Over the three year I have been in therapy I have built a safe and trusting relationship with my counselor. She is one of many that I have seen over the course of my life, but the only one I have stuck with long enough to understand my trauma and begin healing.
I am very grateful for the space to she has helped me create for my healing, for the observations and perspectives she offers, the tools she provides, and the expertise I can rely on as a litmus test when I feel completely overwhelmed by my mental illness.
Through all of these sessions she has given many analogies to help me process and gain a better understanding of what I am feeling and experiencing.
During one particular session she gave such an analogy and it has stuck with. Partly because I don’t really relate to the scenario so it was humorous to me, partly because it really does make SO much sense.
She asked me if I like horses.
Sure, I do.
She asked if I have ever experienced the cleaning of a stall.
Well, she continued, imagine you have and you are …
So, I did.
Then she told me exactly what the work will look like to heal myself and process my trauma.
She went on to explain, when I am cleaning out that horse’s stall if that horse steps on my foot and I immediately try to pull my foot back and away – I will likely hurt myself further, and my foot isn’t going to move much. Instead, she told me I have to lean into the horse to get it to move and lift its own foot off of mine. Then I can move my injured foot and tend to it accordingly.
Sounds pretty straight forward; but I realize not so simple.
I have to lean into my trauma.
I have to lean into all of the pain so that I can move through it and shift it off of me. Then I can tend to my broken self and the healing that I need to do.
I don’t think I have to qualify for trauma survivors that we don’t just move the weight of our traumas off of us and then we can suddenly heal.
Still, the concept is sound.
If I want to heal myself: I must lean into my pain, comfort my inner self and not judge my present self, I need to validate all those years of pain and fear, rebuild myself, and rediscover who I am. I have also come to accept that healing is a daily choice, not a final destination. I must make the choice to heal every day from the traumas of my childhood.
I choose to heal.
Tune in tomorrow – I will be writing about something that I feel strongly about.
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