Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Permission to Heal
In 2011, my father died suddenly. I have given—and will continue to give—myself the space to acknowledge what I feel, talk about him, and do what is necessary to cope with his absence. I don't pretend or hide my hurt to make anyone, including myself, more comfortable because I don't see the need. There is no judgment attached to my grief. I haven't been so kind to myself in all situations, though, and as a result, I have complicated and extended my healing process.
I was sexually abused for seven years. The emotion tied to simply making that straightforward admission is exactly what made the road to recovery difficult and complex. Unlike grieving the loss of my father, shame and self-blame was connected to the abuse so I did everything I could to avoid facing its impact on my life. Instead of focusing energy and attention on pursuing peace and making emotionally healthy decisions, I tried to protect myself by ignoring its influence and I tried to protect others from my pain by hiding it. I muted my hurt and took on the unreasonable responsibility of making others comfortable with what I had to endure.
Maybe you have an issue that you've attached to shame, guilt, self-blame, or disappointment. Whether you are coping with the effects of child abuse, sexual assault, abandonment, neglect, domestic violence, infidelity, an eating disorder, an addiction, or a mental health issue, acknowledge your truth and work through the process of recovery. Release the judgment(s) attached to your circumstance. Detach from anyone or anything that hinders your healing. Let go of the notion that it's been long enough already. Free yourself from making others comfortable with what you had to endure. When you separate judgment from your circumstance, you can walk in your truth and give yourself permission to heal.