In the undercurrents of our childhood abuse, we were learning how to manage life. Using the tunnel vision of youth and feeling disempowered, we survived by shaping our thoughts, feelings and beliefs to fit the distortion of our experience.
One very common lesson was placing our focus on our abusers. Living with constant uncertainty, we watched their moods to gauge our reactions. Faced with the physical and emotional pain they created, their feelings became more important than ours. We turned ourselves inside-out trying to understand them so we could try to create normal days out of chaos. We accepted their shame as our own. Worried about our survival, we listened to their reasons for silence.
We did the best we could in the shadows of childhood by becoming experts about our abusers. We didn’t know our connection to our personal spirit was a casualty.
For me, personal spirit is the empowering connection between our inner wisdom, the energy field, and our unique self. It’s the compass for our undiluted self. Personal spirit is our best friend with access to everything in the past, present, and future. It knows our purpose and celebrates our journey. It is always for us.
Our personal spirit was there during our abuse. It made it possible for us to live, learn, love, and laugh in spite of the dark corners in our days. But as we turned the force of our attention on our abusers, our chance to hear the guiding messages or feel the gentle nudges of our personal spirit were greatly diminished.
Healing brings a new relationship with our spirit. While our abuse gave us no choices, the journey to well-being calls on us to make choices every step of the way.
We might feel like we were thrust into the unsteady arms of healing, but somewhere in the upheaval, we chose to follow this path. We are challenged to find the people who best support our unfolding journey. We’re asked to create a map when we don’t know our final destination. We have to find the most effective tools, places to feel safe, and how to use a voice that has been stilled too long.
Every time we choose, reject, turn down one path or pick another path, we are empowering ourselves. Those choices come from our inner wisdom… the seat of our personal spirit. Each one helps us feel more connected to this compass that dances with the energy field and our unique self.
Learning to turn to our self rather than our abuser for information, we begin shaping our days and our future with our personal spirit guiding. This connection grows stronger until we can walk off an elevator because someone just doesn’t feel right. Or we can follow a feeling that leads us the perfect book, song, movie, moment, person, and insight to move our healing forward.
We learn about the greatest power we possess: the right to choose what feels best for us in any moment… without needing excuses or excellent reasons. In those choices, we are responding to the wisdom within that celebrates us.
Healing from childhood abuse brings us many gifts. Being vibrantly, constantly in touch with our personal spirit is surely one of them. Then we get to move through our days led by the wonder of who we are beyond our abuse.
(By Jeanne McElvaney)