Ayshah | Victoria

Living my Passion | Living with Purpose | Living in Peace


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The Monsters Among Us

The problem with the Bill Cosby allegations is that people assume that you cannot be two people at the same time. But you can.

Just because he is perceived to be a family man does not mean he cannot be a monster. You can be both. Men (and women) have been both for centuries. It is a mistake to think that all people are usually who they present themselves to be in public.

Before the quaalude and rape allegations, all you would hear in reference to Bill Cosby was “America’s TV Dad ….” or “ …The Cosby Show”. Firstly, let’s remember that Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable is not a real person, he was a character, played by the actor, Bill Cosby.

Yes, I too “grew up with The Cosbys” – but so what? It was a show. Granted, a show that has its place in history when it come to altering the images of what a successful American family can look like, which was a big deal – not just in America but around the world for people like myself. But these were actors and as with all the other shows which have taken place over the years, scandals existed. Why? Because society gets excited when the humanity of their TV idols gets exposed. Tabloid fodder, we say. But is it?

The argument stands that if you choose to live your life in the spotlight, you have to expect your every move to be scrutinized. It goes with the territory. However does that mean that actors and other entertainers are expected to have higher values? Be better people? If our preachers, pastors and other leaders of religious organizations and cults around the world have difficulty adhering to values implicitly indicative of their chosen profession, why, pray tell, are we surprised when we hear about the same issues with actors?

It is a mistake to think that great men who abuse women cannot also be upstanding citizens. They can be both. And they are. It’s that simple.

If a man or woman is skilled at disguising the parts of his or her character that is less than attractive, while simultaneously convincing people that it cannot possibly exist, then they will. And they do. Society gives them the space to do so. The veneer of superficiality is one such space.

bill-cosby

You CAN be successful in your chosen profession, hold a position that connotes deep values and trust AND be a rapist. It happens all cross this country – and the world.

It is a mistake to assume that the monsters among us look like monsters. There is a saying that the greatest trick the devil played on humanity was to convince people that he doesn’t exist. Personally, I refuse to recognize the existence of the ideal personification of evil. I see evil as something that exists in humanity as a whole. Evil is the essence used to breed and feed the monsters within.

SO taking this saying a step further, I say that the greatest trick that evildoers among us play is allowing us to believe that evil looks a certain way. For centuries, throughout literature, the villains have been described as hideous creatures. When moving pictures arrived, we saw the cloaked villain, the hunchbacked villain and pimpled witches stirring cauldrons…. We are raised with the notion that the hero is handsome and pleasing to the eye and the villain is unattractive and miserable. Today we are STILL surprised when the campus serial rapist looks like a superhero or when the mass-murderer turns out to be someone’s sweet grandmother.

These misconceptions help these monsters manipulate the more malleable among us into believing that they have values that they actually don’t – and by doing so, gain their trust.

I am sure that my learned psychologists may want to interject that I may be referring to sociopathic behavior – but I am not. We know that sociopaths can become leaders of the free world, worshipped and supported by the gullible and naive. Most people also know the difference between psychopaths and sociopaths by now and if not – there’s Google et al. for that.

As you may know, not all sexual predators are sociopaths. I am talking about the monsters among us who are able to somewhat stray from the typical sociopathic diagnoses because, let’s face it – and this is the difficult thing – they DO have the same feelings as everyone else. They DO care for and about people. They love, they hurt, they help, they heal, they carry out philanthropic activities. They are great fathers, brothers and mothers who have weaknesses like all human beings.

BUT – this is the thing I want to make clear. This is the thing I want to make sure you get from this mini-rant. They also know they have weaknesses and they choose to feed those weaknesses and  breed them into monsters that they nurture, groom and feed. They are able to allow these monsters to exist in tandem with their “public” persona.

These people are our leaders, teachers, preachers, neighbors and yes, the hardest to acknowledge – our loved ones. And THAT is the reality that I don’t think we want to see.

And let me make it clear, in case there is any confusion, I am not a supported of Bill Cosby. As a woman whose life has had enough familiarity with abuse, I can recognize the characteristics of a sexual abuser in this man. I have no problem saying so. I also know what it is like to “not come forward”. Rape survivors, like domestic abuse victims are often misunderstood by those who have not walked in their (our) shoes.

