I honor you for you bravery. This journey of lessons took a lot of courage. The richness you found in your own strength is now as much a part of you as your abundant capacity to love, which never faltered.
The fear that once flowed through your veins is now something that does not poison you. You have taught your body what are real threats. You now can move through the world without reacting and conditioning yourself for fight, flight or freeze all the time. You know what your cues are. The feeling you get in your gut is a true warning sign that something is amiss and you honored yourself by paying attention to it. You have learned to release and you now teach others to do so also. You have learned to trust that you can handle whatever comes your way, even when it is not something pleasant. You know that nothing is more than the present moment and that everything will pass. You have come to accept this instead of clinging to painful memories or escaping into a private world of pain. You have learned there is always going to be sadness and disappointment and you have learned to embrace the failure of others as something you cannot control. You have learned not to accept behavior that harms you. You have learned protection skills that are not permanent but can be removed when you are safe. You have learned what it is to be safe. You have always been able to forgive as your heart always wants to see the good in others. But you could not always forget. Somehow, with patience and release, the memories lost their control over you. You allowed them to release their grip on your life and let the air in. You can breathe.
Once many of the old layers of protection were removed, the sense of exposure at times was too great. It took a lot of courage to remove those walls and you should celebrate each shedding. You always needed to know that you were not without support and guidance because you were so vulnerable. At times you felt you were a burden. Abandonment was a condition of your past. Your heart is full of gratitude and love for the hands that supported you unquestionably. Compassion was something you had never been given without guilt attached. You doubted it; you pushed it away in fear of having it taken again. You felt for a very long time that you did not deserve to be cared for or to have someone help you. You allowed people in just so far. You were scared. You have learned who is truly there for you and who is there for themselves only.
You were the one who was always the caregiver. Receiving help was failure in your mind. You have learned that needing help is not failure, but strength. It is a desire to be a better being. You needed the guidance to be whole and authentic. You have also learned to graciously accept compassion that is offered without fear of retribution, accepting in it in the manner it is given. The gift was in the giving as you now know. You needed to learn much so that when your turn came, as it has now, you know how to give unconditionally and without judgment as it was given to you. Your teacher has taught you well.
I do not think you even knew how afraid you were. At one point in your recovery, you came to the realization that no one else feels like you. No one really feels the same as anyone else and that is what is supposed to be. We are all individuals. Once you started to see what a life without unwanted fear felt like, it threw you. That state of panic had become so much of your life that when it was removed, you were unbalanced. The sensation of aloneness and exclusion was great and it made you feel hopeless, which was horrible. The awareness of non-acceptance was hurtful. You longed to be part of the greater whole. You felt that there was something wrong with you, that you lacked something. The feeling was instilled when you were very young. People from your past practiced unspeakable rejection and cruelty and did great harm to you, which because of who you are, you thought you deserved it. You worked through the hurt and pain and came to a place to where the past was irrelevant. It took a long time to release the hurt and there were times when their failure to love became part of your failure to thrive. You sensed the feeling of not being invited to the party of life. But in due course, you discovered that the only acceptance you need is your own. Life is a party of one; you had to invite yourself. You are the guest of honor. You had to learn that. You now celebrate every day for the wonder that it is. Now you can embrace your world for the safety and joy it brings you.
You still have much to learn. You will always struggle with your body and have learned to temper your self-loathing with acceptance. You will never meet other’s expectations of body image. But in your maturity you have learned the insignificance of that. You will always have to work to be healthy and control your wellness. This struggle to achieve a healthier weight was hard fought and you will never relinquish the victory. You know you will continue to have to fight for the ownership of your weight loss every day. You have gained back your mobility and grace. You no longer fear movement but have embraced the joy of dance and play again. You have discovered that beauty comes from within and that the eyes of the beholder are not always the truth. Because you now can really see, you know the lantern is only a vessel for containing the light.
You have learned to touch and feel and used your hands as the sensory tool that they are. You had blocked your ability to touch and be touched as a safety mechanism. The ability to sense and receive through touch, although completely frightening at first, was actually a powerful gift and you have grown greatly in your ability to use touch as it was intended. You have learned to trust what you sense through your hands.
You have learned to use other gifts that you closed off. You have rediscovered your passion for music and it is never far from you. You are investing in the joy you get from playing and singing which at one time was as natural and nutritious to you as eating. You again use your eyes for capturing life through the lens. This gift was so much a part of you that you taught it and now you are using it again to bring joy to yourself and others in your work. You use your words to heal and support others. You employ authentic words to express and give hope to others who follow or walk with you on your journey. You correspond with others as they reach out and you have grown immensely in their shared experience as they have in numbers.
From the moment you began this journey, you knew there was more to it than just feeling better. You always wanted to know more. You worked extremely hard to become a practitioner and teacher. You listened to what was being taught to you with complete devotion. You spent countless hours of reading and studying multiple methodologies, different authors, and devouring and ingesting the different principles and practices. You participated in course work and programs in order to expand you knowledge and abilities. You completely knew in your heart that you would somehow become certified and have your own practice to teach others to achieve personal goals and healing. You will continue to grow as you expand your scope of practice and teaching.
You have learned and will continue to learn to remove self-imposed roadblocks in your way. You struggle with trust, but you persevere. You were supported and understood with compassion and kindness. And as to honor those who bestowed their trust and faith in you, you will now pass it on to others who need it. And they in turn will do the same.