When we think of growth, we automaticity bring to mind life’s cycle and the path set out before us. Our birth is the start of that journey – as we arrive bursting out into the world a new soul. Unaware of the arduous journey that may be put before us, as time passes we will ultimately arrive at the end of this journey. At this time we have so many memories that we look back on fondly, some captured by the many photographs depicting the life path that we have travelled. Photographs we flick through with our fingers, watching the transformation throughout the years as we seem to sprout up in front of our very eyes. For some we can almost touch our growth by the notches our parents may have carved against that old door frame. They serve as a comparison against our siblings, a reminder that without any input from ourselves we achieved that growth yearly. We started out as a seedling reaching out to the branches of life which would serve us with the foliage we needed to bloom. It’s the stuff of life that without it we would just not become whom or what we are. We are only one of the very long lists of species to complete this circle, as we sit alongside watching the magical transformation which occurs. Everything which starts life on this planet has growth; also I guess that it would be quite self-absorbed to think that we are only life within this universe.
Here today I am not going to talk to you about the progression of the above journey; I’m guessing that there is no need to think about that type of growth in too much detail. We simple achieve it without too much input as the years pass us by. I’m here to talk about the growth that we can and need to achieve as abused children in adulthood and the growth that so many fail to make. There are many reasons why this does not happen, and why we don’t make the strides in life that we are capable of including academically. As we look around us some have a great thirst for knowledge becoming somewhat of a sponge where there never seems to be enough knowledge to absorb. There are those that sadly don’t have the ability to achieve that which they so clearly wish to acquire. If we were to think about our schooling some apply themselves while others choose to go through life only learning enough for them to get by. This can be one of the surest signs to ever be put out in front of us by abuse (of course not in every instance) For me I just didn’t believe in myself as a child there were just so many unanswered questions.
When we think about growth, there are so many connotations available to us. Pointing out the fact that we grow in stature as time passes us by, along the fact that a good academic start makes all the difference to our lives are only two. But the reason for my being here today is to talk about the growth that is so often missed or simply not understood. It’s a growth of our choosing which is with us for a life time. This growth is the most important growth we will ever have in our artillery; it’s a growth that is so easily over looked. The one thing we all have within that no one can take from us or do for us, that growth is the one that connects to our very soul. This growth no matter how hard the journey we have to make alone. Life’s lessons can only be achieved by our own input along with the ability to recognise when work needs to be done within.
Well – it took us a while to get here with me maybe pointing out the obvious, but for those that have been abused the above statement is so very difficult to achieve.
When you have been abused looking inside can be a daunting thought but it’s the only place where any movement can be made. If we think about life’s progression as building blocks that are stacking up in front of us as we progress along life’s journey, this is where for the abused we encounter our first problem. Simply put so many of those blocks are missing, and I don’t need to say that missing blocks make for an unstable wall. Inside is where we find a place of great pain; we feel that movement is never going to be achievable. But bizarrely to even think of looking within we have already travelled a great distance. We tell ourselves not to accept that as a statement of truth but at that point in time we are not the best person to judge. When making this journey there is so much debris in front of us and the wall is somewhat shaky. On the first encounter we feel we will never find the tools we need to embrace our past, or take heart at arriving at the point where you are now clearly ready to learn. These lessons will always be there until we are ready to embark. Each encounter can always be a separate lesson; we don’t need to feel the full force or impact all at once. You can be sure that the others will still be there awaiting your arrival. So why are they important? Wow we could now be here a while…….
Ok, these lessons leant or unlearnt are the makeup of who we are they are our outlook on the world, and they are our very way of being within our core. They are whom we seem to be outwardly, they are the way that we look at the world around us. They are who we project at times during transition or progression, maybe at times we force our understanding of these lessons upon others, believing that our way is the only way of doing; although this is done without malice it can’t help but happen. Learning these lessons in time allows us to understand that our souls are the ones that need our attention, no matter now we try others have to be the keeper of own
I’m hearing a little bird out there saying so why do we need to learn them at all? Well I guess you don’t!! But to feel complete you have to embrace all that you are. A free soul is one that has had these lessons instilled from birth as they have grown, but for us as we recover from the damage of abuse we have to retract on life and start again.
So what are those lessons in life that we failed to complete? The biggest one of all is that those that aren’t the easiest to love are the ones that need it most – why? Because the truth is it starts with us. For me a big one to learn was that was life too short to waste it on hating anyone. Another that for me was so hard to complete was forgiveness, I’m guessing that this is one of the hardest lesson for all to learn that have been abused. But the fact is that it can’t be ignored it’s something that we have to achieve; we need to remind ourselves that forgiveness is not forgetting. It’s an action we take for ourselves alone. If we try to move forward with this emotion we are never going to find any peace within. Another one that used to jump out at me was that you didn’t have to win ever argument you could agree to disagree. Moving on its clear that we must try to make peace with our past, this action may then have the knock on effect of not screwing up our present. We could continue on here because there are many more, but we would be here until Christmas. I have now learnt to embrace the knowledge that no one is in charge of my happiness but me. I have also learnt and accepted that time heals almost everything given time.
Someone once told me to believe in miracles – maybe not the ones that transform your life or can turn water into wine – but in a small way. I now believe they are happening all around us daily. Today I can make that statement in all truthfulness instead of trying to make myself believe it. I am still learning after many years of progression why? This is a list that can be endless. From person to person it’s a very personal goal because quite rightly we are individuals. When you arrive at a point of looking inside the things I have written here may not apply, but right there in the there and then you will know the ones that are particular to you.
I sometimes debate, albeit with me, about the paths we have been asked to walk on within this lifetime; I try to get a greater understanding of the path that I have walked for many years and continue to do so. Depending on your beliefs with regard to life itself we tend to colour in the world around us so that it fits. Some believe that this life is the only one we have to walk among men; others firmly believe that we return many times.
Believes are your own there is no right or wrong, but either way you will still find yourself walking the path you are now on. So I will leave you with this one thought – I still firmly believe that life is still a gift even if it isn’t boxed and tied up with a pretty ribbon . . .