But for those who have walked in our shoes, however often – or however briefly, you get it. You know those feeling of shame, and self-doubt and self-blame and shock and terror all rolled into a ball that gnaws your insides for years. You know what it is like to wish it never happened and wish you could forget it. You know what it is like to have any future relationship affected in some way or another by it. You know what it’s like to recognize the abuser’s expressions or voice or gait or mannerisms or tone, etc. in people you meet and even in those you fall in love with. Sexual abuse has a complicated and often, in my opinion, underestimated long-term effect on us. It can cause behaviors that may be opposite to what is expected from a victim of abuse.

So back to Bill Cosby. I never knew why the story irritated me until today when it suddenly hit me hard. What irritated me was that people found it such a shock. Then I realized why they did. People cannot seem to accept that we have monsters among us. It doesn’t matter how many versions of Little Red Riding Hood we read about. There is an overwhelming denial that there are as many monsters among us as they really are.

There are 2 primary ways that some (yes, only some) monsters are uncovered:

  1. Their egos obscure their fallibility: After a while, they believe that they are cleverer than other people – and they may be. But it just takes one determined person to expose their fallibility.
  2. They do not refine their modus operandi: When a method has delivered results over and over again why change it? This is the wrong mindset for the antics of said monsters. They forget that the world is changing around them and that they themselves are changing . Therefore a well-worn path that may have previously hidden their abusive behavior can get unearthed if these changes are not accounted for.

Consequently, there needs to be more ways for these monsters to be uncovered with more frequency – and sooner. This starts with survivors and victims alike understanding that their voices matter – and having the support needed to overcome the fear that they may not be believed. Contrary to what we may see on TV- there are many effective people in private and public organizations and law enforcement agencies working day and night to uncover these monsters – but their work would be much easier and have a deeper more lasting impact if we can report abuse without of fear what people will think or whether people will believe us. Even if the abuse is by a beloved, well-respected uncle.

For the record, those who lie about being abused for whatever reason, are just as vile in my opinion because they are muddying the work of those who are there to help the real victims. It makes the work more difficult for prosecutors who are trying to get the predators away from the public and save the next victim – who could be anyone’s teenage daughter, mother, sister or infant son.

I’ll finish with this – the more society drops superficial labels and places more value on authenticity and self-awareness, the less likely these monsters will find the space to feed, breed and pollute us with their cankerous sickness.

 


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A Father’s Love

The first time I fell in love was the day my baby sister was born – round the corner from London’s Harley Street on a chilly February day. I was 10 years old and it was a few months before I started my 7-year stint at an all-girls boarding school on the coast.

Of course I wasn’t there at the actual birth. I was staying with my aunt – who was really a second cousin. We called her “Auntie” out of respect since she was closer to my mother’s age.

My father was at the clinic and when he called my aunt to tell us the good news, I remember asking him a specific question – “what is she like?”

My father was a man of few words and even fewer emotions – very much the hard-working disciplinarian. A civil-servant, dedicated to his craft of diplomacy and foreign policy. I never heard anyone call him by his first name. Not even my mother, who called him “dear” or “darling” around us. To others, he was either Your Excellency (when spoken to) or The Ambassador (when referred to).

Back in the 1970s, after school and before dinner time, my siblings and I had a few hours of freedom when we could run around the garden and play freely or maybe watch some Scooby-Doo. But the moment we heard Daddy’s car at the gate, everyone was at full attention. Everything had to be in place. Everybody too – even the grown-ups.

Dinner had to be ready and the dining table set – in case he was hungry; the house had to be tidy; the children had to be quiet and well behaved – seen and not heard. In fact there was a ritual for me. I  had to be on hand in case Daddy needed to send me to do something for him – like bring him a glass of water. The glass of water could never be brought to Daddy by hand. It had to be brought to him on a tray – and handed over with my right hand and never my left – a cultural thing. As it happened, I was left-handed so remembering not to use my left hand was quite a task.

Incidentally, my father had been left-handed as a child which was frowned upon so as a child, he was forced to learn to write with his right hand. Fortunately, this never happened to me.

