There are Things You’ll Never Forget

Don't Lose Hope

The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again, but you will never be the same.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

You don’t ever forget that your partner was unfaithful. You don’t ever forget that you lost a precious child. You don’t ever forget the day your whole world fell apart. You don’t ever forget that you’re a victim of abuse.

We may heal to some extent, and build a very different future.

Our partner may change, or we might marry someone else.

We might still have other children.

And our fortunes might reverse.

We might laugh, and find fulfillment, and decide ‘life must go on’.

Even so, we still remember – for we can’t erase those memories.

There will always be an ache for what could, and should, have been.

It…

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It Is What It Is, And You Feel What You Feel

Don't Lose Hope

It is what it is, and you feel what you feel.”

The starting place for healing from a trauma in your life is taking that courageous, and very shaky, step of facing the truth of what happened to you.

That means allowing all the feelings to rise up to the surface, and experiencing the pain all over again.

But what do you do after taking that brave step – because you know, for a fact, that it’s going to feel awful?

In summary:

1. Give yourself time – take all the time you need – to deal with what comes up, and to mourn a million losses.

2. Allow the healing process to follow its own course. You can’t force the pace, or decide what it will look like.

3. Be patient with yourself, and especially during dark days. You don’t know how you will feel; you don’t…

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Things to Stop Saying to Yourself

Don't Lose Hope

Things to stop saying to yourself:

1. “I’m no good at …”

Say instead: “It’s just a skill, and something I can learn.”

2. “I’m such a failure …”

Say instead: “I got it wrong, and everybody makes mistakes.”

3. “There’s no point in trying …”

Say instead: “It may be hard, but I can take it step by step.”

4. “Nobody likes me; I don’t have any friends …”

Say instead: “It doesn’t really matter what these people think of me. There are others who will recognize my value and worth.”

5. “I hate myself. I deserve to be rejected …”

Say instead: “I am beautiful inside, and have value and worth. I deserve to be loved and treated well.”

This is the beginning of loving yourself. Welcome home.”

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Tell me What Happened to You

Don't Lose Hope

“The relevant question in psychiatry shouldn’t be what’s wrong with you, but what happened to you.” – Eleanor Longden          

In counselling we ask that very question.

People are shaped by their relationships, and by significant life experiences. So rather than just treating the symptoms or effects, or diagnosing someone with an inappropriate label, in counselling we ask questions like:

1. What significant event has just happened in their life? Are they reeling from a devastating trauma? Has their whole world just been turned upside down? Is this the kind of thing that any normal person would find disorienting and too much to handle? Do they have adequate support?

2. Related to this, how many other traumatic events has this individual had to deal with? If previous traumas haven’t been properly processed, then they won’t have the resources and reserves to cope with another devastating life event.

3. Have they suffered…

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Relationships, and Recovery from Trauma

Don't Lose Hope

1. World wide studies of disaster response have confirmed that social support provides the greatest protection against being severely impacted by a trauma.

2. Social support doesn’t simply mean having people around you – even highly responsive and compassionate people.

To feel supported, we need to feel we have truly been seen, heard and understood by somebody who genuinely cares.

We also need to feel completely safe with that person. This is absolutely crucial for healing to occur.

3. Feeling safe is not a cognitive decision. It’s not something we can convince ourselves of, or can talk ourselves into believing. We don’t feel safe because we’re told someone is safe.

Instead, safety is something we experience intuitively, and at a gut level.

We need to feel – deep down inside – that we matter to this person, and the fact that we are suffering truly matters to them, too.

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Trauma and Sleep

Don't Lose Hope

Traumatized people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies: The past is alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort. Their bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warning signs.” ― Bessel A. van der Kolk

If you have experienced a trauma of some kind, your brain will now be programmed to expect danger or threat. So, even in the night, it will remain on high alert. It does this on its own, outside of conscious awareness.

In summary:

1. The brain will start to release a cascade of hormones. This disturbs our sleep, and usually wakens us up, as it prepares to set in motion the fight/ flight/ freeze response. This happens even when the risk or the danger has passed.

