Two weeks ago a stressful situation (coaching) and a bit of a trigger lead to an exhausting and emotional breakdown. Honestly, it feels like it was so much longer ago. On the other hand, I can feel my heart pound heavier in my chest when I think about it. I clearly remember how helpless and hopeless I felt that night. But, today I’m not going to that place. Today I want to tell you what’s been on my mind and going on in my life since then.
To begin with, I got many responses telling me how strong I am. Thank you. I am. I’m not always strong, but I am strong. I do appreciate being told that you notice my strength, though. I respond well to praise, but I’m learning to praise myself and not need everyone else’s all the time. (I still like it, though, so keep it coming…wink, wink.)
Several things showed up in my social media this week that spoke to me as well. I promise not to share them all here, but a few are fitting.
This one spoke directly to what I was just saying about being strong, but not all the time. I am also every other thing listed on that piece of paper (except Alex Elle’s name – I’m not her). It all makes me whole. It all adds to a pretty great, if not growing, changing, and learning, whole me. Sometimes it seems that people think using one adjective to describe themselves excludes another. That’s simply usually not the case.
Our descriptors are situation dependent. And being able to say that in some circumstances I’m confident and others I’m uncertain does not make me less. Understanding that sometimes I’m tolerant and other times I’m less so is simply that – understanding, describing. By knowing these things about myself, I’m not making any judgment other than, “Hey, I’m probably human.” And guess what? Hey, you’re probably human too.
So, recognizing my strength, and all the other words that describe me, was one of the first things that happened. Another thing that happened was incredible support for people that didn’t serve up pity or compliments, but that simply said, “Thank you.” It’s amazing what those two little words can do for a person. I also appreciate the fact that a few years ago I very consciously learned to accept a compliment, which ‘thank you’ can be. When I received flowers, notes, and emails, saying thanks for being me, for coaching, for being vulnerable I could accept the gratitude and say, “You’re welcome,” back without feeling silly or shy or trying to brush it off.
In fact, I think accepting someone’s thanks is the perfect time to be both strong and soft, both confident and humble. Tying it all together folks!
So, what else? I realized more about the energy that exists around and in me and which has always fascinated me. I wrote a whole post about that! I also received a Reiki treatment this past week and set up my first attunement, where I’ll become more connected to this energy and gain a fuller understanding as well. I’m pretty darn excited about that.
In these last two weeks, I’ve also done a lot of thinking, pondering, wondering, and listening to recognize the messages I think I’m meant to hear. Enter another social media post:
This along with the one message I received that said, “Do you think that if you didn’t talk about your past assault so much, you wouldn’t get tripped up by it?” were something I sat with for a while. When I reposted the just-shower-thoughts post I included the comment, “Chew on this…” and I did.
All my supporters are probably ready to fight the person who, believing they might help me, typed out that comment. My honest first thought involved a few choice words. However, it was someone who I know cares, so I didn’t react immediately. And, later that day this post showed up and they’re connected in my mind.
Here’s the response I sent, which I’m sharing with you because I think it’s worth putting out there…
I know you care about me and don’t want me to hurt like I was the other night. However, sometimes I’m going to hurt like that…because someone hurt me. Sometimes I’m going to be blind-sided because I can’t see the future. All those sometimes times are going to happen whether or not I’m vocal about my experiences. I know that. So, yes, I could talk about it less. I know it makes people uncomfortable. I know rape is not a subject people like to see in their feeds on a sunny Tuesday afternoon.
I am going to talk about it, though. Because I feel called to share my story. I think stories are important and help heal our own hearts and speak out, reach out to others. Every time I create a post about my story, at least one person reaches out to me to tell their story or simply to say they’ve got a story that they’ve never shared. This time was no exception. Two women who’ve kept their childhood abuse secret and have fought very hard battles are now seeking therapy to change their futures.
So, since I’m going to get tripped up regardless of whether or not I talk about my rape AND my talking about it helps others, I’m going to keep on keeping on. I do appreciate your wanting me to suffer less, though. Thank you for that.
Do something today to change the future. Another lesson learned in the last two weeks.
So, thanks for reading and caring and sharing. I hope you’re able to think on some of my lessons learned and realizations…and that it all leads to a week full of light and growth.