“Just as there exists in writing a literal truth and a poetic truth, there also exists in a human being a literal anatomy and a poetic anatomy. One, you can see; one, you cannot. One is made of bones and teeth and flesh; the other is made of energy and memory and faith. But they are both equally true.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
I know enough about Trauma, being a psychotherapist. About the pain that visits, how we mentally, psychologically and bodily take protective steps to guard against the traumatic events. About the stories we construct to placate the demons or dilute the impact they would otherwise have upon us.
I know of trauma, the small ‘t’ variety. About the uncertainty and fear of things spirally out of control, how we take steps to defend our psyche, and mentally adapt and cope through psychologically distancing our values and beliefs from the reality that is persisting.
I know of letting go and moving on.
Then one day, after sufficient time passed, memories return of what we used to be, awareness of how we have changed, and the reconstruction of self begins. We begin integrating memories long compromised and dreams abandoned so we would not long for something we could not have, when we could only be cautious and vigilant.
And gradually memories of better times return too, though tainted. Light casting shadows we can now see. We learn to integrate past and present, light and shadow, to becoming whole again.
It takes faith to hope; it takes courage to accept all of our memories. It takes a certain motivation and energy to create a future from the present.
It takes a willing mind and spirit to embrace our (and others’) literal and poetic truths.
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