2. Trauma disturbs our normal sleep architecture. This means it interferes with the way we move through the different sleep cycles. REM sleep is the stage which…

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Lessons I’ve Learned from Loss

Don't Lose Hope

The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief.” – Hilary Stanton Zunin

1. The people we love won’t always be around. Life can change in an instant, and permanently. Once it’s over, it’s over, and there’s no going back.

2. Loss shows us that time passes and comes to an end. The things that used to matter don’t matter any more. Grief crystallizes values and what matters most in life.

3. Grief follows its own schedule and trajectory. There isn’t a right way to work through grief. You take it as it comes, and take it one step at a time. It can’t be planned in advance, and it’s unpredictable.

4. Although life moves on around you as though nothing has changed, it’s OK if you focus on, and honour, what you’ve lost. Your grief is real and valid, and you should give…

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You Don’t Need to Find a Lesson in your Trauma

Don't Lose Hope

“You don’t need to find a lesson in your trauma.” — Jordan Pickell,

Why?

1. Because you were never meant to suffer like this. There wasn’t some lesson you needed to learn. You’re an innocent victim; it’s completely undeserved.

2. You need to focus all your strength on your recovery. The damage is extensive, and reverberates through time. You’re not going to heal and recover easily. It’s impossible to cope and live a normal life right now.

3. Just coping with the triggers is a draining full-time job. And you won’t have the energy to deal with other things. You need to take it slowly. Take it one step at a time.  This never should have happened. It is shocking and unjust.

4. Be there for you. That is all you need to do. Don’t try to look for reasons. Don’t ever blame yourself. Self-compassion and self-kindness are your…

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You’re not going crazy, and you’re not alone

Don't Lose Hope

I keep so much pain inside myself. I grasp my anger and loneliness and hold it in my chest. It has changed me into something I never meant to be. It has transformed me into a person I do not recognize.”

Almost everyone who’s experienced trauma will resonate with these painful words. We experience depths of pain we never knew were possible. And we react in ways that shake and shock us to our core.

If you feel this way, you are not alone. It doesn’t mean you’re crazy. And you’re not the only one.

These are normal reactions to traumatic life events. When your world is ripped apart, and nothing’s certain anymore.

What other kinds of things might you be grappling with?

– Re-experiencing the pain at unexpected times. Suddenly being hit by uncontrollable emotions.

– Being highly reactive, and over-reacting to minor offences or neutral events.

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Some Thoughts on Ongoing Traumatic Reactions

Don't Lose Hope

Unlearning trauma also means unlearning the behaviors you adopted and inherited as survival tactics.

Traumatic reactions made absolute sense in the aftermath of something shocking and life-changing. But for many of us there comes a time when being triggered so often starts to feel like a life sentence.

So what can we do when we feel this way?

1. The first thing to do is to acknowledge to ourselves that these were very normal, understandable reactions. In fact, they were necessary at the time. They were your brain and body’s way of taking care of you. They were ways of protecting you from further harm and pain.

2. So, thank your brain and body for taking care for you. For being totally committed to protecting you from harm. What they offered was a gift. And you appreciate that gift. You were there for yourself when it really, really…

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Living with Grief

Don't Lose Hope

As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves.

When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the shipthat was, and is no more. And all you can do is float.

You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.

In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float.

After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still…

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It Isn’t Over Till It’s Over

Don't Lose Hope

Four years ago Kelsey didn’t own a bike. She was good at athletics. She loved a heap of sports. But being a cyclist was far from her mind.

In fact, four years ago she was out of job. So, she took anything to escape poverty. She was working spraying weeds in some ditches in Alberta. Yet, Kelsey believed she was destined for more. She dared to believe she could achieve some lofty goal.

Kelsey started to train, and to get back in shape. She ran in her lunch breaks to build up her strength. After work, in the evenings, she went to the gym. And then she decided to take a huge brave step.

She chose to sign up for RBC Training Ground, a program that’s designed to scout potential talent out.