I remember one particular day when I had been summoned to get a glass of cold water for my father. I was rather under the weather that day but I had managed to find the right glass, fill it to the appropriate level (about half an inch from the top), and place it on a tray. I walked over to serve my father his glass of water. He sat in his armchair, his face buried in the newspaper.  The needle on the record player scratched out some happy Doris Day  tune as I concentrating on the task of not spilling a drop of water. When I was right in front of my father, I gingerly removed the glass from the tray with my left hand and extended the glass to him. I was completely oblivious to my faux-pas until I became aware of the weight of the glass still in my hand and looked across at my father’s face.

He was staring at me with a strange expression. The newspaper hadn’t moved and he didn’t say a word – just kept staring at me. I was perplexed. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I looked at the glass – it looked fine. I thought I was using the right hand – but confusion was now filling my mind. I felt my heart racing and had no idea what to do next. Doris was telling me que sera sera 

Before I knew it, my mother had swooped in, taken the glass from me (with her right hand of course) and handed it to my father. He didn’t take it immediately but eventually did. My mother said something about me not feeling too well and ushered me upstairs to lie down. I fled.

My father was not someone whom I associated with the word love. However, I didn’t feel I was lacking in being loved. I didn’t know any different. I assumed all fathers behaved the same way with their children. Maybe it was because my mother somehow made up for it. She never spoil us though, and she certainly disciplined us when we misbehaved, but I knew she loved me. She showed it in many ways – and I felt it. Neither of my parents grew up in homes where people said “I love you”. It simply wasn’t done.

My baby sister was my mother’s fifth and last child and was delivered by cesarean section. It was a rough pregnancy for her – especially since she was almost 40 and at a time when women were rarely having babies that “late” in life. There was a 5-year gap between my younger brother and my new baby sister and I was very excited about this baby.

I was 4 years old when my brother was born and I really wanted to carry him and walk around with him and hold him close to me the way I saw my mother and aunts doing – but I wasn’t allowed to. My mother said I was too little and had to wait until I was at least “as tall as her shoulder”. Of course, by the time I was that tall, my brother was no longer a baby – and he wouldn’t have let me carry and cuddle him even if I wanted to!

So now here I was at the “mature” age of 10, feeling like a grown up. I was old enough to hold a baby and I simply couldn’t wait to hold the baby that was coming. We didn’t know yet if it was a boy or a girl.

On that February morning, I was extremely excited and could barely contain myself. I kept asking my aunt to call the doctor to find out about the baby and she kept telling me that we would have to wait for the call. When the call finally came, my aunt spoke for quite a while on the phone. I didn’t have an iota of patience so I kept tugging at the chord of the receiver squeaking – “is it a boy or a girl? Is it a boy or a girl?” Eventually, with a smile on her face, my aunt said “It’s a girl!” Then she passed the phone to me.

For some reason, I was expecting to hear my mother’s voice – but instead, I got my father on the phone. So I said the only thing I could think of – “Good Afternoon, Daddy – what is she like?” 

He was quiet for a while and I didn’t know if I had said something wrong. My mind was racing. Didn’t I greet him correctly? Had I been rude? What was wrong? A moment or two passed. Then in a voice that I didn’t recognize, in a soft tone, overflowing with emotion, he said “she is… beautiful…”

In that moment, in that very moment, I understood so much. In that moment, I understood that my father had feelings and that he could love. In that moment, we were connected. In that moment, without even seeing her, I had already fallen in love with my baby sister!

I was never able to have children of my own – but over the years, I have come to realize that from the moment my sister was born, my maternal instincts were born too and  I have always held her in my heart in a way that a mother would. Not by choice, but my instinct. And though my father is no longer with us, I will always cherish the moment I realized for the first time, that he must have loved me too.


Thanks for reading! Please feel free to comment below or share this post. You can also follow me on twitter: @StrategicPowers


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Who The **** Are “THEY”?

The other day I was listening to a lovely lady in her late twenties who was in an animated, high-pitched frenzy over an episode in her life. She was extremely conflicted about how certain people were reacting to her decision to make a huge career change.

Before she could launch into her next angst-ridden tirade about what “they” think about this and what if “they” saw that, I asked her – “Who the **** are “they”?

