Ayshah | Victoria

Living my Passion | Living with Purpose | Living in Peace


Leave a comment

Emotional Healing

Not too long ago, I had to endure a very deep emotional wound that took some time to heal and it caused me to reflect on why it took so long to heal. I thought I was over the hurt. I had processed the situation and wanted to move on without feeling the pain – but I couldn’t. It got me thinking about the different types of emotional wounds we suffer throughout our lives and in the process, I discovered a correlation that shed light on why this emotional wound was different.

 

Emotional vs. Physical Wound

An emotional wound is much like a physical wound in that the severity of the wound dictates the length of the healing process as well as the method of healing. For example, if I received a paper cut, it would sting for a bit but shortly thereafter, I would have forgotten all about it after the very basic of treatments. If I sprained my ankle, it may take a little longer for me to be able to walk on it with comfort – depending on how well I stick to the treatment process that is specific to that injury. If however I were in a fire incident and had all the skin on my right thigh burnt off, it would take even longer to heal. I would have to follow the specific instructions given to me by my doctor to ensure the healing process takes place and hope to have minimal scarring.

I would imagine that this last incident would be harder to forget than the paper cut. The PHYSICAL presence of the scarring will be a continuous reminder any time I touched my thigh or looked in the mirror. I may have recovered physically from the fire incident – my life may be back to normal but there will always be that reminder even though the discomfort of it manages to fade with time.

If I had a burn scar that does not feel like the rest of the skin on my thigh, I may be more protective over anything that comes close to it. It may be more sensitive than the skin on other part of my body and I may not like to have it exposed to heat of any sort as I may believe (right or wrong) that it would make it vulnerable to the temperature. These are expected responses because they are tangible.

However if we present the same hypothesis using emotional injury – it can become more difficult to address – so indulge me for a moment. Let’s say that one day, I was teased in the playground as a little a five year old child. I went home crying to my mother who reassured me that those mean older kids were just harmlessly teasing me and that my hairstyle didn’t really look like “lots of pigtails”. I may be hurt for a while but as I grow and flourish (as children do) I learn the insignificance of the incident. The memory (wound) may remain but it causes no discomfort.

On the other hand, imagine I was to find out that my 5 month old puppy was hit by a car and killed after running into traffic – it would certainly be a devastatingly painful experience – especially if it was the first time I had my very own puppy. I may not want to have a pet for a while after that incident since the memory (wound) of the (emotional) pain would still be raw. But eventually, as with a physical scar, the pain or sensitivity of the emotional wound becomes less urgent and blurs into the background of our mind.

It takes time for this to happen because both our physical body and our emotional make up must regenerate new physical and emotional components in order to keep growing, developing and in essence, living.

Deep Wound

Imagine that I suffered the deep wound of betrayal and abuse as a teenager in such a way that it took many years to heal that emotional wound (the memory of the event and the pain it caused), the emotional scar would be pretty deep.  I liken this emotional scar to the burn scars in the physical example earlier or more aptly (in my mind) to the pain and discomfort felt after having major surgery that leaves you with a large ugly scar to remind you of where you were cut open and sewn back together. After this surgery, you may feel glad that it’s over and want to get on with your regular life but the wound will not let you. The wound HAS TO take the time to heal. The stitches HAVE TO be removed, the wound HAS TO be treated, the pain HAS TO be soothed. It takes time. A long time. And there is no choice.

Suppose then that some years after that surgery, (you know, the one with the large scar, where the skin is still numb and sensitive to the touch) you have a car accident that has some piece of metal rip right through that same spot – right through the scar, how do you suppose that may feel? What do you suppose the healing process would be like? How do you suppose you would feel following this healing process?

And how would that translate for an emotional wound of that magnitude? For me, when I actually experienced an emotional would of this magnitude, the time that it took to heal seemed even longer than the first time. But it really wasn’t. We may find that it  only seems that way because we do not want to have to go through it all over again. We want to get to the good part – the  “I am okay again” part.

A More Recent Wound

That is what happened to me that caused me to write this article. I had both the extreme physical AND emotional wounding at the same time. At a time like this – it helps to know who God is in your life.

However, what started me writing this was a revelation I had regarding this new emotional would which  I received at the location of an older emotional scar that I believed had healed.  So when this new wound dug deep into the scarred location, I experienced the shock of it and since it was familiar, I thought I should be able to brush it off. I thought  the wound would heal quickly and I would be able to get on with things as if it had never existed.

But I was wrong. That’s not the case. Not at all. It STILL takes time to heal.  How annoying!

