There is Before and there is After

beforeafterboxHave you ever experienced an event so traumatic that inevitably forevermore all things will be mentally placed in two boxes labeled Before and After?

Like how people always remember where they were on September 11, 2001, or where they were when Kennedy was shot, or when the first man walked on the moon. Or when your mom died, things like that…you know where you were, how old you were, even what you were wearing or what you were doing. These moments are indelibly stamped in your heart and brain as well as the accompanying emotions.

I have my own personal tragic date of profound sorrow that will forever mark my future. There was happiness BEFORE: sadness and confusion AFTER.

My life is split in two now. What was will never be again as I dwell in a mostly perpetual state of grief, of dysphoria, of purgatory, of anhedonia.

That’s not to say there aren’t moments of brightness, moments that bring a smile to my face and lift my heart a little, but then I see a certain date or I remember a certain event and I mentally place it in its appropriate container: BEFORE or AFTER. I say to myself, oh yeah, that was before. Now we dwell in the after box.

If I see a story or read an article about, for example, Yellowstone, that memory goes in the  before box. Ironing perfumed sheets for a homecoming or walking to the beach, Sunday morning buckwheat pancakes–or any one of the thousands of sweet daily memories since 1991–all BEFORE. Don’t get me started going down THAT road. There are actually about half a dozen dates that signify different aspects of after-and those recollections are even more painful to tidy up and allocate to their designated container.

BEFOREANDAFTERBEFOREANDAFTER. I do it automatically now.

For me, it signals panic attack time. I never experienced a panic attack BEFORE–now I know the triggers and force myself to use the tools I went to therapy to learn so I don’t once again spiral into a paralyzing dissociation with reality.

There is so much that is before. Why wasn’t I able to foretell the future? If I had only known. But I didn’t know, I couldn’t have known,  and the abject shock of it all still colors my waking hours–and my sleep.

ravenIn my case, every single day I mourn the death of someone who’s still very much alive.

Unless you’ve walked this same journey, you might not  understand how I can grieve for someone who still breathes and eats and sleeps. Although they aren’t clinically deceased, they are gone, and it feels like a true death in every sense of the word.

And now for me, I will forevermore be tormented by BEFORE and AFTER.

Image may contain: possible text that says 'One of the hardest things you will ever have to do my dear is grieve the loss of a person who is still alive. unknown'

 

Soulshaping/Shapeshifting/Soulhealing

Tough truths from Jeff Brown.

Someone– I can’t remember exactly who it was–shared these words with me, and they resonated. Deeply.

I don’t often post words written by others, but his thoughts are so much what’s on my own mind lately, so I will because he expressed it more succinctly than I ever could have, which is saying, something ‘cos he’s a guy and all… I don’t know much about his writings, but he considers himself a grounded spiritualist.

Jeff Brown…http://soulshaping.com/

It’s up to you- its always up to you. You can deny, repress, distort, and bury your unresolved wounds all you want. You can re-frame them, pseudo-positivity them, detach from them, spiritual bypass them. You can re-name yourself, hide away in a monastery, turn your story around. And you can spend all your money on superficial healing practices and hocus-pocus practitioners. But it won’t mean a damn thing, if you don’t do the deeper work to excavate and heal your primary wounds. Because the material is still there, right where you left it, ruling your life and controlling your choices. This is the nature of unhealed material- it is alive, and one way or the other, it will manifest itself in your lived experience. It will language your inner narrative. It will obstruct your path and limit your possibilities. It lives everywhere that you live. And so you have to decide- excavate it and bring it into consciousness where it can be worked through and integrated, or repress it and watch it rule your life. It’s one of the hardest truths we have to face: If we don’t deal with our stuff, it deals with us. There is no way around this. Choose.

http://www.Jeffbrown.co