She paused and blinked at me several times. I wasn’t sure if it was because the question surprised her or because I used a four-letter word.

“Weeell….? “ I prompted

Her forehead creased (no botox here…) as she pondered the question.

Before she could continue, I told her that it really didn’t matter who “they” were. And more significantly, what “they” think about her.  Of course, to properly comprehend that this did not mean she would have to disregard the opinions and preferences of those she cared about, I had to explain the difference between the opinions that truly mattered and those that really didn’t. It turned out that there were far too many opinions that she was concerned with and it was impeding on her ability to successfully attain her goal.  (Her Best Is Good Enough – but she doesn’t know it – yet.)

We like to think that we are in full control of our lives, the decisions we make and the direction we go. The truth is that  we are a lot more affected by public opinion than we would readily admit. What “they” think matters – much more than it should and there are many who feel they have to base every single decision on what “they” think.

This  can happen to anyone who is part of a community, a group, an organization or any social structure. The trick is to recognize the effect of the external influence WHILE  it is happening and counteract* any adverse effects it may have on your decision-making. To do this, you must first identify the source of the influence.

The Good Ones
Many of our friends, family and associates may share their opinions about our lives because they care and because they want what is best for us. It’s natural. But sometimes, we allow their opinions – and as I like to put it, their “preferences” for our lives to confuse our decision-making.  We shift from thinking “this is what I want to do” to “this is what I should do” or “this is what X would like me to do”.  It then becomes difficult to know where to place the emphasis in our thought-process..

For this, I offer one simple solution; listen to their opinions because you care about them and/or because you respect them. Listening does not mean agreeing. It is a foolish person who chooses not to listen to opinions or advice from people they respect, love or admire. However it is up to you to act on their advice. You can choose to do what you feel is best for you – at this precise point in your life. The consequences, good or bad are entirely yours!

The Bad Ones (aka “Haters”)
Any relatively successful person will tell you that you do not achieve your goals – especially the loftier ones, without your share of land mines. Of course there are the natural challenges that will occur along the path to success since nothing worth achieving comes  easily.  But when it comes to people around us, these land mines can come in the form of discouraging remarks designed to put you off your goal. They come from the kind of people who would experience a secret moment of glee if you fail to achieve what you are setting out to do.

They usually fit into one of these 2 categories:

  1. People you know who have already achieved what you are trying to achieve  – but would prefer it if you don’t (the not-enough-space-at-the-top syndrome)
  2. People who do not have the ability, strength or perseverance to achieve what you are trying to achieve and don’t want you to succeed as they feel it would amplify their own inabilities. Unfortunately this thought-process comes from their own self-doubt and insecurities and instead of choosing to rid themselves of such negative feeling, they prefer to infect others with it.

Harsh – but you know it’s true. Now many people in the two categories above tend to keep their negative feelings to themselves and if they are people within your circles,  they will appear supportive outwardly – but will make little comments here and there to dissuade you privately. Some may even speak unkindly about you to others – and if you are aware of this, I challenge you to drop them completely from your schedule (aka life). What’s the point in having a relationship with those who wish you harm?  Of course this method of cleansing and revitalization is not for everyone –  only those that can handle it*.

So who indeed are “THEY”?  They are a combination of the above.  By now you already know who they are – in your world.  Before you go out on a rampage, remember that these people are in your life for a reason. You alone choose how important you allow their voice to be in your head.

You  have to live your life knowing that there will always be others who do not want you to succeed and discourage you at every turn. There will also always be those that take steps to make things difficult for you. HOWEVER the sooner they know that  you do not base your decisions on their opinions,  the good ones will back down.  The bad ones – THEY  will find another person to plague with self-doubt. But certainly not you!

*For more about (A) counteracting the negative effects of opinions that have been shared with you or  (B) for cleansing and revitalizing your circles, ask me!

lions
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When Your Best Isn’t Good Enough… For YOU!

I was thinking about the meaning of the term “BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE” and had one of my meditatively-induced revelations. Being the BEST that you can be has TWO MEANINGS and only one of them is really important in our everyday lives.

The universal thought process behind being “the best that you can be” implies that in whatever you do, you do it to the best of your ability, using all your knowledge, experience, mental and physical faculties and efforts – i.e. – the BEST that you CAN be. Sound about right – right? Well almost…. because I have come to the conclusion that this definition is only a part of it and not the best part either.