The difference is that this time round, I knew how to dress the (emotional) wound, I knew which ointment to put on it, I knew which vitamins helped heal it and I knew that I would survive it. But what I realised also was that I can’t just ignore its existence because it is familiar. I STILL have to treat it with the same healing balm. Whether I like it or not.

I also chose to learn from it, as with all experiences in life – especially the unexpected shocks to the system. It is of great importance to be able to remember what you have already survived in the past in order to move forward in life.

Remember…

Remember when you thought you could not make it through that last difficult time? Remember that you did. Remember HOW you did. And most of all, remember that we are human, with human feelings and human bodies and that if we treat ourselves well, we will be of better service to others.

__________________________________________________________________________

Originally written: 2010 All Rights Reserved © A.V.Powers

Follow me on twitter: @StrategicPowers


Leave a comment

Pretentious Crappuccino

PRETENTIOUS CRAP irritates me no end! Maybe it’s because it requires so much effort for me to pretend or feign affection and/or intent. I didn’t grow up in a culture where people said one thing and believed (or meant) something else.

Lessons In Unnatural Behavior
I first learned how to “do” a fake smile (that is – smiling when you do not want to do so naturally) when I worked part-time at a restaurant during my college days in Lomdon. A valuable lesson for me.  The culture in the UK did not embody pretentious  behavior so you found that people showed their genuine feelings (good or bad) and there was rarely a need to decipher what was real from what wasn’t.

When I first came to the US, I found it very difficult comprehending the notion that “hey, how are you doing?” did not mean “hey, how are you doing?” – but actually just meant “hello”. So when friends and family came to visit, I had to let them know this so that they didn’t think interest was being expressed in their well-being. Seriously! I have had to interrupt an unknowing visitor (or two) from giving a detailed answer about how they actually felt! 😉

Of course I have been in the US long enough now to have assimilated my ways and I find there is much to be said for being able to smile on cue or ask how people are (however – I ALWAYS actually mean it). It makes the other person feel better (even cared for) and for no other reason, I love that. Today, I smile without thinking (which is a GOOD thing) and as far as I am concerned, smiling – or such aimless pleasantries that make other people feel good, are valuable in the overall well-being of our society. Our very humanity.

Political Correctness
I believe that political correctness has its place – in POLITICS! Of course there are a number of things to be said for and against political correctness – but I am not necessarily writing about political correctness here. I am speaking here of Pretentious Crap!

Pretentious Crap – Defined
I am talking about pretentiousness and the one-dimensional relationships built on them. I abhor the JANUS-like behavior that has become prevalent is society and the norm in certain industries and groups. However, this must not be confused with politeness, courtesy and warmth. You see, I believe that any synthetic, surface-only behavior is a cold misrepresentation of what we truly are as human beings.
We are living in the era of the two-faced monster

Relationships need not be pretentious for them to be successful, nor does one need to conform to other people’s preferences when they do not match one’s own. It is okay to be true to oneself because at the end of the day, when there is no one around but yourself, you will be at peace with who you are, knowing that you do not have to wake up another day and walk around with a mask on or pretend to have feelings, values and beliefs that you don’t.

Authenticity
There is peace in being comfortable within oneself when one does not have to pretend to be someone one isn’t – or indeed pretend to like a group/genre/class of people when in reality you’d be very far away from such people PERMANENTLY if you could get away with it!

We walk around judging others based on a pre-conceived understanding of what we THINK they are about and lace that judgement with our own insecurities and sense of self-importance. And all for what?

You will be surprised how much more enjoyable interpersonal dealings (at work or at play) will become when one is able to free oneself from the baggage of “performing” one’s persona.

Don’t be afraid to be authentic

So again, though I am thankful for learning how to smile on cue from my American family, I am grateful to my African, European and Middle-Eastern background for being able to be comfortable enough to BE myself at all times and SHARE my true self in as positive a way as possible in order to MAKE OTHER PEOPLE FEEL GOOD about themselves – because, all the polished smiles and empty sentiments in the world will do nothing when the person on the receiving end realizes that it was never real.

P.S. I actually love coffee. 🙂

Originally written: 3/31/10 All Rights Reserved © A.V.Powers

Follow me on twitter: @StrategicPowers


1 Comment

Why Bother Striving To Be Happy?

Do you strive to be Happy? It may be important to be Happy, however Happiness does not come knocking on your door.

Understanding the components of what makes you HAPPY is paramount to living your life with a powerful level of energy, peace and satisfaction.

MY POINT HERE  IS…

(1) You cannot wake up each morning holding on to negative emotion and expect to have a good day.  Wallowing in one’s misery can be an addictive exercise that erodes the mind of repair and regeneration.

(2) This very moment is the only moment you are living in and you choose the emotion to hold onto.  Why not strive for something (lasting) that lifts you up.

