I can’t sit still. That is crazy. If I sit still; I will feel. I will feel the pain of my complicated life. A life that began with the person or people in charge who were not able to sit still -to hold their pain, and certainly not mine. Sometimes that person or the people (in charge) perpetuated my pain by their running. Their avoidance of their own pain. They did things that should not have been done. Things I remember or feel ( consciously or not) that cause my constant movement.
My movement (away from still) can take many forms to distance me from its truth. It can take the form (along a continuum) of acting out or giving in. Here is what I know, a long time ago (or a short time ago), I began to run from it , to hide from it, to avoid it at any cost. Why would I (being a sensible person) choose to feel that. I would not. No one would.
Perspective: Being still, feeling, accepting, seeing (maybe for the first time) one’s personal strengths (the strength that helped you survive) creates new possibilities. Possibilities where once there was avoidance; become rights to life that were not known before.
I see this everyday in my practice. I see the personal strength it has taken to endure life’s hardships. Hardships that were mostly created by someone who was/is so profoundly important in the life of the child who has been brought for counseling, the adolescent who has been sent or has come, or the adult who has decided it is time to find answers. Answers to this running from stillness.
It is important to know the running takes many many forms. It can take the form of aggression, anger, depression, anxiety, addiction, withdrawal, submission (and many others). It becomes a way of avoiding the inner experience that hurts so deeply. It manifest in social, emotional,relational, and behavioral strategies meant to distance.
It is important to recognize the strength it has taken and to honor the incredibly creative ( and wise) strategies the child, adolescent, or adult has constructed (through time) to manage the pain that began a long or short time ago.
The work of being still is not about blame of others. It is about feeling, accepting, recognizing inherent strengths, and beginning to see yourself, your own truth and your place in this very large and seemingly complex world.
It will take time and trust. And, that is ok. It took time and many experiences of not being able to trust that set in motion the creative strategies that have made distance.
I genuinely believe, and see, the change that comes through this process. And while stillness (siting with the pain) will create an even greater and more peaceful strength then has existed before, it cannot begin until the person (child, adolescent, or adult) has a place of trust. When this place of trust is found, profound change can and does occur. Sitting still -most often begins in the midst of a trusting relationship.
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Professional Disclaimer: It is important to recognize that all information contained in the Perspective on Trauma Blog is informational, and is not intended as a substitute for clinical care. It is not possible to provide informed care through web content, as an informed treatment relationship cannot be formed. If you or a loved one is in need of care, it is important that you access this care from your own care provider.