Stix and Stones


I have been wrestling lately with what to do with fragmented parts of my story. What to do with moments, experiences, words, touches that have been impactful levels of trauma in my world. I have heard so many times that you forgive to free yourself,that is it not about the other person, that you offer yourself this gift of letting go…. But honestly HOW!

How the fuck do you let go of things that have become like boulders in your body?

This journey is a closing of a chapter, a redefining, changing eyeballs to decided to see the world differently.

There was a deep incongruence between the part of me that wanted abuse, divorce and trauma to not be the thing that defined me; and my body that really really really remembers it all and became skilled at holding on tight to them. I needed a new framework to experience it all through. Comfort came in the form of new imagery; go with me on this aligning path of cognitive reasoning and body’s existence; and you may find yourself in the narrative too. 

When trauma intersects your life, it is stored in your muscles, facia, skin, tendons and your mind. In the future your nervous system remembers and you react as if someone bumped against an actual stone of pain in your body and the obvious choice is to fortify in an effort to protect yourself. In this stage there is no choice but to respond, you feel the attack is personal. You become a body full of rocks. 

The canvas for my new perspective is found in the scenery of a northwest forest.  A canopy of sky scraping trees, with rugged bark and emitting the smell of fresh air and pine. Moss covered boulders adorn the uneven surfaces and there is a whistling in the trees of a breeze. The spray from a crashing waterfall mists my skin,  the path is muddy and challenging with switchbacks and exposed root systems. Ground cover fills in the inbetween with various leafy plants and vines. This forest is well watered, supple. The trees speak of lifetimes that they have been in this place; they act out the old soul that I feel very much in my inner workings. There are specific spaces where the sun breaks through on the path; like nature's expression of hope.

 The forest is your life,varying levels of elevation, experience,  textures, hope filled sun bursts, exposed roots. It all is a part of what makes up the forest; what makes up you. I had this moment of gratitude as I looked at the 360 view of my life and all that is in the forest. Without the dips, the vistas would be nothing to write home about.In the comfort of nature I take inventory of the stones in my body; it is hard to hike with them inside of me. I take a moment to mentally place a stone from inside my hidden narrative onto my forest path. Studying the jagged edges of the situation, I realize that this stone is now on the path and not inside of my body any more.I take a step away from it and look back, the stone is still there but I do not feel it inside my current experience anymore. I take a few steps away and then walk back to it. THIS IS IT, I feel the power of the letting go and the gratitude for that rock. The memory and experience is no less real, or valuable, but I do not need to take it on the whole hike with me. I get to rest it in my life experience forest, and any time I feel the need to visit the rock I can. The memory belongs to me, and at the same time it is separate from me. I am not my trauma. 

And now when situations come at me, I get to choose if I want to run to the rock, pick it up again and use it or if it gets to stay where I placed it. 

Where does the rock serve me best? 

I can grab the stone to resonate with another woman that has uncovered infidelity in a relationship, a friend signing the final divorce papers, a mom that has miscarried, a guy friend that was laid off, a client that is making sense of their “no” being disregarded and their body being violated. In these conversations my rock is powerful, it brings healing, relatability and empathy. But the rest of my days I can move with ease, dance uninhibited because my rock is not needed there. I love that my forest is colorful, my past is precious, its mine. And with new eyes, and a few less rocks in my gut I venture on to see what comes next in this forest of my life.