Tag Archives: inner healing

Self-Acceptance Can Heal Trauma

What is Self-Acceptance?

Self-acceptance is steady and unconditional. When you accept yourself despite your weaknesses and faults, you are more forgiving and you avoid self-judging. You do not fall into the bad habit of comparing yourself to others and you learn to appreciate your individuality!

Accepting yourself helps make you feel confident; it makes you feel that you are enough – that you are beautiful in your own way. Self-acceptance can do wonders improving your self-confidence; it can make you stop worrying about what other people think about you. You become more natural and happy with yourself! Once you have accepted yourself, you become more relaxed and allow the ‘real you’ to be seen by other people.

Accepting yourself allows you to live freely, with no shame or fear. Self-acceptance helps you build stronger and more intimate relationship with others.

What Determines Self-Acceptance?

As a child, you may have accepted yourself on the terms that your parents have accepted you. According to research, children are unable to have a clear idea of self before they reach the age of eight. So if your parents were unable to tell you that you are totally acceptable, you may develop feelings of doubt toward yourself.

The positive regard of your parents may be based on how you behaved as a child. Unfortunately, you may have acted in ways that were not acceptable to their standards. Once you identify yourself with your misbehaviors, you begin to develop a feeling of inadequacy and uncertainness.

Adverse parental evaluation has the tendency to go far beyond disapproving misbehaviors; you may develop the mind-set that you are not attractive enough, smart enough or good enough because of your parents’ evaluation. Mental health professionals may regard this as emotional abuse because it can lead you to believe that you may only be accepted under certain conditions.

Self-criticism is almost always at the heart of the problems that you ‘create’ as an adult. If your parents dealt with you in a hurtful manner, it is very possible that you will parent your children in the same manner. If you were always ignored, berated and blamed, you will find ways as an adult to deal with all your unresolved pain.

Many, if not all, people enter into adulthood carrying heavy emotional baggage from their past; they are afflicted with a certain negative bias that greatly influence their opinion about themselves. They tend to blame themselves and view themselves as defective; they suffer from self-doubt and this greatly affects their ability for self-acceptance.

Unconditional Self-Acceptance

‘Happiness and self-acceptance go hand in hand, your level of self-acceptance determines your level of happiness.’ – Robert Holden

Accepting yourself unconditionally would have come easier if your parents ‘validated’ you positively; growing up in a supportive environment can do a lot to improve your self-esteem and self-love. But if that wasn’t the case for you, you have to learn on your own to ‘certify’ yourself. However, keep in mind that self-acceptance is very different from being complacent – you always have to improve yourself without judgment. This can help you find peace in your heart and mind; you will find fulfillment and complete, unqualified acceptance.

To fully accept yourself, you have to be more self-compassionate. If you are more forgiving and understanding of yourself, it also becomes easier to let go of your hurtful past. You have to realize that you are continuously proving your worth to others to accept that you need to develop a more loving stance toward yourself. Forget about the ‘conditional-love-scars’ from your past and recognize your strength and uniqueness.

Starting Over From A Shattered Life

shattered life

‘God promises to make something good out of the storms that bring devastation to your life’ – Romans 8:28

 

This is a story of Cindy… She had to start over from a shattered life that was caused by a myriad of problems. Cindy suffered from a major breakdown around twelve years ago… she lost at least eight loved ones in just one year; her mother died, she lost her kids in a parasailing accident and her dad was suffering from bone cancer. Everything that was happening in Cindy’s life at that time made her feel lost and shattered.

Cindy felt frightened and confused. She was on the brink of suffering from extreme depression and she felt that her life no longer had a purpose. She did not know how she was going to move forward… after facing so much lost, she just wanted to wallow in her grief and she allowed her pain overtake her.

Until one day, she realized that her suffering could do two things to her: propel her toward hope or lead her to complete destruction. Cindy knew the choice was in her hands… with God as her companion, Cindy chose to use her pain and turn it around for her good. She wasn’t a superhero, she just realized that life has opportunities there is good to come from bad and it shouldn’t be wasted.

