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What a loaded word.

I’ve been finding myself in very deep, direct conversations and spending time with people who care enough to push and challenge the words I’m saying. Why be in the victimhood mentality, the space of scarcity and lack of self-worth?

Curious, I have asked why the energy and intentions feel intense here? Many have said the same, that the energetic field of this town is powering the solar plexus. “You will be faced by your demons very quickly. You will have to create solid boundaries or beware. You will be swallowed whole or quickly be spit out of this town.”

You have no idea how many people have said these sentences to me.

Safety. A word I rarely contemplate unless in actual physical danger. I’ve recently been introduced to the idea of emotional safety — something in theory is very important, but something a girl who lives with her touchy-feely heart on her sleeve has trouble keeping.

As I continue to open up about the truths behind the move cross-country and how life in Milwaukee, all the death and loss of love and friendships this summer has dealt, I hear and see expressions of compassion. One woman responded with “of course you’re unsettled, you’re traumatized!”.

Typing ‘trauma’ I feel unworthy. I feel that my pain and suffering is so minute compared to so many others’. I thought that trauma was only for soldiers returning from war or for those with parents who are addicts or for people in abusive relationships. I have only recently began to unpack what it means to find compassion for my story, therefore, my own trauma.

If pain and suffering are pain and suffering, why do I minimize my trauma? Do we all do this???

My excuse to why minimize my trauma is the fact that I feel responsible for causing my own suffering. I have yet to understand where my depression, anxiety and self-worthlessness came from. I’ve taken these pieces of myself and defined my life with them. I know I need to learn to love, accept and embrace the darkness. I’ve been too afraid to explore where these parts came from, too afraid of the answers and the outcome. Who would I be if I felt complete from the inside? What would life be like without the constant uncertainty in my throat? The sinking feeling in my gut when I don’t feel understood? The burn in my chest when I compare my body and appearance to others?

I curiously attended a very ambiguously named ‘Releasing Trauma Community Workshop’ that felt instantly welcoming, even when holding the flyer in my hand. I walked into a circle of people who had no intention of judgment. I walked in to a space that felt safe. I trusted these strangers in a way I didn’t think was possible. The compassion was tangible.

Here I was, sitting cross-legged in a metal chair in a room full of strangers. It was here where I felt compelled to share a slice of my trauma. I told the story of how I was going to end my life and why I chose not to. I have not told anyone that true and full story.

Keeping contact with wet eyes at attention, we all shared soul stories, we all cried, we all learned and kept this circle sacred, men and women.

Don’t we all want to be better people, to feel good in our skin and to learn and grow and change from all the shit life has handed us — and in turn, churn that shit into beautiful soil for an abundance of flowers to rise above?

The sensation of safety rolled from the tips of my toes to the ends of every strand of hair. My cells felt alive, well, buzzing and curious as to what this newness stood for.

I was present and truly articulated what I needed in that moment. I needed to share, be heard and feel supported. It has been rare that I’ve felt the way I did this day.

Typically I only feel safe when I’m deep in creation mode, in solitude, in silence engulfed by the beauty of nature, lost in the lyrics of songs that make my body buzz and lose the trap of being self-conscious.

I’m tired of seeking solace and safety alone. How amazing I’ve found this community of compassionate people. I’m ready to truly cultivate this idea of safety from the inside out. To find pure relationships with friends, collaborators and within a committed loving relationship.

I wonder how different the world would be if we could all find these community circles full of love and safety. Perhaps this is what it feels like to be in a tribe. Nothing and no-one left behind. Less bullshit, less remorse, no words stuck behind your throat. Acceptance of self, in body and mind through pure love.

A space to be yourself and all that may mean.

A place to feel safe in this world.

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