(Note: I think it would be helpful to read the articles from 2011 writings listed under the Further Reflection section of this website especially PTSD and Traumatic Thinking before reading this blog. My current blogging is a result of going through a ten year process of darkness and transformation. The 2011 writings will give you a sense of the depth of my darkness.)
I have always wanted to do great and noble things. Some of this is because I felt I needed to prove my worthiness to exist and some because I believe in service to others. Over the last 10 years I have had to alter my view of greatness due to my severe PTSD. Today, I see my greatness in three distinct areas – loving self, loving another into their greatness and being an interrelated part of the universe. In these ways I am living a life well-lived.
First, the greatest act of self love I have found is in my ability to trust in my own creative evolving. It is in my ability to trust in the wholeness, greatness and brilliance of my creative self-organizing systems (my heart, mind, brain, energy, body, womb and intuition) and in the fact that these systems have been and are always working together to guide me on my evolutionary, lifetime path to further greatness even if it looks different than what I thought or hoped it would look like. At this point in my journey, I clearly see their greatness, wholeness, and brilliance because they have taught me how to embrace and live purposefully with the joy, pain and suffering I have on a daily basis. In gratitude for their brilliance, I have learned that my job is to treat these systems in my life with reverence, gentleness, and kindness. The way that I do that every day is by using the tools and relationships I have learned and developed over the last decade to manage my health and well being. Furthermore, another act of self love I have learned in these last ten years of darkness is to put my personal growth and development above all else, for it is only then that I can truly love another.
The second area of greatness I see in myself now is in my ability to love another and journey in relationships with another into their greatness – getting to know all parts of themselves. Through learning to trust my own self-organizing system, I have now learned to trust and reverence that my loved one also has a self-organizing, creative life system that is leading him on his own evolutionary path. My job here is to allow my loved one the space necessary to put his own personal growth in the forefront and to let him do that at his own pace. Loving another into their greatness will require me to make changes and grow in my life as well. It will require me to not fear that the changes and choices he makes in his life will lead down a wrong path and contribute to my demise – a pattern that is familiar to this person living with PTSD. In addition, I have to not fear that his choices and decisions will lead me beyond where I am at on my evolutionary path or what I am capable of giving at this moment in time. It will require me to live with the unknowns of his own evolutionary journey and to see stability in the instability of his evolving process. It will require me to let go of my need to control him and to provide him with the answers to what is best to help him grow and develop. It requires me to let go of the need to control the pace of his evolution and to hold back on how I want and in the way I want him to develop. Living with the unknowns, being partners with someone who is always in a process of change, and letting go of trying to control their process are difficult for any human being but they are particularly difficult when you have PTSD, however, the ability to journey with another in relationship into their greatness requires this of me.
The final area of my finding greatness is in my interrelatedness with the universe and in the fact that both the universe and myself are in a lifetime creative, painful process of evolving into our greatness. It is about embracing that neither me nor the cosmos have a fixed state in which to find our stability. It is about embracing that change, growth, pain and suffering will always be part of the creative, evolving life process. For me, it is about being grateful to the universe and to my own self-organizing system for providing for my daily sustenance in my journey. To support my interrelatedness with the universe I spend at least a half hour or more in the early morning sitting in nature and building an ecological identity. (The amount of time is affected by how quickly I become overstimulated and distressed.) I focus on how nature fills and enlivens all my senses. I feel the wind gently caressing me and focus on it carrying away all my anxiety. I hear the sounds of birds. I feel the sun nourishing my body. This I can only do for a short period of time. I see the beauty of the trees, the sky, and my home. This time connects me to the beauty and grandeur of nature, however, it does not stop my racing thoughts – a symptom of my PTSD.
These are acts I have become capable of while managing and living purposefully with severe PTSD. This is my greatness. This is all about my true nature’s commitment to grow in my ability to live sustainably, peacefully, meaningfully and with an eye on social justice.