A Note of Encouragement

July 9, 2021


When we are on this healing journey, it’s so hard to know when we are doing it ‘right’ or when we are hitting a dead end and need to back away to go back to the last fork in the road. It’s also hard to not give ourselves a super hard time when we feel like we keep doing these U turns and are feeling exhausted.

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But I just wanted to encourage you to keep doing the work! Keep wondering what your feelings are telling you. Keep expanding your window of tolerance. Keep saying to yourself, while I just whoopsied, I can always U turn here or pause or rest or share my thoughts with a fellow survivor who will understand me. Keep doing the work! It’s NEVER for naught! It will ALWAYS bring you closer to a better life. We can’t always control how long it takes, but we can control a small moment or a fleeting thought. Find your own unique combination of what YOU need to survive and then what you need to thrive. They are different modes and we may need different things to support us when we are operating in those different modes. Regardless, doing the work is always a good thing.

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I think for many of us, it’s been a tough year on top of everything else and there seems to be a lot of low energy or more chronic pain or just this weird no motivation thing around everywhere. For some of us, it brings on a lot of helplessness and for many of us, it means uncontrollable rage. Either way, emotional flashbacks from triggers continue to haunt us and wreak havoc on our nervous systems and relationships. Be kind to yourself. Show compassion for the challenges you face. But then face them. Gather the support you need or the knowledge you lacked before or the love you log for. Bring that together and focus on getting to your one next step, as Linda always reminds us.
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As parents, there can be the triple whammy of 1) high expectations of us wanting to stop passing on the intergenerational trauma, which means working super hard on unlearning the inherited parenting playbook, 2) super triggers from our kids who may also be hypervigilant about us! and 3) exhaustion from trying to repress so many emotions because they no longer serve us. That’s a lot. Most of us don’t have this village they keep telling us we need to raise children. Without that village, we end up having to be a lot of things to a lot of people! 
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But I had quite a few examples lately of how even when I don’t think my work on emotional regulation, emotional co-regulation, self-talk, nonviolent communication, etc. were ‘working’, my children showed me evidence that they were slowly being impacted positively by my work. Nope, they haven’t stopped bickering, they haven’t stopped having temper tantrums, they haven’t stopped doing super annoying things that trigger me. But… they pause more. They don’t take things as personally as they used to (just a tiny iota bit better, but it’s a win and I’m taking it). They can see the humour even in the midst of all of us starting to lose our cool. We can repair after a temper tantrum (theirs OR mine)! They’ve even taken me aside to check on me and share some different perspectives to help me regulate! Like, wow!
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This is the life we have. This is the moment we have. Break it all down when you are overwhelmed. Notice that you can only do one thing at a time. Just stay on track when you can and learn from things when you can’t. That’s all we can do. That’s all anyone can do. You’ve got this. Even when we are ‘failing’ we are moving forward. We are learning, we are trying, we are practicing.
Let’s heal together. You’ve got this.
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