You might not be aware, but April is Sexual Abuse Awareness Month. To honor all survivors, we want to take a step back to help you look at your journey out of the dark and into wholeness. Here at Survivors to Thrivers, we seek to bring awareness and shine a light onto the shame, silence, and darkness of sexual abuse.
Shame is often one of the hallmarks of facing sexual abuse. A dark feeling of doubt centered around the nagging thought “if only, then…” If only we hadn’t entered that room. If only we hadn’t listened to that manipulation. If only we spoke up. If only we were stronger. The list goes on and drags us deeper into a shame spiral.
Begin by understanding what your limiting beliefs are trying to teach you. Even the harshest critic has insight embedded in the noise. It’s up to you to find the time to create a pause in your life to better hear and understand the engrained script in your head. In the pause, nonjudgmentally observe the themes and narratives, realizing you have the ability to rewrite your narrative if you are kind and patient with yourself. It is unfair to your spirit to blame yourself for being in a particular location or the actions of another person. Instead, focus on the aspects that directly were and are within your control.
Look back to who you were then and facets of your life that shaped your perspective. Can you take a single step today to cultivate peace in your being? We react the best we can to circumstances that often are well beyond our control. No one sets out to be manipulated. The hurt surrounding what happened to you is very real and should be honored. Even so, humans have an astonishing capacity to persevere through pain and much like the kintsugi we discussed a few months ago, we heal in a way that makes our “broken” parts stronger and more brilliant than before the injury.
When you reflect on your journey from victim to survivor to thriver, think about the areas of lingering shame that infest the dark corners of your psyche. Shame is a boulder that can only be dismantled in small bits. Visualize your shame and look for pieces that can easily be removed. Work to only release a piece or two at a time. You are on a journey of healing and rewriting your story, there is no rush. Tackling too much can become overwhelming and further delay you from achieving the quality of life you deserve. After you remove these pieces, honor your bravery and resolution to embrace life more fully. Infuse this newly reclaimed space with love, gratitude and positive intentions for your next steps forward in life.
At Survivors to Thrivers we believe that we all have a right to transcend mere existence. With bravery, hard work, patience and love, we can reclaim our story from abused to light-keeper. You have shed the skin that was on your body when you were a victim. You have gained a profound inner strength and a new perspective on what matters to you. You have learned valuable lessons, both good and bad, about what it means to truly live. As you emerge from the hard work of survivorship and enter the mentoring world of being a thriver it is time to celebrate the blessing of living in all of its messy, but vibrant glory. You are far more than your abuse; you are resilient and an inspiration to all those you meet. We look forward to hearing all the ways you are shining your light to help cast out the shame surrounding sexual abuse in your community. Share your stories, thoughts, and tips via email, blog comments or on our social media channels. Thank you for being a part of this loving, uplifting and empowering community.