Many of us may find ourselves relating to Cindy’s story; anyone who ever felt that their dreams are shattered and that their expectations are unmet will understand what Cindy went through. And when our lives feel like it’s out of control, it is difficult to look on the bright side – we are unable to see the bigger picture that God has in store for us.

Four Tips for Recovering From a Shattered Life

  • Everything happens for a reason. Everything that happens in our life is perceived in the meaning that we choose to give it; it is up to us to make an event either empowering or the other way around. It is our job to seek the lesson in every incident and learn from it. Life’s issues are a test, we can choose to pass it or fail it. When we pass the test is when we have a testimony!
  • Pain is inevitable, but to wallow in it is a choice. Suffering is a choice. Nothing lasts forever, including our pain. There is nothing wrong in experiencing our pain – what’s wrong is that if we choose to live with it forever. We must move on and avoid creating unnecessary mental anguish around every situation that we encounter.
  • Live in the current moment and deal with it. The current moment in our lives is the only moment that we need to deal with. It is our reality and we owe it our full attention. Once that reality is over, we need to move on to the next phase and work on becoming the person that we see ourselves to be.
  • Take one day at a time. Life is beautiful – it is the greatest gift that God has given to us and we shouldn’t waste it. Go outside and breathe the fresh air, laugh out loud with your friends, eat nourishing food and spend quality time with your loved ones. Do everything that you can today and avoid procrastination. Being in pain may hurt much that often one fails to appreciate the simple joys of life, but if you live one day at a time then you can find your way slowly moving on again.

Investing In Something Meaningful

Getting hurt is something that may be difficult to move on from… but it is not impossible! Suffering from a tragic experience can be turned into something redemptive. Cindy used her experience to help others by becoming a therapist, John Walsh created the television show ‘America’s Most Wanted’ after his son was abducted to help law enforcement agencies catch criminals, Kathy Sisk who was repeatedly molested; starting with her father, is a world-renowned speaker and author who carries God’s message of forgiveness, acceptance and love through her writings.

Give yourself time to heal. Do not be in a rush to move on from your pain or adversity – do not minimize your healing process. However, when the right time comes you have to recognize it; appreciate the opportunities that lie ahead of your life. Always remember that your story isn’t finished yet!

Overcome Shame After A Traumatic Experience

overcome shame

Learning how to love oneself is quite difficult for abused victims and traumatic survivors, especially in the early stages of healing. Abuse often produces shame because victims tend to blame themselves for what happened; they begin to believe that they are broken, unworthy, stupid and ugly. This blog post will talk about how abuse victims may overcome shame and self-blame after a traumatic experience.

Victims of abuse usually develop the sense of ‘being bad’ – they may try to hurt other people, commit suicide and/or develop bad habits such as substance abuse and alcoholism. Many trauma survivors have expressed that they feel mentally and spiritually violated and therefore feels ashamed; they lose their self-confidence and eventually fail to function socially.

One of the core effects of trauma is to the person’s developing sense of self, especially if the abuse took place at a young age. People who suffered from childhood abuse in the hands of primary caretakers or trusted figures, often neglect to grow as an adult because they continue to blame themselves for what happened. They fail to overcome shame and self-blame because of several factors and the following are some common examples:

  • Naturally, abuse causes feeling of humiliation, dehumanization and fear. It is a natural reaction for a survivor of such experiences to feel ashamed.
  • Survivors may develop the illusion of control – they believe that they are to blame for the abuse; that they are in control of the situation. They are unable to accept that they are powerless in the face of their adult abusers.
  • Many victims of childhood abuse are told directly and repeatedly that what happened to them is their fault; this gets internalized over and over in their minds as adults which deeply affect their self-esteem and self-worth.
  • Victims who were abused by their family members tend to protect their abusers, which makes them resort to self-blame and an unhealthy co-dependency.

These are just some of the reasons why abused victims fail to overcome shame and self-blame; they continue to carry a long-term legacy of embarrassment and self-loathing.

