The experiences in our lives create many messages. They make an imprint. Our minds are like a perpetual piece of memory foam, holding onto information both good and bad. We may keep complements we’ve heard, messages we assume to be true based on where we heard them, or stories passed on. We may walk endlessly in the footsteps of others before gaining recognition of the value of finding our own path. On the other hand, when we experience patterns of loss, this too can become our frame of reference, the lens with which we view our place in the world. The painful events we endure have the potential to suddenly or gradually create a changed narrative of the way we see ourselves. We may be triggered to move to a singular story where all we envision ahead of us is pain.
The massive damage brought to Louisiana and nearby areas by Hurricane Ida in recent days has given us pause. Images present scenes of wreckage along streets, to public buildings, and to family homes. Some who may have once felt security with their loved ones close and their place in the world claimed, endured a storm that took almost everything, except their memories. After the storm there was quiet, then crews surfaced on the streets, starting to assess and survey the damage. News stories shared regret about precious lives lost, as well as joy when interviewing the survivors who held on beneath torn awnings, and battered rooftops. Then we saw footage of neighbors coming together to help each other up again, and to support each other through. We got a glimpse of the emerging stories, despite the extreme elements - the levies held. What are the protective factors in your life that can hold you up during the most difficult of times? Though our lives may be forever altered, can we ultimately develop the supports needed, to eventually rebuild- physically, emotionally, spiritually?
The experiences of losing loved ones, livelihoods, and ways of life, can create a sense of lost identity, even trauma. And while we grieve, there also exists the potential to see our tragedy as more than one story. What are the personal storms you've weathered? How have they changed you? Does it feel like everything has been a loss, like you're wading through high water? Your experiences will be unique to you. It is true that after painful events life will be different. There will be many conflicting emotions and questions, but opportunities also exist to gain some clarity. How do you process, how do you begin to heal? What are your priorities going forward? How will you view your own vision of the future. Reestablishing secure connections provide the opportunities we need to begin navigating the pain of loss. I want to help you work through these pain points with the supports necessary to strengthen your next steps and continue forward. You have more than one story.
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Wishing you peace,