Trauma. This is what it looks like when it is staring you in the face. Sometimes it isn’t so obvious.
If you were to look at this image you would NEVER guess that only MOMENTS before I was in a curled up ball, shell-shocked and fighting back the tears. It all emerged from a playful time with my sweetEST daughter and LOVE of my life. We were playing and she pounced on my belly. THAT was the moment that triggered the underlaying trauma still sleeping within my body. Darn. I thought I had gotten so far. And yet, I have.
Rewind. 3 1/2 years ago (about a month after our daughter was born), I suffered from a uterine hemorrhage that nearly cost my life. Many surgeries and blood transfusions later, I came through (kissing the ground), and never looked back.
About a year before that I was in the BEST shape of my life, exercising 7 days a week and sometimes more than once per day. I felt great and I felt ALIVE. Fast forward to today and the idea of doing sit ups scares the crap out of me. The same thing I once loved and thrived on has now become an activity that makes me feel threatened and afraid for my life.
The crazy thing about trauma is that it finds a nesting place within the cellular make-up of our physical bodies and comes out to bite when you least expect it. The practice of healing breathwork meditation has helped me identify that this exists within me because it literally has the ability to bring the multi-dimensional person that I am into the present moment. In other words, all of the pieces of who i was, am, and hope to be, arrive within THIS moment and when we show up for ourselves like that, healing happens! As my mentor David Elliott so wonderfully describes it, “Where Awareness Goes, Energy Flows”.
Each day I bring more love and attention to this place inside my soul and in my body and I know the day is coming where I will get on the mat again and push myself through the scar tissue and the fear. I am close but today reminded me of far how I had come because I didn’t get swallowed by the fear. Instead the me that LIVES today spoke into the fearful heart of the girl who tremored within the shadows of my body. The love and gratitude of all that I am and have today was able to look into her heart and say, “Hey, kid, i see you. I know it WAS scary…but we turn out ok, see?” And that was all I needed to sit up and wipe the tears away.
When I see my daughter’s face and measure each mark of her growth on the wall, I also recognize that the same mark measures how many more days I have been gifted to share this life with those I love and also with the world. I am here for a reason and so are YOU.
Trauma changes you but it doesn’t have to rule you or steal your joy. Allow the you that lives today to have compassion for the you that went through traumatic times yesterday. The practice of breathwork is a powerful tool that has not only helped to dig down deep into my emotional body, but has also helped me to be more compassionate, more understanding of the healing process, and above all more present.
LOVE is the best medicine. Breathe it all in.