When Night Falls On You
By Alexa Keating
Bad things happen to good people, to unsuspecting and innocent people who did nothing to invite those things into their life. Events will happen in life; your response defines the magnitude of the event and how much of your future will be effected by them. When significant events happen they can become an emotional hook in our lives, one that encompasses years of our future consistently dragging us back to the raw emotions experienced in those events. Anger is the most honest response, because anger is fear wearing a mask that is acceptable. This is the real monster that arrives on the scene and plans to stay for years; maybe even a lifetime. How do we escape from fear?
Fear is rooted in the belief that what is before us is much bigger and stronger than we are capable of battling. It is born from horror, dread, fright and panic; all emotions we feel when confronted with events that make us feel helpless. How we express that fear defines our future.
Some people attempt to become more fearsome than the cause of their fear. They react by assuming the role of bully, abuser and worse, deluding them into believing that by becoming even more grotesque than the cause of their fear there can be nothing to be afraid of. And a new monster is born.
How do we escape? Fear is not an emotion we are born with; it is a learned response that can even be beneficial. It is good to be afraid of touching flames, ingesting poison or a host of other things. It is a protective deterrent. This is completely different from fear that is born from events we have no control over. Fear born of terror can be life altering. Anger is the correct initial response but it must be dealt with. This kind of fear is traumatic and requires a path that prevents it from making us captive. Trauma is real and it needs to talk. You may notice that those who have experienced real trauma talk about it incessantly in the beginning. Let them, trauma must talk. It is the first step to conquering this emotion. In times of anger, resentment or rage, all we can do is burn through it like a blazing fire and offer it up to the universe.
There is a grieving process involved in recovery from trauma that is very much like the grief we feel when someone dies. Why? Because a part of us has died; it is the death of innocence, of believing the world we lived in before was the way our world would always be. We have lost the innocence of believing that our tomorrows are in our control and that doing the right thing may not guarantee this will be true. This is painful and a new door opens called denial. We feel compelled to deny that this event has changed us; but it has.
The next door that opens is bearing a new emotion; profound sadness. There is a mourning process for what you have lost, for the emotions you were forced to feel and for the things that have changed within you. Your life now has a filter through which all things are viewed. Take the time to process this thoroughly and make a sincere effort to create a category in your mind for these kinds of events. This will allow you to remove that filter for things that do not need to be filtered through that lens. Failing to do this may create a bias within that will color everything in your future. It is important to keep things that do not need to be filtered through that lens out. There are varying levels of sadness, sorrow and vulnerability, but true, deep and profound sadness stems from the surety that there is nothing at all we can do about what has happened. It actually requires us to mourn whatever has caused this. It is only then that we can 'cut away the grave cloths that have bound us' and step back into a world with color again.
Love is the most healing emotion we will encounter. To be loved unconditionally is a gift of enormous proportions. Spend time with the people whose love you can trust. Know that you are blessed through their gift of love. Cherish those who stand by you; they are the greatest gift in life. Learning to trust again is the next step in recovery.
Crying is a healthy response that may accompany your throughout this time. Have you ever noticed that after you allow yourself to burn through anger and have a really good cry, your eyes become really luminous and clear! And there's your soul, staring back at you saying, "I'm back, better than before!
When true darkness falls on your life, when you're standing at the cross roads and don't know which path to choose, be still and look within. If you listen carefully you will hear the still small voice that resides within all of us, encouraging you to carry on and keep the faith. It is the whisper that reminds all of us we are not alone in this journey called life.