STRIVING TO BE HAPPY is a fruitful task that becomes easier and more successful the more you are tapped into your true self.  It allows you to embrace the next moments of your life with a stronger sense of self-reliance and confidence.

It is a conscious act that is at its most powerful when performed subconsciously.

Being HAPPY is a process that requires definition and refinement whereas JOY  (see article “The Concept of Joy”) can come instantly and  leave just as quickly.  One is “happy” when experiencing a moment of joy, but true HAPPINESS is a more deep-rooted and highly valuable state of mind.

ACHIEVING HAPPINESS is possible beginning the moment you decide to say the following 3 statement out loud yourself (yes, OUT LOUD) whenever you catch your mind dwelling on things that make you unhappy;

“I want to be happy”

“I can be happy”

“I will be happy”.

You will immediately enter into  a mindset that you have created yourself  – and that you alone can control.  You have decided that happiness is possible but you have also implanted the desire and belief that happiness is achievable.  Without this desire and belief, you will be fighting a losing battle against the effects of any deep-rooted negative thought-processes you may be holding on to.

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.

Jim Rohn

Being Happy is an active process and the more you feed your mind with positive imagery and ideas while purposefully terminating the growth of further negative influences, the closer you will be to BEing HAPPY.

__________________________________________________________________________

Originally written: 2010 | All Rights Reserved © A.V.Powers

Follow me on twitter: @StrategicPowers


Leave a comment

Bloody Pavement

Know any cantankerous, bad-tempered, difficult, bitter people? Met anyone you may term a grouch, sour-puss or cross-patch who is not happy unless there is something to complain miserably about? Look at anyone who has lived past the age of sixty and you will find that their outlook on life is clearly marked on their face. Is their face set in a permanent scowl or do their eyes dance with light?

Now, I am sure that no one goes through life planning to end up an old curmudgeon,but rather, may become so due to choices made during their lifetime. I know there are those that sincerely believe that you have no choices in how your life turns out at the end; that if your life was meant to take on a stream of unfortunate occurrences then there is little you can do to change the forgone conclusion

miserable people

My point here is that despite how each and every one of us came into the world – completely innocent and pure, we were meant to exist for the purposes that we were created. We don’t have to know what those purposes are because not all of them will be revealed to us.

The conclusion then would be to make the right choice from the information that is available in the environment we grow in and with the people we associate with. Two infants presented with the same amount of clay with which to create anything they please will unlikely create the same thing and the same goes for two identically trained architects when building their own personal abodes.

 I am not speaking here of the whole “nature vs. nurture” argument which has been hacked to death over the decades. I am simply speaking of the uniqueness and significance of every single person alive. Unique because each person is an original and has a choice in everything they do and therefore solely responsible for the results of their own actions. Significant because even when a tragedy occurs in a person’s life that makes no sense as far as one is able to reason with the limitations of our human thinking, the tragic event itself had a purpose. This purpose may never be known for a decade or a century, but could just as easily be revealed in the next 5 minutes.

CONSIDER THIS…

One winter evening on a busy street in Manhattan, Helena James fell from her tenth floor balcony, landing on the concrete pavement below. She dislocated her jawbone, damaged her spine and broke her legs in twelve places upon impact. She was rushed to the nearby hospital and had to have half of her left leg, just below the knee, amputated. The balcony was found to be faulty in its construction and the property builder had to face some harsh questions.

So who is Helena? Did she deserve this? Some may thing that it would depend on who she was and what type life she lived. If she was a pregnant nurse with three young boys to raise and a husband away in the military, some may feel that such a thing happening to her was unjust and cruel and made no sense. However, if Helena turned out to be a diseased prostitute or a drunken child molester, some may feel she deserved her fall. Why do we judge? Perhaps we do so instinctively..…but that is a topic for a separate discussion.

Going forward, Helena is confined to a wheelchair. Let’s say she is the Helena that is described first who now has to find a way to care for her family while her husband is away fighting a long drawn-out war. She lost her baby and is told she cannot conceive any more. There goes her hope of having a little girl. A month after the accident she is told that her husband had been killed in the line of duty. He was a hero. She hadn’t even seen him since the accident and her sons are too young to comprehend the concept of never seeing their father again.

Consider that across from the condominium building where Helena took her fall was a small unobtrusive bar inside which a young girl of about twenty-two sat hunched over her third vodka. Val watched Helena fall and thought she had imagined the whole thing until the noisy ambulance appeared. She  also saw the pain in Helena’s eyes before Helena passed out. Val watched the 3 little boys screaming as their mother was taken away, yet she was too numb to register any emotion at that time. Her vodka was the anesthetic.