And today, Kelsey Mitchell’s an Olympic medallist. She won the gold medal in the track cycling race. It…

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Why People don’t Talk about their Trauma — Don’t Lose Hope

There are things that nobody talks about. There are things that are absolutely taboo. So when you experience these things yourself, you feel isolated. Completely alone. Judged. Ostracized. Abandoned in your pain. And that is a terrible place to be. Here’s how you feel when this happens to you – You feel as if you’re […]

Why People don’t Talk about their Trauma — Don’t Lose Hope

How to Cope with Flashbacks

Don't Lose Hope

Healing is not an overnight process. It takes time. Sometimes you’ll feel like you’re finally feeling better, and then the wound will reopen and bleed. Don’t give up. Don’t get discouraged. Keep on taking it one step at a time.”

Flashbacks are a feature of PTSD that are hard to manage, as well as being distressing. Below are some suggestions for helping you to cope:

1. First, tell yourself that you are having a flashback. Give it a name. This can help create a sense of control when we feel we’re at the mercy of overwhelming feelings.

2. Remind yourself that the worst is over. You already know the truth, and you’ve faced up to the truth. So, the feelings and sensations you’re experiencing right now are merely memories related to the past (discovering the terrible truth for the first time). That event is over. It’s not happening…

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No Regrets

Don't Lose Hope

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of Bonnie Ware’s book: The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. This was based on her work in palliative care.

The fact is, we all make choices everyday which affect the trajectory of our lives. These often feel unconscious and insignificant. And yet, over time, they become significant. They can cause us to miss out, and they can change who we become. It happens very slowly …. But it happens, all the same.

So what sorts of things did the dying regret? And what can we learn from their experience?

Regret # 1.I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

Some questions to ask yourself ….

“What does it mean for you to be authentic, and true to yourself?

“What exactly does that look like?” Try to be as…

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Ditching the Emotional Baggage

Don't Lose Hope

“Ditch your emotional baggage, and just be.”

Sounds great, doesn’t it. And, honestly, isn’t that what we’d all love to do. But these peoples don’t go on to lay out a plan of how you can quickly to get rid of the baggage.

Because there is no easy way. It doesn’t happen “just like that”.

You’re dealing with layers in the subconscious mind.

You’re dealing with what feels like a mystery. For the reactions you have are often shocking and surprising. They seem to defy reason. They feel outside your control.

And learning what they mean, and how to heal, and then move on, is a massive exercise. It can take you years and years.

So the next time you hear something trite and superficial … Give yourself a break. And don’t pressurize yourself. You’ve probably come further that you realize right now.

And if your mind…

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It’s Time for Some Self-Compassion

Don't Lose Hope

“Things I know about healing: Speaking kindly to yourself helps a lot.” – Unknown

I wonder why we seem to find it so hard to be kind to ourselves.

To listen to ourselves when we’re struggling and in pain.

To cut ourselves some slack when we feel cannot cope. Or when we feel we can’t let go. Or we find we can’t move on.

Those things all take time. They are really hard to do.

You don’t just find you’ve healed.

You don’t just blot out the past.

Making changes is a process. Two steps forwards. One step back.

A journey full of landmines. Full of triggers. Full of tears.

But do you know what makes a difference? Do you know what really helps?

Working on your self-compassion.

Being kind to yourself.

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Some Things I’ve Learned from Trauma

Don't Lose Hope

1. It requires specialist counselling. Although it is essential to talk about what happened, and to have your experienced witnessed by another, a counsellor or therapist needs additional training. They need to know what is normal when you’ve been traumatized, and especially when it comes to managing flashbacks, re-experiencing the trauma, and dissociation.

2. You feel you’re going crazy; you don’t recognize yourself. You fly off the handle at the smallest provocation. You react in scary and unexpected ways; and you no longer live on an even keel.

This is not who you were, or who you want to be. You feel you’ve lost yourself, and you’ve lost yourself forever.

3. You experience emotions you never felt before; and these feelings can be hard to bring under control. They’re overwhelming, intense and can be hard to dial down. And you never really know “what is going to set you off.”

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Yes, You Can Learn to Love Yourself

Don't Lose Hope

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You are fine just as you are. You don’t need to prove a thing.”