I believe this universal way of looking at being the “best that you can be” is synonymous with an automobile’s ability to function at its fastest speed at all times. Operating using all mechanical and electronic aspects of its body. This way, it is at its optimum performance level and in a race, a Ferrari will speed past a Civic. But a Ferarri is a Ferrari and a Civic is a Civic – built to function differently with different purposes and therefore different servicing needs. If that Ferrari has not been serviced properly, a few years down the road, it will break down at an unexpected place while watching the well-maintained Civic stroll by.

In our daily lives, many of us strive for this uber-performance mindset – at work and at home. Being “the best that you can be” has been taken to correlate with developing the characteristics of a “high achiever” which in my opinion is an entirely different thing.  The definition of a high achiever can be generalized as a person who strives beyond the reach of the average thinker to achieve extraordinary goals.

However being the best that you can be (as it is generally written), means to do the best that you are able to with the hand you have been dealt. It also gives the underlining message that you do not have to be as good as the next person, just the best that you yourself can be. In essence – this is true. But should you operate at your optimum mental and physical levels all the time?

Or is there a different meaning of “CAN BE”? I believe there is. For example, if a man has recently had to undergo some difficult surgical procedure and his wife has just unexpectedly left him, I would say that the best that he CAN BE has significantly decreased since he has had to deal with emotional trauma and physical healing. But there is still a “best that you can be” here. It is the BEST way that you can deal with TODAY – with the cards that you and you alone have been dealt. Your Best IN THE NOW!

In this day and age, I find many people suffering from low self esteem and a sense of being “less able” than the next person to “keep up”. We are fed daily – via our surroundings, interactions, the internet and the media with stories and impressions that other people are “put together” and “in control” of their lives in a way that we seem to fall short of. This is a repetitive worry that I find in my practice from people at all stages of their life and career. It really bothered me and I kept finding myself incorporating this simple thought into our sessions which seem to resonate well with my clients – so I am sharing it with others in the hope that it may bring about some much needed peace of mind.

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This note is for …

  • The single mother of 3 who thinks that she isn’t doing enough to keep the kids busy
  • The c-level executive who thinks that he doesn’t have what it takes to do the job she has and is afraid that others will “find out”
  • The entrepreneur who can’t get past the anxiety she deals with on a daily basis
  • The working parent who is juggling so much and feels that others seem to be doing a better job
  • The teacher who feels he isn’t making a difference
  • The broker who strives to be on the front page of the latest real estate publication
  • The doctor who blames herself for the unexpected results of that last surgical procedure.

In short, this note is for everyone who may sometimes get that feeling of “ I am not doing my best. I feel bad about myself”.

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I propose a different take on the notion of being the best that you can be. First, we must eliminate the notion of using the perceived lives of others as a benchmark to measure our progress in life which in turn impedes on our sense of self-worth.

points to consider;

1. There is no one else like you on this planet

2. You cannot control other people’s behaviors, you can only control your reaction to them

3. There is nothing you can do about yesterday – and tomorrow never comes. You live in today and always will

4. The choices you make are yours alone to make

5. Any external negative input should immediately be eliminated before it takes root

6. Each day provides a different set of experiences and these experiences meet a different ‘you’ every time

7. You can only do what you can do with what you have available – mentally and physically

I would like to therefore extend point #7 above to state that the “best that you can be” should mean that you are operating to the best of your ability with the current mental and physical strength you have at this given moment. Sometimes you are mentally stronger than other times – and that’s OK.

You cannot be at your strongest ALL THE TIME, Everything has a season and this extends to your mental and physical health.

It is therefore important to know when you need to “recharge your batteries” – i.e. take a rest, schedule some “me-time” and re-evaluate the path you are on as well as your TRUE goals.

This may sound simple in theory but it is very difficult for most of us to do – because we are always running to catch up with an invisible energizer bunny or superhuman entity. This running is exhausting and you will find that re-adjusting the way one thinks about “being the best you can be” will pay off in the long run by allowing you to achieve more than you initially hoped for without burning out, having a break down or giving up.

