Life circumstances today reminded me there are still things in this world I fear. I know others besides myself suffer at times from PTSD. These feelings are rooted in fear and are triggered randomly.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.”Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by the Mayo Clinic Staff
I don’t like viewing my reoccurring symptoms as a disorder. The word ‘disorder’ puts my Obsessive Compulsion into overdrive. It makes me want to rid myself of any feelings of fear in order to avoid shameful judgment. Seeing it that way causes me unnecessary stress and anxiety. I view these feelings as they are, naturally occurring feelings I face and overcome sometimes. There is no shame in feeling fear or being sensitive to our trauma.
Sometimes it feels like these emotions and thoughts are me. But one of the benefits of studying yoga is separating who we are from our thoughts, feelings, and other elusive human characteristics. I love how Caroline McHugh talks about identity in her TED talk The Art of Being Yourself.
You are not your thoughts because you think them. And you can’t be your feelings because otherwise who’s the you that feels them? You are not what you have. You are not what you do. You are not even who you love or who loves you. There has to be something underneath all that.Caroline McHugh
I featured artwork from Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls to illustrate how giving our fears and traumas a name helps overcome them. Just as Connor needed to speak his truth about what he feared most, we all need to face our monsters. But just like Connor, our monsters take on different forms based on our experiences. As real and frightening as our fears are to us we can overcome them.
There are important truths I remind myself of to help me endure my mental pain and trauma.
My personal worth doesn’t hinge on my experiences. Individual worth is inherent. That is what yoga is for, so we can se our true, glorious selves.
I am not alone. I have friends, family, and other kindred spirits who I can turn to. Most importantly, no matter where I am I can turn to God in prayer.
I grow beyond my fears. I’ve overcome fears before and I can do it again.
Though this may not seem like a yoga post, I really believe facing and seeing these parts of ourselves reflects how we practice and teach others. I hope my thoughts and feelings came across well enough.
Thank you for reading! See you tomorrow.