Life often feels like one long competition. Who is the prettiest, smartest, funniest, most interesting … and so it goes on.

There is pressure to compare ourselves with one another, and that can often lead to massive self-doubt.

So what can do you do when the internal tapes are constantly saying that you don’t measure up?

It takes work to ignore, and to switch off, all those voices.

But you need to feel comfortable with yourself.

Think about it … You don’t want to feel that you’ve spent your whole life attacking yourself, and undermining your self-worth.

With that in mind:

1. Prioritize taking care of your health, and celebrate your body for all it does for you. Pay attention to your diet. Make sure you find some form of exercise you love, and can…

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I Think I’m Going Crazy

Don't Lose Hope

A girl who has lived through trauma has lived through a situation where her body, her mind, her self was not her own. Where she felt disjointed, ripped from her self, safety, and sanity. It was a moment, an experience, a something where her trust was smashed, her worth was gone, and all there was was pain.” – Victor Second

You’ve startled awake again at 3am. You’re shaking like a leaf. Sweat is pouring off your skin. You’re gripped by strong feelings of anxiety and fear, and you remember how you felt when you learned of the betrayal. The sudden punch in your stomach. Being curled up in shock. It’s déjà vu. You’ve been here so many times.

And now the adrenalin is surging and rushing through your veins. You’re completely awake; you’re on high alert. You’re mad that other people will believe that you’re to blame. You feel…

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6 Questions to ask when you’re making a tough decision — Coaching Skills International

1. What option would I choose if I knew I would definitely succeed? 2. What would I do if I didn’t feel scared? 3. Who can I talk to who’s been in my shoes? 4. What are the likely outcomes of each choice and decision? 5. What is the worst thing that could happen; what […]

6 Questions to ask when you’re making a tough decision — Coaching Skills International

Understanding Kids who’ve Experienced Trauma

Don't Lose Hope

Below are some facts on traumatized kids:

1. Traumatized kids don’t mean to push your buttons. Neither do they mean to be challenging. They are usually feeling tense, anxious, stressed and afraid. They also feel unsafe and out of control. In addition, they’re afraid to trust, they don’t know who to trust, and they wonder what awful thing might happen next.

2. Traumatized kids find it hard to relax – for they’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop. They find it hard to focus, and they can’t concentrate. They have to be on guard, to protect themselves.

3. Our definition of a trauma is individual and unique. What might seem small to you, may seem huge to a child. And it’s the child’s definition that matters, and counts.

4. There are so many things that can traumatize a child. The break up of the family (a separation or…

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Quote of the Day

Don't Lose Hope

The most beautiful people I have ever met are the ones who always see life in full colour. They are the ones who have been through hell and back and still stop to savour the parts of life that many seldom pay attention to … These are the people I admire most because, no matter how much they have suffered, they will always find a reason to make the best of this imperfect world.” – Karen Baquiran

Often those who have suffered the most have the most beautiful character.

They know what matters, and they know what is fluff.

They are also understanding and compassionate.

They are deep – not superficial – and they live in the now.

And they know how fragile our relationships can be.

So they appreciate and savour all the gifts this moment gives.

And they always see the beauty, and they search…

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I Promise …

Don't Lose Hope

“I have taken a vow to love myself, in good times and bad.” Stacie Martin

This is one of the most important vows you will ever make in life.

Don’t lose sight of it when things are tough. Or when the old tapes start playing in your head.

Remember to always love and cherish yourself.

Remember to be kind, and to cut yourself some slack.

Remember to listen to that faltering inner voice that wants to be heard, and be taken seriously.

There’s always a reason why we feel the way we feel, why we think the things we think, and react the way we do.

Don’t attack, or shame yourself. Don’t reject, or hate yourself.

Remember your vow. Choose to always love yourself.

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I Love Life

Don't Lose Hope

Sometimes, I have been desperate and despairing.

Sometimes, sorrow and grief have filled my heart.

There have been times when it all has felt too much.

When I’ve felt so lost, and hopeless, abandoned and alone.

