Growth – A Gift To Yourself

Published On: December 1st, 2023
Survivors of abuse have learned how to protect themselves.
Some of those ways may serve them well but other ways may not.  Personal growth is giving yourself the time to understand what no longer serves you.

I think about the very powerful wall I constructed to protect myself.

  • For me, the wall is built with stones called: self-reliance, competency, perfection, distrust, and distance.
  • These “work for me” in the sense that I am able to be “successful” and appear highly functioning.
  • No one can guess the pain, fear, uncertainty, isolation, and loneliness that exists behind that wall.
Being vulnerable means beginning to first look and see the wall you have built up and then dismantle it.

You may wonder: “Why did you tear down something that was so sturdy and had seemingly worked for you for so long?”

The answer is: “It keeps out the things that matter the most to me.”

It keeps out the life-giving things that we humans are created to enjoy.  Things like connection, kindness, understanding, love, and peace.

Let me give you a specific example of what I was missing out on with my very thick wall.

  • I had been part of a women’s group that sought to deepen our relationship with God.
  • We have a saying we share around our circle each time we meet: “I am a beloved child of God . . . like you.”
  • When I would say these words to someone else, I would emphasize the last part (“like you”) and not own my belovedness.

Two things are going on here.

First, feelings of unworthiness prevented me from accepting that I could be a beloved child of God.

  • I absolutely believed that my friends were beloved but could not accept that about myself.
  • One dear friend wanted to repeat it to me until I believed it.
  • Sadly, when that wall is built up, it takes a long while to come down. And I am the one who has to do the dismantling.

Second, I was focused on giving versus receiving.

  • I was so ingrained in the pattern of being there for others, that I had difficulty asking for and receiving help or support.
  • I sought to be self-sufficient but ended up alone in my head with my mind monsters.
  • I needed to open myself up to new things and make time for individuals who loved me. This would allow me to be filled up with the nurturing love and support I desired.
To see giving and receiving as a natural flow or even an unbroken circle that nurtures goodness in our lives is an important growth area for me.

Does the description of my wall sound familiar to you?

Have you created a thick layer of protection that may keep some undesirable things out but also keeps goodness from coming in?

I invite you to reflect on those stones in your wall, what would you name them?

Our openness to take a look at our wall and begin to wonder about its value is a step in growth.  It is a sign of courage to move into a new way of living. 
  • Can you begin to give yourself the gift of growth this season?
  • Can you receive the invitation to explore that wall that keeps some of the very things your heart desires out of reach?

On December 15th, we will explore those stones that make up your wall and identify those things they may be keeping from you.

“I encourage every survivor to continue to do their healing work, own their truth, find supporters, and claim their “Going-Forward Story” of light and hope.”                       ~ Tambry Harris

Quote from Awakening the Light: A Survivors to Thrivers Going-Forward Story available through our book tab or by clicking here:

At Survivors to Thrivers, we are committed to encouraging and supporting you as you seek to embrace your healing and growth.  We would love to hear steps you have taken to heal yourself – mind, body, and spirit.  Please know we are here to cheer you on– every step of the way!

Talk To Tambry

I am glad you have taken the time to engage with this blog.  Sometimes it is helpful to process new insights that emerge.  If you would appreciate brief time with a someone who understands, our Talk to Tambry offering is for you.  For 30 minutes, you can receive support from Tambry who is a certified life coach, spiritual director and a survivor who has been on the journey as well.  This is offered at a reduced rate of $50.

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