I was doing some research today about gratitude. I know many studies have been done and proven all of the wonderful benefits but I wanted to get up-to-date on the latest research as I haven’t read anything new about it for the last couple years. So, off to google I go – I type in “gratitude journal benefits” and just scan over the top few results before clicking. I read the article and noticed they had many great articles that caught my eye. What was this amazing website? I scroll up to find it is “Greater Good” and am instantly filled with anxiety. This is the website I was on nearly four years ago when I was attacked. I froze – I clicked on another tab immediately not able to stand the sight of having it open on my screen. Then I flashed back and relived the whole night over again. I remained on the couch frozen and wondering how to get these horrible thoughts out of my head as quickly as possible. It seems silly to feel so much anxiety from seeing a website. I vividly remember the aftermath – replaying the attack every time I closed my eyes for weeks, not being able to sleep, constantly trying to figure out what I could have done differently and what lesson I was supposed to learn from it… and I also remember when it shifted and I just became grateful for surviving and getting out alive. So, I continue to sit here in reflection. I still have the occasional nightmare but I thought I had gotten past this and then I realize I have been running ever since I was attacked. In less than four years I have lived in Boston, Miami, San Antonio, Bahamas, Maine, Coconut Creek and Dubai. I have worked countless hours keeping busy to avoid any pain from my past and just keep moving forward trying to help as many people as I can along the way.
I have heard trauma called the silent wound – it lies there silently, deep in the body as a continuous wound that nobody else can see and you never live life the same. We all have traumas – some are little, some are large but regardless of the size they become part of our character. It shapes each of us into who we are today, from the way we interact with people to our mission in life. These wounds can become beautiful scars when we allow ourselves the time to step back, regain perspective and heal. Sometimes the wound is too deep to bear and as scary as it is we have to allow others in to help nurture us. I think certain life events make it difficult to let people in because traumas often reveal that we are all alone or break our trust in others – from the death of a loved one to a divorce/end of a long-term relationship to being attacked – the only person we can depend on for our entire lives is ourself. But I truly believe every person comes into our life for a reason. I think once you can truly allow other people in again is when the healing really begins. We are all in this together and although we have our individual journeys it is important to not only lend a helping hand when you can but to receive the support when you need it.
I don’t believe in coincidences and this came up during a time when I am trying to reflect on the past and make positive changes for the future. I think of what I want for my future, how I can help more people, I am looking at my habits and routines and the beneficial changes I can make, I am looking at my past and the people that have come into my life and lessons I have learned from them. I love hindsight and making the connections about what events occurred to bring me to where I am today. It is soothing for me to know that everything has happened for a reason. But I think I need to work more on digging a little deeper and learning the lessons of my patterns, the type of people that come into my life both good and bad, the habits that hold me back, the errors that I make. I think many times people make the same resolutions and goals repeatedly which is positive thinking, but we need to look at what keeps getting in our way and work on the deeper issues that hold us back from our full potential. Stumbling across this website is a part of my path to help remind me that my pile of self work is a little deeper than I thought. What work do you have in your pile?