Friday, April 10, 2009

In this moment...

In the blog Parasites of the mind Michele Rosenthal discusses the idea that we can begin to tap our own inner resources and find our own inner hero as we heal from PTSD. For me finding the inner strength to finally say "enough" to living in the past came in a moment of clarity while reading a book by Eckhart Tolle...

In his book A New Earth; Awakening to your lifes purpose Echkart Tolle discusses how this moment is your life. For some reason I found that to be the most amazing idea. All this time I was wanting to find a cure, a fix, that would allow me to move on and "get a life". Yet in one moment of awareness, I understood that I had everything I needed to "fix" myself within myself.

My life had been consumed with trying to avoid the intrusive thoughts and anything that might trigger them. I was mesmerized by the racing thoughts in my head and an internal sense of victimization to such a degree that I had lost sight of the moment...the moments that I had lost because I was "stuck" in time as I relived the trauma situations of my life, thinking about what had happened, imagining things I could have done or said differently to have prevented the situation, the mistakes I had made that had perhaps compounded the situation and left me feeling guilty or responsible for the situation or how others had been affected.

These racing thoughts consumed my attention during the day and intruded into my dreams at night. This state of mind kept me in a constant state of hyper vigilance - just waiting for something to happen, ready to move into the adrenalin rush of the "fight or flight" response of my body and mind.

But in the midst of all that, after years of therapy, medications and self destructive behaviors I had that moment of clarity - that I could change my life simply by changing my mind.

That meant that I had to be willing to learn how to not avoid the memories, but to embrace them, feel the feelings, grieve the loss, acknowledge the anger - I had to realize that I was now in a safe place and in total control of my mind, body and soul. Like Michele says in her blog about constructing a post trauma identity I had to recreate myself; I had the opportunity to choose what kind of person I wanted to be today, what life I wanted to live in this moment.

As a result, I have been able to gradually, in my own time and my own way, move from the black and white thinking of a victim to being able to allow the idea that maybe life is not "all good" or "all bad"...and let some color in. Eventually I was finally able to see that life was full of color like that found in a swatch of colorful plaid fabric.

I hope you are able to find the path that will allow you to live life in full color too.

Seize the moment!

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