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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Ann

wildflowers: reclamation

Our younger versions & past selves embody lighthouses, if we let them. Earlier this summer, inspiration granted me with an idea to re-labor previous works, combining them into a hopeful piece creating a series of sermons celebrating continued steps towards wholeheartedness, with each individual concept or practice a wildflower in my soul garden.

Today's wildflower is reclamation; the sacred work of detaching from harmful energies through realignment with our soul & purpose.

Wanting desperately to move on, but feeling a connection to my past love in most moments throughout the day, I wrote in my prayer journal that I didn’t want this lingering energetic attachment to exist any longer. He was everywhere and nowhere, and it was maddening. Aloud, my therapist wondered how I could reclaim myself from the energetic attachment I had spent the previous several years in, a question that resonated quite deeply.

I'm not well versed in walking through grief without having to salvage all the pieces of my life from wreckage. This relationship ended without the usual traumatic implosion I'm used to, and without the distraction of wreckage salvaging, there was a simplicity to this grief that enhanced the depths of sorrow I felt about the person and the ending of our relationship.

Over the years, something I’ve asked many a therapist about is if healing from trauma is possible, or if I instead learn to just manage. Each therapist has their own response, and most turn it back to me. Reading what I have about genetics transformed by trauma makes me feel like surviving with C-PTSD means lifelong kinesis & fear, except I also believe in the power of Christ’s redemption, and I have faith that we are not meant to only suffer in this lifetime.

However, I do believe that certain trauma responses last forever, and that self-nurture, patience and a friendship with distress tolerance are beneficial to wellbeing and relationships, including the one with ourselves. I have noticed that most of my experiences filter through trauma responses initially, but if I'm actively caring for my whole self, then these events filter right through into my core values, at which point I can process and respond aligned with my authentic self, or rather - soul responses.

Self-nurturing practices that assist me with filtering events through to my soul responses are movement through yoga & dance (sometimes dancey yoga); stillness through meditation & rest; acts of service; journaling & poetry writing; introspective time in nature; and increased clarity & direction through study of spiritual texts.

So what does filtering through trauma responses, and self-nurture, have to do with reclamation?

Well, my friends, in reflective preparation for this post, I realized that I’ve been reclaiming myself from extensive grief attachments my entire life. Which is why reclamation was named a wildflower in my soul garden. My answer to my therapist's question, "how can you reclaim yourself from this energetic attachment?" is "by continuing to care for myself how I have been". And for those traumas that are too deeply ingrained in my being, or to sorrowful for me to look at, I praise in gratitude for Jesus' atonement, because He will take care of what I cannot.

O God, Giver of Life Bearer of Pain Maker of Love, you are able to accept in us what we cannot even acknowledge; you are able to name in us what we cannot bear to speak of, you are able to hold in your memory what we have tried to forget; you are able to hold out to us in the glory that we cannot conceive of. Reconcile us through your cross to all that we have rejected in ourselves, that we may find no part of your creation to be alien or strange to us, and that we ourselves may be made whole. Through Jesus Christ, our lover and our friend. - Janet Morley (from The Flowering of The Soul, edited by Lucinda Vardey)

Before we go our separate ways, here are a few questions for journaling: What are your wildflowers? How do you know the difference between a trauma response from a soul response? What are your core values? Do you have a friendship with distress tolerance? Why or why not? What self-nurturing practices do you engage in? How do you access the redemptive power of Jesus?

digging deep & staying wild, one soul garden wildflower at a time.



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