Edition 2 Issue #35
The TRAUMATIZED person will be in the best position to recover, and strive for Enlightenment. It’s through pain and suffering that we are most open to change and beneficial transformation, the gift of grace happens through the pain of transformational change. Is it because the human being is so fundamentally resistant to change? That our ‘default’ settings are so set in stone? I, for one, was so set in my ways that no matter how bad things would get, I chose my comfort zone, I chose what I knew and returned to it over and over again. As what Einstein told us is so true: “You can’t change something with the same way of thinking which created the problem” Or something to that effect. Until the pain grows enough that the hurt of change is overpowered by the hurt of remaining in our “comfort zone” are we going to become willing and open to transformational change. So how have you been traumatized? And what treatment are you submitting to? Remember the traumatized individual will go from fear to anger to depression then to anger again. It is in this anger we need to channel change.
To channel change and turn the traumatizing experience(s) into rage and anger, being sure we don’t misunderstand each other here and channel this rage in a violent and physical manner. Channeling the anger and rage in a positive and productive way is very specific, we need to understand here: control is of utmost importance, and you can get this control, even in anger, through meditation. Calm the mind and channel the rage and anger productively relieves the depression and gives us the ability, the wanting to change, change into something better, to strive for a better life, to become completely willing to move from a place of desperation, and despondence, to embrace peace and serenity. This is no easy feat; the control and values needed can, and will come from the principles, which rule the Universe. Let us now learn the Laws, which rule our Universe, Universal Laws if you will. Not easy, but there is simple program in the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous®, (or NA, CA, DA, and number of these programs based on the original AA twelve-step program. Look in your area for the one you best fit into, or that you feel most comfortable with, if nothing else you we probably find you may fit into co-dependency; look for a program in your area and give it a try. You have nothing to loose and everything to gain by it!) There may be other solutions to the difficulties and challenges you suffer, my story evolves from recovery in the Twelve Steps, and BEYOND, therefore I write about what works for me, and countless others who have completely given themselves to the simple program of recovery outlines in the book Alcoholics Anonymous®, mostly referred to as the “Big Book” by members and followers of the AA Twelve Step program. We do recover form a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body; so if you feel hopeless, if you feel lesser than, if you feel depressed and use any substance or even dependence or co-dependence to feel better, to temporarily relieve the pain, to run away from life (as I did for so many years; I needed more, alcohol, drugs, stuff, to get out of my feelings) if you are running and hiding inside there is a way to recover, and then we move beyond recovery to a road blessed with Light and moving towards Enlightenment.
Are you a victim of post Traumatic Stress Disorder? Has it been properly diagnosed? Are there skeletons of your past (commonly referred to as “skeletons in your closet”) that haunt you in your sleep? Haunt you in your waking hours? The trauma of past incidents and pain is not always so apparent as in maybe a soldier coming back from Afghanistan who is in total shock and needs immediate assistance to try to resume a semblance of normality after the horrors of war. PTSD can manifest in traumatic experience from childhood incidents of bullying, abuse, whether physical, mental, or probably the worst is sexual. These traumatic experiences can influence our everyday lives if gone undiagnosed and untreated. We need to deal head-on with the trauma of the past, with the pain and suffering we may think is long gone, everyday lives, in our relationships with others; it manifests in our everyday lives, our relationships with our family, our friends, our partners and especially with our children. If you’re a victim: get your head out of the sand and release this damage, you may, deep inside, feel like damaged goods: This is not a way to go through life, we need to get help; and help is available in countless ways, get some today. Call a help line and ask for help, ask where to go for counseling, for a meeting, for assessment. These services range from free (as in AA et all) to extremely expensive (as in professional psychiatric evaluation, unless you have a good health plan, some of us don’t so revert back to your local community center and AA, NA…) Help is a phone call, or search engine away, get it now!
Have you ever disciplined your child and then turned around and said to yourself: “I promised myself a long time ago I would never, ever exhibit this sort of behavior?” Have you ever hit someone, especially your child, in a certain way, and had those thoughts: “I will not be my father (mother). I cannot repeat the same behavior.” Said to yourself: “The buck stops here!” I have, and meant it, yet when I was in my addiction I forgot my promises, when I was in anger I forgot my promises…
When there is no change, there is no change! (see our January 14, 2015 blog on “CHANGE” be sure to “subscribe” to our weekly newsletter so you never miss another blog!) For me, and my experience, I promised myself the damage of the past stops here! I made a solemn promise I would never abuse my children as I had been abused. Then so many years ago I was disciplining a child when he turned to me and said: “you father must have been really mean!”
This shocked me; this reminded me of my solemn promise to myself that I would not be an abuser of my children, or of anyone. I prided myself on some sort of physical control by leaving the house when I felt violence erupting inside me; I would go to the local bar and get into a fight. Coming home at bar closing full of blood was my manly way of saying I will not hit my wife, I will not strike defenseless children and when I am in violence, since this is the way I grew up, in violence, I needed a release and found it in bar fights.
So when I sobered up, (March 10, 2007 is my date) when doing an in depth inventory of myself, my past, and my behaviors; I came to the conclusion the only way for change to occur is if I initiate it. The buck stops here! Any and all past behavior passed down from generation to generation, which is just pain wrong, will no longer go on in my family? This includes, but is not limited to physical abuse, mental and verbal abuse, and any and all other of the family traits, which do not fit into societal norms, as I now understand them. If there is no change there is no change, and here, with me, with this generation the change begins: Let me be clear on the transformation I went through to be able to see this. On doing an inventory of my past I came to the forgiveness part we talk about in our program of recovery and I had challenges with forgiving what I though was unforgivable, until I learnt acceptance: “Acceptance is the solution to all our problems”. Looking more closely at the damage of the past I saw parents who did the same as their parents, as their grandparents and their forefathers did. I imagined the days, like in the movies, of wooden floors in houses and the outhouse in the back yard where the 16 hour days of plowing fields and fathers being mean spirited and abusive to get their children in line. I imagined how this behavior was handed down form generation to generation and that maybe, just, maybe, my parents didn’t know any better: This opened up a whole new perspective for me, the possibility that my parents weren’t mean, they just didn’t know any better because this was the way they were brought up. What a revelation! “If there is no change, there is no change!”
Now let’s go back and look at how the amends and forgiveness process works in here. I have to first come to terms with the people or person who has cause the damage to me, who was, or were the abuser(s). Having looked at the damage of the past in a whole new light, I was now willing and able to forgive and work on bringing about change; the change needed to be sure this behavior no longer propagates throughout this family.
A whole new life opened up for me: Freedom from the wreckage of the past through forgiveness and acceptance. YES! I commenced to understand the word serenity.
Look for next week’s edition on “DELUSION”. And be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to receive it directly you won’t miss a beat.
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