June 4, 2012
A survivor of childhood sexual abuse recently shared the struggle she feels between what her heart and head tell her. She asked if I had that experience.
Absolutely! And leaving this tug and pull behind is surely one of the empowering gifts of healing from our trauma. We discover there is a third place to go for our answers: one that is sure and honors our personal truth. I call it our spirit.
Our head definitely wants to take charge of any answers because it was a strong ally during our abuse. Within the maze of incomprehensible circumstances, our logic wove explanations that would help us survive. During my healing, I would honor my mind for conjuring these empowering beliefs even as I could see they were the thoughts of a child in the midst of trauma. I knew they had helped me carry on.
Though our hearts were being battered, they are surely our badge of honor. In the shadows of our life, they gave us a steady beat that was connected to the music around us. They led us to all the reasons we could believe in the bright possibilities of life.
Our spirit was always present, but this inner wisdom that holds our personal truth had no place to be expressed during our abuse. We lost our confident, conscious connection to that place inside that ‘just knows’. While our head is swayed by experiences and our heart is influenced by the desire for love, our spirit holds our truth as a gentle map to our purpose and potential.
Healing journeys rarely give us facts and confirmation, but we have something even more powerful. Our spirit. We get to ask ourselves, “What do I ‘just know’ beyond logic and feelings? What’s my truth?” We are empowered by asking this… and then trusting the answers that come to us.
Notes along the way… Jeanne McElvaney
Inspired by Spirit Unbroken: Abby's Story