Sometimes, I didn’t want to wake up in the morning.

I couldn’t face the struggle; I had zero energy.

Yet through it all I knew it was worth the fight and tussle.

And I wanted to keep living

Because life is beautiful.

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Some Thoughts on Finding Hope

Don't Lose Hope

I was shocked and traumatized by the news I received. For a while I couldn’t function. I could barely survive. But I held on hard to hope – for without it: “What’s the point?”  And there had to be a point, or you give into despair.

When I look back on the time, I can see the steps I took that helped me to stay strong, and which helped me find this hope. And perhaps there’s something here that will work for you, too:

1. Keep doing the same normal, routine things you’ve always done. You’ll have zero energy, and often doing the next thing will feel like an achievement. An impossible task. However, if you can still meet with a friend for a short walk once a week, or buy some groceries, or go and wash your car, there will be some things in life that still…

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Signs you are Healing from Trauma

Don't Lose Hope

Signs you are healing from trauma include:

1. You are able to acknowledge that you’ve been through something totally life-changing. Something that has shaken up your world. There’s no denial or playing things down.

2. You allow yourself to feel ALL the feelings. This includes the intense, negative, and scary ones. You don’t pretend that you’re OK, or use positive thinking to bypass your unwanted and negative emotions.

3. You accept support. From counsellors, therapists, doctors, or close friends. You know this is too big, and you can’t do it alone. Being traumatized is different from dealing with tough things. It’s a different beast entirely. And a very scary one.

4. You consciously nurture your body and mind. Your autonomic nervous system has been stuck on over-drive. Hence, you know you really need to pay attention to your health. So you rest when you can…

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Why Victims of Abuse Don’t Leave Immediately

Don't Lose Hope

When we hear the stories of victims of abuse, we also hear comments like: “Why did she stay? Why on earth did she put up with that level of abuse?”

As if the situation wasn’t really complicated.

So why do victims stay; why don’t they leave immediately? There are many different reasons – but the key ones include:

1. What’s happening doesn’t match their definition of abuse: Think about some statements like the following:

“He was yelling at me, and throwing things around the room. But he never, ever laid a finger on me.”

“He didn’t hit or harm me. He was just restraining me. He was blocking the door so I couldn’t get away.”

“It only happened a few times. I wouldn’t say it was a pattern.”

“I was being unreasonable so it was my fault, too.”

“I didn’t know, that as a wife, I could say…

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Why We Can’t “Just Let go”

Don't Lose Hope

How often do you hear someone say, “Just let it go”?

As if was easy that easy to “Just let it go”.

You don’t just snap your fingers, or make up your mind. The feelings that you have won’t just quietly lie down. The don’t just frizzle out and, no, they don’t just disappear.

And that’s why this trite phrase tends to annoy me so much.

If you try to block emotions and pretend they aren’t there, you will not solve the problem for the issue’s unaddressed. The feelings are still there – even if they’re underground.

For your feelings are designed to alert you to the fact that something isn’t right: that you’ve been wronged, or you’ve been hurt.

That matters – and it should.

And it is right to feel upset.

What to do About it?

If you can’t “Just let it go

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Trust me on This

Don't Lose Hope

So much of life is a huge unknown.

Where should I live? What career should I follow?

What will life look like if I do this or that?

Should I have a child? Would I be a bad mom?

Should I live on my own?

Should I marry this man?

Should I stay in this marriage? Is it really worth the risk?

Can I trust him again? Can I trust anyone?  

These are all huge unknowns. Time and chance place a role.

And that’s why we are scared.

It’s beyond our control.

But there’s still cause for hope in the deep of the night

When the darkness descends, and you’re starting to sweat.

You’ve gone through things before.

Things that didn’t work out.

Yes, it’s awful. It’s hard.

Yet you made it. You’re still here.

You don’t hold all the cards.

You don’t know what might change.

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Time for a Change

Don't Lose Hope

When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment it’s growing in, not the flower.”

Think about that for a moment.

What do you need to really blossom in life?

To be the best “you” you were made to be?

Who, or what, is stopping you from being your true self?

