The way through is in the softening
Updated: Jul 28, 2022
The way through is in the softening. Most of my journey as a trauma survivor has revolved around softening my grip and slowly releasing the tension of trauma. These parts of me that learned to hold on for dear life have slowly softened into something different. I would describe it as more of a thawing. I know now that the pace I have carried through my healing process is what is best for me. It has been a gentle unfolding. At first, softness and self-,compassion felt impossible…wrong even. Bless the moments I decided to keep going and make this practice my own.
You’ve probably heard that healing isn’t linear and this is true. Many times I’ve desired a fast track, a quick fix to everything I felt was wrong with me. I soon learned that I’d be on this path a long time. I learned that there are no quick fixes and that I needed to keep on this path if I wanted to survive. It sounds dramatic but it felt that way. You see, coming out of an abusive situation, or several, is like seeing the light after being stuck in the dark. It’s like the sun touching your skin after a lifetime of cold. It hurts at first and we turn away because the light feels like too much. The thawing takes time and with the thawing sometimes comes pain that needs tending. We can slowly become attuned to ourselves and what we’re needing most.
The way through is in the softening. The softening is moving at your pace and in your way. It is turning towards the light and away from the light as many times as you need to. It is honoring your process and your timing. Most importantly, the softening is remembering that there is nothing wrong with you. That you are perfectly lovable just as you are simply because you exist.
This tender gentleness has taken me years to cultivate but it has been life-saving. In moments when gentleness does not feel accessible, I turn towards the people in my life that remind me of my worth. The way through is in the softening.
When we soften, at our pace, we can slowly release. We can release what we no longer need to carry. Of course, this process looks different for all of us. Perhaps that looks like softening into many forms of rest or maybe it looks like being kinder to yourself and acknowledging how far you’ve come. I know that the past 20 years have been a course of healing that I could've never imagined. I know that I still struggle with things that I thought I would’ve healed by now. I remind myself over and over that I am a multi-layered human being and that healing is not linear, and that’s ok. Self-compassion and understanding softens me, being patient with myself softens me and remembering my humanity softens me. This journey isn’t perfect but I’m committed to holding myself with care and I thank you for joining me on this journey.
Photo by Sargeant Creative
Eve is a survivor of childhood incest and has been using expressive arts as a way to tell their stories for nearly 20 years. They are a fierce advocate, parent, sibling, teacher, artist and survivor. You can find more about their work and community offerings on their website eveandry.com.