In the midst of the final weeks of my first semester for my Masters of Social Work I have plenty of reasons why I don’t have time to write. There are papers to write, reading to complete and process recordings to be done, but I secretly long and crave to write FOR ME. Among the busyness and stress of life I find the inability to remember my feelings and thought processes. Writing helps me do it. Writing for myself is a treat. I sometimes wish it was more of a staple in my diet.
In the past 8 months or so my life has been through significant changes. Good changes, but foggy nights like tonight remind me how far I have really come and how powerful a memory can really be. Leaving my internship tonight the fog triggered thoughts and feelings of almost 6 years ago when I was raped. As time goes on and changes for the good occur it is easy for me to push against these thoughts. I realize that my brain doesn’t want to let me do it and nor do I think in the long term I should. I certainly don’t want to dwell on what happened, but if emotions come to the surface I need to accept them for what they are. It’s a bit of what mindfulness teaches us; not to try to stop negative feelings, but rather become aware of them.`I believe that these things come out for a reason; as an opportunity to process and feel what I may not have been able to feel previously.
Accepting the thoughts and feelings associated with my rape seems to push against rational thought. There is much joy and childlike anticipation in my life right now and my past self would say that I’m finally “going somewhere”, but my past self would try to ignore the past. I’ve seen myself do it before when life is good to try to “leave behind” my past, because who wants that crap among the beauty. The still small voice inside of me say “I do”. I’m not a separate entity from my past, but living art. My life isn’t broken up into different paintings. The rape isn’t an “ugly” painting that I get to throw out, but rather different strokes in one painting to create something magnificent. If you think about it aren’t the greatest artists the ones who can take a mistake or a flaw and use it in their art. If we kept throwing out the ugly, hurtful and dark parts of our lives we would never get anywhere. If we instead accept them as part of who we’ve become how much more grace and beauty will be evident in our lives?
Beauty isn’t having it all together, but rather accepting all our brokenness in order to create beauty in the world around us.