What is causing you to shrivel, or is hampering your growth?

What has happened in the past – that has left you with deep scars?

What secrets have you buried? Are there wounds that are still bleeding?

Who wants you to stay stuck, or who needs you to stay stuck?

Who wants you to believe that you are average? Not enough?

What environment would help to you to be free to be yourself?

Would help to bring the best out? Help you live a fuller life?

A life where you are happy, where you’re free and…

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Come, Sit Down Beside Me

Don't Lose Hope

Come sit down beside me, I said to myself.

And although it doesn’t make sense,

I held my own hand as a small sign of trust

And together I sat on the fence.

– Michael Leunig

On those days when we feel that we don’t fit in, when we feel so alone, like no-one understands, we can sit beside ourselves.

We can be there for ourselves.

We can offer ourselves comfort

On those heavy, lonely days.

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7 Signs That Tell You They Don’t Value You

Don't Lose Hope

Whether it’s a friend, or your partner or spouse, it’s horrible to feel that they don’t value you. It can really undermine your self-esteem.

But so often we push down all the signs that are there – because it’s very painful to be treated in this way. We don’t want to face the truth that they’re treating us like this when we care about them, and always treat them with respect.

So here are some signs we should pay attention to …

1. They aren’t interested in what you have to say. Perhaps they appear sweet when you are around, but they don’t really care about your opinions. But what they think, and the views of certain others, always seems to matter, and are taken seriously. They also show a glaring lack of empathy when you want to share something that’s important to you.

2. They…

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Your Now is Not your Forever

Don't Lose Hope

You look at your life – and all you see are broken pieces.

Shattered shards and splinters.

Jagged glass that makes you bleed

The impact of what happened keeps on cutting you anew.

You relive all the memories.

All the trauma you’ve been through.

But … this needn’t be your life.

You needn’t feel like this forever.

You won’t always be broken.

Or consumed by endless pain.

The pieces and the shards can create something beautiful.

This life is still your life.

This trauma’s not your destiny.

So gather up the fragments.

Hold them tightly to your heart.

Release them to the future.

And believe you’ll rise again.

Your story’s not yet written.

There are chapters yet untold.

Hold on to hope; believe it.

Claim your life.

You can be free.

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10 Signs you may be Carrying Unresolved Trauma

Don't Lose Hope

Some symptoms of unresolved trauma include:

1. You find it hard to experience joy. You want to feel alive and experience joy, but somehow that feeling continually eludes you

2. You fill up your life with distractions. Whether it’s binge-watching TV, or it’s snacking when you’re stressed … There’s always a way of avoiding painful feelings – for staying in the present feels too scary and hard.

3. You’re afraid of your emotions for they feel out of control. They hit you unexpectedly, and feel so intense. Or, you may find it hard to feel anything at all.

4. It’s impossible to turn your mind off. You’re always on alert. You never reach that place of calm. You’re always vigilant because you know things can go wrong.  

5. You’re afraid to trust anyone at all. You would love to be able to fully trust…

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Sacred Ground or Haunted Territory?

Don't Lose Hope

My past still haunted me … This is trauma: a near constant feeling in my gut that something is wrong, or that something terrible is about to happen, the automatic fear responses in my body telling me to run away, to take cover, to hide myself from danger everywhere. My trauma can still rise up out of mundane encounters. A sudden sight, a particular smell, can transport me back to the past.” – Edith Eva Eger

Perhaps you’ve heard it said that memory is sacred ground. But I would also argue that it’s haunted territory.

Think about it …

What happens if you live through something absolutely awful? A trauma or a horror? Something truly devastating? How are you told to handle it?

The message we pick up from society is: Bury all that stuff. Never, ever talk about it. Push it down inside. Don’t look at it…

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A Mantra for Managing Emotions

Don't Lose Hope

I recently came across a really helpful mantra for managing intense, overwhelming emotions. In its simplest form, the mantra is:

1. Notice

2. Accept

3. Check

4. Stay

1. Notice what you’re feeling when emotions are stirred. Don’t ignore what is happening inside your head and body. Don’t deny, or suppress, or trivialize your feelings. They are wanting your attention. They deserve to be acknowledged. They deserve to be seen. To be taken seriously.