Self-Compassion May Help Overcome Shame from Abuse

‘Shame is the lie someone told you about yourself.’ – Anais Nin

Every victim of abuse and neglect knows about the feeling of shame; survivors of childhood abuse blame themselves for the physical, verbal and emotional abuse that they’ve undergone. Victims of sexual abuse tend to suffer the most shame – they believe that they have ‘enticed’ their abusers by the way they dress and behave and they may also feel guilty for feeling some physical pleasure during the assault.

Abuse creates change in the victim’s way of being; they become a different person not just because they experienced tremendous trauma but also because they feel that they have lost their innocence and dignity. Their feeling of shame continues as they fail to seek the proper treatment for what they’ve been through. Many survivors of abuse do things to hurt themselves while others resort to abusing alcohol and/or drugs, breaking the law and having multiple sexual partners.

Shame can affect literally all aspects of a person’s well being. It can affect their self-confidence, work performance, way of thinking, body image, socialization and many more.  Shame can also be the cause of many life problems and it almost always manifests into other feelings. Self-compassion may help overcome shame and self-blame caused by traumatic experiences. Having the right support and getting the proper treatment may help the healing process of anyone who is abused; kindness, support, encouragement and compassion from family and friends have a huge impact on the victim’s recovery.

Self-compassion is essential to overcome shame and self-blame; learn to extend compassion to yourself especially in times of general suffering and inadequacy. Self-compassion may have a positive effect on overcoming depression, anxiety and any feelings of stress. It may also facilitate resilience and control your reactions when caught in negative situations, especially situations that may remind you of your abusive experience.

Restoring Life After Sexual Abuse

restoring life after sexual abuse

 

Restoring life and happiness after being sexually abused takes time and a lot of work. Sexual trauma is a life-shaking experience that greatly affects a victim emotionally, cognitively and spiritually. In the United States, an alarming number of individuals suffer from sexual trauma – male or female. Most of them do not get the proper help for years following their abusive experience; some undergo counseling but still experience trauma reactivation later on in their lives.

Sexually abused victims who do not get proper treatment and counseling are prone to suffer from grave depression, cardiovascular diseases and anxiety. They may also develop a habit of substance abuse, smoking and drinking alcohol.

Many victims of sexual abuse experience difficulty in getting their lives back; they have lost the vital qualities of life!

 

Restoring Life and Happiness through Faith

Hope walks through the fire and leaps over it.’ – Jim Carrey

Having the right mindset can help you bounce back to life and happiness after experiencing tremendous trauma. Building your spiritual connection with Jesus can help you endure traumatic experiences including death, divorce and sexual abuse. You have to believe that there is something bigger than yourself and everything will make sense.

With faith, you will realize there are valid reasons for what you’ve been through. You will see the opportunities available to you in your new life and realize that your tragic situation is a stepping stone for your bright future.

Being spiritual doesn’t necessarily mean you are religious, but you can have a closer relationship with Jesus – allow Him into your life and He will heal your wounds and take away your suffering. Have faith in the fact that you are now safe, loved and that you deserve to be happy.

 

Restoring Life After Trauma

Having a strong sense of spirituality may give you an enduring sense of hope.

Living in fear and going into ‘freeze’ mode for a long time has a big impact on your body as well as your mind. The proper functioning of your digestive and immune system may be affected if there is too much stress chemical in your body. Moreover, chronic stress and trauma may lead to serious illnesses and can contribute to psychomatic symptoms.

 

Restoring life and rebuilding trust and happiness in your life may seem like a challenge in the beginning. However, turning the page to the next chapter of your life is not impossible. You can create the life of your dreams and be the person that you want to be – stronger, wiser and incredibly resilient!

You have been tested in ways that others have not; your difficult past has probably helped you hone skills that you did not have before. You may feel more connected to your spiritual self now and perhaps, more harmonious with life. Take advantage of the lessons that you’ve learned. Call on to Jesus for help and trust with all your heart that He will.