While staggering home with her mind on the plan she had conceived over the past few days, she kept seeing Helena’s face swimming before her. Back at her dishevelled apartment, even when she pulled out the gun from the back of the closet, she saw Helena’s face. Val had decided to splatter her blood over the bedroom wall, with the express hope that her stepfather would be the first to find her.

Now instead, Val dropped the gun and fell asleep with Helena’s face spinning in her head. Later that night, she awoke to the sound of the phone ringing. It was her bible-quoting friend Melanie, who kept bugging her about coming to hang out with her. Melanie revealed that ” something told her to just keep on ringing until the phone was answered….” They talked for a long while.

 
Fast-forward a few years an we find that Val founded a center for abused children with a special focus on the effects of incest. She has single-handedly saved countless children from living in fear, self-hatred and hopelessness. She never met Helena, but also never forgot her face. What happened to Helena? Well, Helena learned to walk with a prosthetic addition below her knee and cannot remember not having it. Her experience developed strength in her she never had before which earned her the courage to create a non-profit nursing home for disabled women. 

The complexities of life and the very frailty of our humanity  can create confusion regarding choices. However, making those basic choices in life are simple. Having the right foundation enables us to move through our time on earth with the peace in knowing that being happy is a choice.

Therefore, one can instead end up a perpetually joyful octogenarian without so much as a backward glance in regret. No one on earth knows what it is like to be anyone else other than who they are. It is a choice. It’s that simple.

front row

Originally written: 2006 |  All Rights Reserved © A.V.Powers

Follow me on twitter: @StrategicPowers


Leave a comment

Conniving Creatures

Should you find yourself buried within the depths of an unfortunate catastrophe without a conscious memory of the path just taken, one might assume that though evidentially  only a sub-section of your cerebral functionality may have been in use, there was  nonetheless a decision made by you to act.

So without creating any convoluted excuses for stupendous judgement, it must be concluded that a conscious choice was made during the circumstances preceding said catastrophe. 

The act (or art, in some cases) of indiscretion is within itself a misdemeanor. That which might be purposeful in applying knowledge in an unforeseen catastrophe, must inherently deter from further involvement, should the erroneous act reproduce itself implicitly or explicitly. Inasmuch as one’s personal stance can be attributed to an outcome, it is not unthinkable to adhere to pre-conceived societal norms in such an instance. After all, “they” all do it. Don’t they?

Then to the question of consequential scarring. To allow the musing that you may jump into volcanic lava without damaging yourself must remain in the colorful yet delusional realm of fantasy. By the same token, consequences must follow action, deliberate or otherwise. He whose act was deliberate however, is at an advantage due to the presumptive evidence of expectation. Therefore there is no ground for claims of surprise upon discovering the unpleasant repercussion of said acts.

Originally written: 2006 | All Rights Reserved © A.V.Powers

Follow me on twitter: @StrategicPowers

wheel


Leave a comment

Sailing Through Challenging Times

Yes, times are tough, etc. Yes this happened to this person and that happened to that person – and it’s not pleasant. You wonder how you can cope with all these changes. Well here are some helpful boosters to remind you how to harness a positive outlook especially when it seems impossible to do so.
taxi
Here are 7 Actions To Enable You To Better Deal With Tomorrow’s Challenges
  1. Turn the TV off! Yes, OFF! Well… mainly the major news networks. You only need to catch the main news ONCE a day otherwise you will find yourself being subconsciously affected by the constant onslaught of bad news and the “latest economic downturn”. Remaining constantly plugged into the bad news has the same effect on your mind as attending funerals of people you know on a daily basis. It abuses your emotional system.
  2. ACCEPT situations that you can do nothing about right now and instead look to situations that you can do something about to effect a positive change.
  3. Avoid gathering that involve friends, relatives or colleagues where topics of conversation are anxiety-ridden, dreary, complaining sessions. These again are an abuse to your emotional system even though it may at first seem healthy to share how you feel. This only works if in the process of sharing you are assured of being provided with positive, encouraging feedback or support.
  4. Set goals that make you WANT TO achieve them. CELEBRATE each baby step taken. And keep going.
  5. Keep looking forward with a certainly of GOOD things to come. Wake up each morning and remind yourself that “Today is a brand new day and I feel GOOD about it”.
  6. Be conscious of what activities energize you and ensure you maintain a regular dose of such activities. This could be hiking, swimming, meditating or even sleeping (who knew).
  7. Build your external support system – this could be family, friends, colleagues or of course,  someone like me perhaps…

Originally written: 2009 All Rights Reserved © A.V.Powers

Follow me on twitter: @StrategicPowers