Giving Myself Permission to Heal From Childhood Trauma
The last few years I have spent time, energy and effort on healing from past childhood trauma. Living with the psychiatric disabilities: bipolar 1, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), I have experienced both depression and debilitating anxiety. As I find my way “out of the fog” and gain more clarity, I am even more invested in my recovery.
The following is a letter I wrote to myself to honor the process of healing and to give myself permission to love myself more fully. A letter to remind myself of the freedom that awaits and of my immense potential.
Sometimes, we forget to give ourselves the permission we need to make mistakes, to cultivate self-compassion and to be gentler in the process. Healing is hard work, at times. I hope these words are a comfort to some who are struggling.
Dear Loved One,
I’ve watched you grow over the years despite being in immense pain and wanting to give up. If you recall, I was there with you each time you softened: risking vulnerability, stepping out into a land that was unknown, becoming more and more aware of the archaic coat of armor that no longer served you. I was there at the inception of your journey to heal, listening to you silently cry, expressing your disillusionment at life and those who you felt abandoned you.
In that storm of grief and loss, you set your intention on healing and began even saying it “out loud,” sharing your desire for something you ultimately did not understand yet. You had become so uncomfortable, anxious and depressed due to the patterns of behavior in your life that you had become trapped, much like having a 200 pound steel ball attached to your ankle of which you were tasked to pull around each day. You were severely anxious and your body ached from the constant pain of the weight you felt was yours to bear. And still yet, you dreamed of being free, not knowing how, nor even fully believing it was possible. But, you dared to dream. Dreaming takes courage.
Light and love are now flooding in to your awareness, into that once dark room of windows that had been sealed shut, where you hid for so long. Sometimes, it still scares you, as if you are in a dream and that too much sunlight, streaming in, will wake you. The warmth you are basking in is your reservoir of love; it has always been there, you just had not discovered it yet. What you refer to as “stillness,” is yours, and the more time you spend there, the more your sense of self will expand and grow.
In this journey of uncertainty and anticipation, I want you to know deeply that: you are loved. You willed yourself here and you worked very hard for years to see the truth. As doors continue to open, and a more peaceful life emerges, I want you to remember the following:
I give you permission to…
- Mess Up. You will make mistakes and there will be some that you truly regret. You’ll lose your temper, become triggered and fall back, at times, into old patterns. It’s OK. But, try not to linger there for long in self-loathing; instead step back, and learn from your mistakes. Life is full of them and they are unavoidable. Once you embrace yourself, your ability to love others with forgiveness also grows. This will also decrease your vulnerability of becoming triggered in the future.
- For Heaven’s Sake! Laugh More! You are not laughing near enough these days. You will never regret laughing more in life.
- Do Not Deny Your Emotions. You are safe with me! Cry, sob, get angry, be giddy! In my presence there is no insecurity, no fear, no feeling that you cannot express. Let it be expressed in the sunny stillness I have provided for you and just “let go.” I will still be here loving you until the end of time.
- Fail: Yes!! You have my permission to fail as often as you like, be it big or small. The important thing is to try. Not getting the job, failing a class, having a relationship go sour is not important to me. What is important is that you are out there experiencing life, trying your best and failing and succeeding as you go. You can come and console yourself over a cup of coffee with me any day. I want to hear of your adventures as you fail and succeed in multiple ways! Every time you try, even when afraid, is an adventure and I want to sit with you and laugh and cry about all your endeavors no matter the outcome.
- Protect Yourself: There may be people or jobs where is is necessary to “cut ties” in order to protect yourself. You may have to say “No” multiple times and it might be really hard for you. But you have the right to have boundaries and to say “no” as often and as many times as you need. Your peace is the priority.
- To Truly Be Happy: Do what makes your heart sing and be unapologetic about spreading your sunshine. Your vibration might be too much for some and that is OK. Keep searching and your light will attract those who desire being around it. Do not dim your light for those who find it blinding. Others can adjust if they like.
- To Not Be Good at Certain Things: We all have our weaknesses and it’s OK to admit and accept them. Love yourself anyway. We all have strengths unique to us. It’s OK to not define yourself by the aptitudes others possess. Your life is becoming more defined, be proud of your uniqueness. There truly is just one you.
There is so much I want you to explore since you are becoming still enough to see the space around you. It’s just the beginning and I am excited for you! As you begin to employ healthier patterns of behavior, you will find ample space and room in your life for other people and adventures that will fill you in healthy ways.
I give you permission to continue growing in love and acceptance of your authentic self. To sit in the sunlight, unafraid, as long as you like.
You are loved.
It is you who is cultivating the space around you that is fostering your safety and growth. Because you are truly capable and strong. You summoned me and I was here, waiting with anticipation, for the call. I am your presence of self-love and will only continue to expand with your consciousness of me.
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