to pressure. You are going to survive.

And though it feels unending, you keep clinging on to hope …

For inside you there’s a warrior who is never giving up.

The Painful Art of Letting Go

Fruit drops from the tree when it is ready … The process has its own timing, and it creates changes in your life when those changes need to happen.”

-Gary Zukav

Here are a few thoughts on letting go:

1.Letting go is a process. Yes, it may begin with a decision we make, and often there will be a desire to move on. But that is just the first step, the beginning of the journey. The road is long and difficult, and unpredictable.

2. You can trust the process. You mind knows how to care for, and protect, itself. Allow your mind to guide you – though it won’t always make sense. It knows what it is doing; you can trust your intuition.

3. You might feel really bad, and you may struggle to let go. There are reasons why we struggle to let go, and then move on.  For example, it involves some major losses – things we didn’t want to lose. Also, we have a sense of justice, and we know we were mistreated. 

4. Celebrate the changes, and the signs that you are healing. It can help if you look back, so you can see how far you’ve come. It helps to motivate you, and inspires you to keep going. 

5. Expect to stand still, and to regress from time to time. This is absolutely normal, and it happens to us all. It’s always three steps forward … then a few steps back again. Don’t let this undermine you. Just expect that this will happen.

6. If you’re letting go of a relationship, identify the reasons why you feel you must move on. Try to focus on the facts, and not the strong, negative feelings.

For example … How were you being treated? What was toxic about this? How should you have been treated? What do you need from a new partner?  The answers to these questions will restore your self-esteem. They’ll help you understand why it is better to move on.

7. Make room for something new, or someone new in your life. If you don’t feel you are ready, put this thought on hold for now. But eventually you’ll feel you want to have a different future. That future could be better than the life you have right now.

Sometimes it Feels Like No-one Really Understands

They don’t understand our pain because their world didn’t stop when ours did.” – Unknown

Betrayal, breakups, deaths, and tragic news. All of these can change our life in an instant. Nothing is the same as it was before.

And experiencing a trauma can be very isolating – because no-one really understands the pain we’re going through. So why is it so difficult to find, and get, support? Why do people pull back, or say nothing at all?

Here are a few on my thoughts on this subject

1. Often, if you haven’t lived through trauma yourself, you have no idea how it blows your world apart. You would probably agree that this was true for you, before. You couldn’t have imagined ever being in this place, and having the intense feelings and reactions you have now.

2. Even those who have experienced the same kind of trauma experience the trauma in a unique, and different, way. It depends upon our history, and what’s happened previously. On our culture, support system, expectations, and worldviews.

3. People very rarely know the kinds of things to say. They feel they’re at a loss – and they don’t want to make things worse. Here, their silence is an indicator of their sense of powerlessness to somehow make things better, or ameliorate the pain.  

What to do about it

1. Even when you are supported, only you can do the work that’s going to help to heal you, and to free you from the past.

2. But it can help if you find someone who accepts you as you are. A person you feel safe with, and who doesn’t judge at all. Who has no expectations, and who doesn’t make demands. Who’s in this for the long haul, and who won’t abandon you. Just being with this person leaves you feeling less alone.

3. Remind yourself repeatedly that you are brave and strong. You’re going to get through this. You are going to survive. You body and your brain both know exactly what you need. They know what you need most, and they know what you need now. You can trust your intuition. It is going to help you heal.

The Road to Deep Healing

“Deep healing can only begin once you accept that you have been truly broken apart. Be an active learner within your own struggle, and listen to what your pain is trying to teach you. Your discomfort will not last forever so do not be afraid to lean into the lesson. What you don’t face now will return again and again until you do.” – Ella Hicks

What are some of the things your pain might be trying to teach you?

1. You want to be chosen, and to be special to someone. You want to cherished and loved, for who you are, and as you are.

You deserve to be chosen, and to be special to someone. You deserve to be cherished and loved, for who you are, and as you are.

2. You want to have all that’s good and beautiful in you seen and appreciated by the people in your world.

You deserve to have all that’s good and beautiful in you seen and appreciated by the people in your world.

3. You want to be regarded as someone who should be noticed, valued, and treated with dignity and respected.

You deserve to be regarded as someone who should be noticed, valued, and treated with dignity and respected.

4. You should never have been treated the way you were treated. You didn’t deserve it. It says nothing at all about you. It wasn’t a reflection of you. It was a reflection of that other person – and who they are.

Don’t believe the lies that have been implanted within your heart and mind.

5. You are not worth less than other people. You are not inadequate or a failure. Those are lies too.

6. You need to put boundaries around your heart, and actively enforce them in your relationships. That is the healthy and appropriate thing to do.

There are people who are not good for you, who think only about themselves, who don’t care about you, or want the best for you. There are also toxic people in this world. People who actually want to harm destroy others.  You need to do the healthy thing and protect yourself from these people.

7. It is right to put your own well-being first. It is not selfish. It is healthy and wise. It is a demonstration of appropriate self-love.