We have to listen to our “best selves” and know when we are out of tune with who we really are because we were busy trying to conform to what we think we SHOULD be.

This process requires some introspection but it is truly worth taking the time to reflect and re-adjust how tough we may be  on ourselves.

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Here are 7 Simple, Yet Powerful Habits Worth Developing; 

1. Get enough sleep so that you wake up refreshed

2. Make time for meditation, prayer or introspection in the morning

3. Make the decision to be in tune with your mind and body so you will be better aware of the state of your health. This way you know when you are in peak performance mode and you can adjust your schedule accordingly

4. Frequently connect with people who make you feel good about yourself & terminate negative relationships (old and new)

5. Tackle your daily tasks one at a time and have confidence in your own accountability

6. Trust your judgement about your life and develop your goals accordingly

7. Give of yourself (in a humanitarian capacity) as much as possible – it is a substantial part of your existence

In conclusion (for today…) look at yourself through your own eyes, knowing that you were made (perfectly) to function in your own unique way that may or may not be similar to the next person. Be aware of yourself through the eyes or others but do not live by it.

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

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My Hidden Agenda: Revealed!

So you want to know why I am helping you.  You want to find a way to ask me what my agenda is? What if I said that I do not have one? Is that inconceivable?  
 
Well let me help you conceive of the notion that some of us GIVE without expecting anything in return – because we are “wired” that way. 
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I help people because I LIKE to help people.  Pure and simple.  It amazes me how many times I have been asked WHY!  It seems that in today’s society it is difficult for many to believe that there are some of us that do not have a “hidden agenda” behind our smile.  It is especially difficult for those whose lives are steered by their own hidden agendas.  
 
Because I am  NOT naturally materialistically-driven, I have others manage the financial aspects of my businesses.  This is the sensible thing to do.  Because I believe in the values of making things clear and legitimate, I have others manage the legal aspects of my businesses. Basic common sense. But regarding how to HELP others achieve their success through coaching, training and facilitating connections, I do so because it bring me JOY to do so.  I don’t have to have any other reason. Really.
 
I have found that increasingly, this blatant love of helping others “just because” has left many baffled.  The response is “why would someone want to do something without expecting anything in return?” 
 
Others express discomfort because they don’t want to feel like they “owe something in return”. Codswallop to that!  To someone who is a natural GIVER these notions can become exasperating. 
 
When I can give freely, I give.  It’s that simple.  The only time I expect something in return is when my time is utilized on a project for a client.  That is business and though I love my pro bono work, I would not be able to be as accommodating without my fee-paying contracts.
 
Of course, I have been in situations where my help has been abused.  I have made some blind decisions to help people who had their own hidden agenda. These things happen and thankfully, once  they become evident, I am very comfortable disengaging from such relationships.  I have no problem burning a bridge that is constructed with barbed wire and poison ivy because there are ALWAYS other bridges.  Seriously!
 
Help others because you LIKE HELPING  not because of what you can get from it.  The reward is is being able to make a difference in another person’s life.  For the true encourager/motivator/coach, this should be enough satisfaction.  Don’t get me wrong,  I am not saying that one should work for free – but the decision to take on the role of helping another person or business succeed should be based on the satisfaction you will get from achieving this goal.  If your decision is predominantly for the monetary results, you will remain unfulfilled and may need to consider spending your time in another field.
 
keep in mind that in business, especially in this time of social media, your reputation is tied instantly with those you associate with so you want to ensure those relationships are a good representation of who you are and how you want to represent your business.
 
So, what is my hidden agenda?  it is this and this alone – I get JOY from knowing that I have made someone else feel better about themselves and their lives.  I get JOY in knowing that I am made for this purpose and I get JOY from the revelation that I am being used for the purpose of my existence. 
 
it’s not complicated. Not to me. So next time you need my help and I help you out “just because I can” – please accept it. Don’t analyze it.
 

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

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Let It Go…

– You can’t touch YESTERDAY, but TOMORROW is all yours to shape. So why waste time dwelling on things you can do nothing about when that time can be spent enhancing your future?

You have goals (desires, dreams, hopes and wishes) for your life and you CAN achieve them. All it takes is you making the decision to make achieving them a reality. If you are not sure how – ask me.

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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.

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

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