You can do this by giving the emotion a name: “This is sorrow. This is sadness. This is anger. This is shame.”

2. Next, accept it’s your emotion. It’s your own personal reaction. The feeling is still yours, even if it has been triggered by a person, or a place, or an object, or a memory.

Also, remember there are no good or bad emotions. Our emotions simple are. There is nothing wrong…

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Paradise Lost

Don't Lose Hope

Try this.

Picture yourself as happy, carefree child – maybe 6 or 7 years of age.

Where are you? What are you doing? Try to identify what you might be thinking and feeling.

What makes this child so adorable? What makes your heart fill with love for her?

This is the real you.

The you you used to be. Before all those painful, damaging experiences. Before you stopped liking and loving yourself.

This is the you who got lost along the way.

But that you still exists – beneath the layers of the years.

That youis still there – maybe buried, but still there.

Oh, wouldn’t it be wonderful to reconnect with her!

If only you could access that child once again.

“This is the beginning of loving yourself. Welcome home.”

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I Want to be Remembered as ….

Don't Lose Hope

When my kids were small, we used to really enjoy making pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. Tossing them, however, was another matter.

Often, we would have to scrape them off the frying pan. And occasionally we scraped them off the walls and floor. But most of the time, they made it on to our plates, and then we would cover them in chocolate and fruit … and all sorts of other delicious things.

Yes, Shrove Tuesday was a lot of fun.

I was vaguely aware that the day after that was something called Ash Wednesday. But, honestly, Ash Wednesday meant nothing to me.

And it’s only recently that I’ve heard the phrase: “Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The words associated with Ash Wednesday.

An interesting phrase. One that really made me think.

We tend to live our lives as if we’re never going to…

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Gallery

The Footprints of Trauma

Don't Lose Hope

When you’re processing a trauma, and are in a state of shock, you experience emotions you’ve never felt before. Also, you sometimes act in ways that you almost can’t believe. You are in a scary place where you hardly know yourself.

The following information might help you see and grasp what is actually quite normal when you’re in a state of crisis.

Important facts to be aware of include:

  1. To be violated or betrayed by a person you trust and depend on has much more serious consequences than being harmed by a stranger, or experiencing an impersonal trauma like an earthquake.
  2. Memories of traumatic events are like shards of shattered glass. Our memories of the trauma itself come in pieces, turn up in unexpected places, and pierce and cut us at unexpected times. Our reactions to these triggers are generally intense and overwhelming. In this way, traumatic memories are very…

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Getting What You Deserve

Don't Lose Hope

“Darling, you deserve it all.

Love, and peace, and joy dancing in your eyes.

Heart, deep belly laughter,

and the right to let those tears fall and water the soil.

You deserve freedom, and goodness, and company, and days of bliss and quiet.

You deserve happy, and healed, and content and safe.

So keep going. Go realize into being the life you deserve.”

You deserve it all.

Happiness. Deep happiness. A rich, contented meaningful life.

The right to be authentic and genuine. The right to be who you were meant to be.

Unique you. Beautiful you.

The right to feel your feelings. The right to express your feelings.

The right to be healed. The right to feel safe.

Don’t ever believe you deserve less than this.

This is the life you were meant to live.

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What Now?

Don't Lose Hope

Learning of betrayal is extremely traumatic, and you’re likely to be living in a fog for a while. Below are some guidelines that can help you navigate the weeks and months ahead, when you’re in a state of shock.

1. You might feel pushed to make a decision related to whether or not you should end the relationship. Resist that pressure while you’re in a state of shock. This is not the time to be making crucial life-altering decisions. Your emotions are going to be all over the place. In fact, experts suggest you wait at least 6 months before deciding on a question like this.

2. Give yourself permission to experience all emotions. Many of these will be intense and overwhelming. But it’s important to allow yourself to feel them. Don’t repress them.

3. Don’t allow your partner or spouse to accuse, or put any of the blame on…

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