Inner Healing for the Sexually Abused

inner healing

 

Survivors of childhood molestation are haunted by conflicting feelings long after the abuse is over. When they become an adult, some may feel mad at the child they were back then for not doing anything to prevent the abuse from happening. They may regret not doing things like telling or running away; some may even feel guilty and responsible for what happened. Failure to process these feelings usually result in hatred or resentment towards an inner child or the representative of their childhood self.

Inner healing for the abused child needs intense work. Survivors must reconnect with their childhood self to be able to forgive and move on. It is very important to have a strong support system and be in a good place before a sexually abused person can start his or her inner healing. If you have been sexually abused, it is highly advised to ask the assistance of a therapist before beginning the process on your own.

 

Reconnecting

Reconnecting with your childhood self is an important step; you have to assess what you feel about the child you were now that you’re an adult. Are you mad or sad? Do you feel that you could have prevented the abuse from happening, especially if it occurred in a repeating pattern? There may be so many questions that you want to ask but to begin your inner healing, you have to understand how you thought as a child.

You were naturally trusting and you were abused by the person whom you thought you should be able to trust. As a child, you needed affection, reassurance and unconditional love and you strived to get all these from the adults that surround you. Now that you’re an adult, you may find it difficult to understand why you felt like that as a child. However, it is the only way to understand your actions and reactions as a child.

Repeated abuse may have been possible at the time because you trusted your abuser. He or she may have been someone you loved; you sought for the person’s attention and the abuse was the only way you received it. As an innocent child, the way you behaved could not be considered as being stupid or not knowing any better. You were a child – trusting, believing and loving; you were innocent no matter what!

You have to make a connection with your inner child. You don’t have to be compassionate for your inner child; you just have to reconnect and understand the relationship that you share. This is the time when you can begin your inner healing.

 

Forgiving

You were only a child. It may take some time for you to comprehend what that means. This can be difficult for some survivors of sexual abuse especially if they feel responsible. For victims who acted as their own parent, understanding the concept of ‘only a child’ may be quite a challenge. It may help if you look at a photograph of yourself at the age when the abuse happened. This can help you realize how small you were to even fight with your abuser; the threats you endured if you tell anyone what was going on.

Realizing how helpless you must have been as a child can give you some answers about your inner child. Even if you grew up as an ‘adult child’, you couldn’t have been capable of handling such ‘adult matters’ at that time. Being a responsible child does not mean you could also handle that kind of burden, so please be gentle to your child self.

Acceptance that your child self is really just a child is vital for your inner healing. And though it would be difficult to go down memory lane, you have to remember what your life was like back then. Many survivors of sexual abuse grew up in ‘chaotic’ environments; there were many family problems happening such as substance abuse, fighting and your abuse may have seemed minimal compared to everything else. Do you remember how you felt as a child? What were the things that soothe or comforted you?

Your child self didn’t have anyone to comfort him or her. You had no one to share your problems with; no one understood. You may have felt very alone. Remembering all these things is difficult but it will help you understand your inner child better. You have to understand that none of what happened was your fault – forgive your child self.

 

Healing

Many survivors of sexual abuse who have their inner child wounded feel that they are not in control of their life. If this feeling is not resolved, you may do things that you are not able to control or understand. You need to learn how to be a parent to yourself; be the parent that you never had.

If you have the ability to be a good parent to your inner child, a trust can be built between your adult self and child self. List down things that you can do to protect and comfort your inner child; tell your inner child what you can do now that you can’t before. To maintain a good relationship with your inner child, always be honest in your parenting role!

Learn to parent with good discipline. Good discipline is not demeaning; it doesn’t hurt and it’s not painful. Your inner child should learn the value of good discipline because without it, he or she will have no rules to live by.

Keep your inner child safe at all times. There may be some things that can still hurt your inner child even if you’re a good parent to it. You have to maintain that sense of security and give special attention to your inner child. Be a kid again! Enjoy life and continue working out things with your inner self. This will help you achieve inner healing and peacefully move on with life.