Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What is worth fighting for?

I heard this question today on the radio.  What is worth fighting for? I posted the question on Facebook and got some wonderful answers:  me, life, love, dignity, truth, justice.  All worth fighting for.

But my mind didn't stop with that question.  In tumbled additional thoughts:
1. So, fighting means there is an adversary - so who am I fighting when I choose to fight (as suggested), for me?
    • I could be fighting restrictions from others.
    • I could be fighting my internal thoughts.
    • I could be fighting me.
Or if I'm fighting for dignity, or truth, who or what am I fighting?  You have to have some knowledge of the adversary.

2. If I choose to fight for any of the above mentioned things, what are my weapons?  What do I use; what is in my hands, my heart or my thoughts that will help me win this battle? You have to be equipped.

Pretty good questions!  Why ask them? 

Because every day I spend time with people fighting back. People who are living on a battlefield they didn't create.  People who now have to find the strength to identify what they are fighting for; who is the "enemy" and what weapon is needed to take out that enemy.  And it is exhausting!  And they need our support!

I remind them "you have to fight for it."  You have to want whatever "it" is more than you want to stay where you are.  You have to fight through the denial, the pain, the shame, the fears.  I remind them that they were created with power.  Inside them are the tools to win!  They have what they need to do the battle.  And I'll help them as they go.

Because it is SO worth fighting for!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Denial is not a safe place

Some things are really hard to know and accept as reality.  Who among us really wants to be faced with the ugliness and hurt of the world? Sex abuse falls into that category of "I don't want to know."  It is extremely difficult to acknowledge that it is present in our world - or even more difficult to acknowledge that it might have been in your world. 

That's why we so often choose denial!  It appears that denial brings relief from feeling the pain of an intolerable truth.  It appears that denial insulates you from being hurt again.  And it appears that through the glasses of denial you can move successfully through life.

And for a time, denial may accomplish all those things.  But not really.

The truth is still there, impacting your beliefs and thus your behaviors.  The emotions are still there, perhaps causing you digestive problems or severe headaches.  And most challenging, the thinking and behaviors adopted in trauma, and often not recognized, actually create vulnerability in your life.  Denial does not keep you safe. What do I mean? 
  • Suppose you choose to deny the disregard you experienced in sex abuse. You now have no radar to recognize when you might be experiencing disregard in current relationships.
  • Suppose you choose to deny that Uncle Jim molested you.  You now have no power to stay away from either the Uncle or anyone else who is unsafe.
Choosing to come out of denial and "know what you already know", provides power to live in authenticity. Knowledge is power.  That knowledge equips you to make decisions based on truth. You can make decisions that create safety and honor the value of you. Fears that may have haunted you are understood and conquered. The truth does set you free - to be a powerful you!