Why do we do it? I refuse to do it ever again. What is the“it” in question? No more “New Year. New You”. No more pressing, stressing, pushing to be better, do better. Not the way I used to. I hope you also refuse this terrible “it”. Seriously, what makes us think we can turn the calendar and then suddenly have all the motivation and know how to reach our goals of being healthier, getting stronger, being nicer, or learning that new skill we haven’t been able to master yet? January 1st is not a magical potion called, “git ‘er done.”
What is the true BIG IT of healing?
I’d like to encourage a deeper practice this year. Get with a group of people who love you no matter what and tell them about your struggle stories. Listen deeply to theirs. I have lost some of what was most dear to me in this last year. I have family members struggling with life and death issues and I don’t know where I would be without my safe people and my groups that keep me from fragmenting and pull me into wisdom and love when they look deep into my eyes and cry with me, feel with me and challenge me to be kinder, try softer.
It’s 2023. We’ve all been negotiating traumas: Loss, Long-haul COVID, and mental health issues. It’s a struggle for so many of us right now. If it’s not our own suffering, we’ve been dealing with our loved ones’ pain. Do you have a group where you can sit and share what’s real? What pulls at your mind in the wee hours of the morning? Where do you feel shame? Do you feel alone?
Do you have loving connected folk to walk with you, to hear your struggles, to rejoice when you rejoice, and to mourn when you mourn? This healing connection is the thing I most want to nurture at our community wellness center this year. We are working to be trauma-informed. Trauma is one of those words that gets thrown around that many of us think of as, well, you know, just bad stuff that happened to someone. This is a simplistic, child-like understanding. Life-shattering events only become traumatic when they are experienced alone, without empathy- where there is no healing connection.
This is what I heard from a friend who is with me- heart, mind, soul, and spirit when I was experiencing self-contempt and doubt. “Be proud of how you’ve been handling these past few months. The silent battles you fought, the moments you had to humble yourself, wiped your own tears, and pat yourself on the back. Celebrate your strength.”
Our loved ones, our tribe, remind us of who we are and what we have come from, that we are growing stronger. There are three ways to mitigate trauma, according to Adam Young, LCSW. The first is to connect your right and left brain with movement and ritual- singing, dancing, and restorative movement. Second, bring meaning and purpose to the event by telling your story and understanding the whole of what happened. This is best done in a relationship, the third necessary component.
In short, we often see better for others than we can for ourselves. Safe connections are where we learn to heal attachment. Connect. Move. Nourish. Be. This is how we heal. Look for offerings that pull you into a community and create dynamic healing and growth for your whole being. This is the “it” that I hope you embrace for 2023. Blessings for the journey.