Monday, August 11, 2008

Staying Connected

Today is a day of gratitude. Not just for "the sun, the moon and the apple seed" but for connections. Connections are hard for survivors of trauma. Connections require trust and they are things most people take for granted.

Connections are relationships - with God, with self, with others, with the world. And the challenge of feeling how I am related to the world is no small thing. I mean FEELING, not just knowing. I know I am connected. I am married. I have children. I work in a prison. I belong to a church. I am connected on the outside but inside, sometimes that's a different story.

The closest thing I can compare it to is being a burn victim. Your nerve endings are shot, incinerated by the trauma of fire. When one has been through trauma, I'll speak for myself here, now that I have lived through abuse, my natural nerve endings seem to be singed. I look alright on the outside but inside I feel nothing. My brain registers danger and it's easy to feel disconnected and alone. It's a physiological response - the fight or flight response to the alarm of impending danger. And nothing feels so dangerous as connections.

The real challenge is staying connected to myself and this happens through my body. "The body heals the mind," says my therapist. As I tune into my breath or my pulse, I am reminded that my body is a creation and I, my soul, inhabits my body. I am joined to myself.

I wish it didn't take so much work but this new paradigm requires concentrated effort - the effort to remember that I am free of abuse and free of my past. And that leads me back to gratitude. To be grateful for what I know in spite of what I feel. Feelings are not facts and facts are not necessarily feelings. I know I am blessed. It's just a matter of remembering day by day.


Anonymous said...

Kris - Hi. It's me, Kris. Not trying to be cute... it really is. In Pawling, N.Y. I met you at a PFAL camp, many many years ago... 1974?. BTW, to jog your memory we were both in the Way Corps, too. K. Weeks.

Anyway... my reason for breaking in - I was reading your comments about breathing & "The body heals the mind." etc. I too can say a body centered spirituality is the only thing that has worked for me after all the years in the Way. Tried a lot of different things in between, including distancing myself from my spiritual self.

I finally headed towards more mystical directions. I try to have as few beliefs as possible - and that has really helped. But I have picked up energetic practices which work or that I am competent enough to connect with.

The result? For me, speaking metaphorically, it was as if Christ moved back in - however, his presence and fellowship was not conditional upon old interpretations - or even new ones. My mind was content to play the role of accountant - not heart. Just practices and awareness shifts brought this on.

Simple. And wonderful.

Best you - Kris

Anonymous said...

About being connected:

There's a new book out called "Reimagining Church" by
Frank Viola.

He talks about how 'organic' churches are the Biblical model,
and how 'institutional' churches
are man-made. Some calls them
audience church.

Remember when people got together
and every member participated as
Christ was the head of all?

Schumes said...

Thank you so much for writing about all this.

Anonymous said...

Joe M., Florida:
GOD directed me to a very personal relationship with HIM outside of TWI, so my relationship with HIS son, JESUS CHRIST, is soley based on GOD's Word, not anyone else. TWI was, to me, only a biblical research group, not a personal director of my relationship with Christ. They taught me many foundational & practical research principals to understanding GOD's Word, but they were NEVER a replacement for the LORDSHIP of Christ in my life. In all the listening & reading of what you have said, you were not personally responsible for your own actions & decisions. We do reap what we sow...Yes? GOD's Word clearly teaches we "walk by the flesh or by the Spirit." We choose which we will submit to. It's a journey, not a destination..a day by day walk. I'm sorry you experienced all you did,(sex is your decision, otherwise it's rape) but to blame anyone for your decisions is deceiving yourself...which is what the demonic world's goal is for all mankind...Genesis 3. True Christianity is a true & vital SPIRITUAL RELATIONSHIP with our LORD & MASTER, Jesus Christ, GOD's plan of redemption of all mankind, not man-made religion. I pray for your wholeness, spiritually, mentally & physically. "The body makes a great slave, but a loosey master". May GOD's amazing GRACE abound.

Anonymous said...

Hi-we may or may not have crossed paths, as I come to the realization just how small twi is looking in from the outside. Every person I have ever met was self=centered, mean, cruel, manipulator, gang-leader, old and decayed regarless of age and sex. I always felt connected to God and after searching fervently for answers twi defined most of my beliefs, except for the fact that everyone adapted to the ill mannered behavior of one LCM. The only thing I learned was to put on ear plugs to block out all the screaming. I was screamed at by practically everyone, merely, because I never fit in with the older generation and noone wanted to speak to me in a loving way. And let the lies begin and what do you get. A dozen old hens all dressed up and no where to go, but home. I always saw through LMC. God is OMNIPOTENT and a rewarder. My greatest reward was the escape route, although it took great strength on the part of God to not snap. Yet, I was shattered to the bone and the devil was happy. I rose above by the grace of God. God truly does prevail. May LCM eat the bull he dished out from here to eternity to many. I knew God was in charge every time he insert foot in mouth. They're coming for me again. LCM the all time high loser.

Anonymous said...