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Embracing Darkness and Light in Healing

As we transition into spring, a season symbolizing new growth after the winter's hibernation, it's crucial to acknowledge the challenges that survivors of sexual and complex trauma may face in trying to embrace the optimism. Feelings of grief, self-criticism, and less than desirable coping mechanisms often surface when we decide to embrace newness and expand our possibilities. Our clinical team provides valuable insights on integrating these aspects of growth into your journey, emphasizing that suppressing them is the same as trying to submerge a balloon underwater—it resurfaces with a startling, high-pressure return. As you embark on this season of growth, remember these key points.


Mountains with text

Acknowledge the influences. Recognize that you are not the problem; often, your reactions are responses to various factors such as problematic systems, generational and complex trauma, and world conflicts. Listing these influences can help validate your reactions. Seek support and knowledge to regain hope for a healed world.

 

Understand the different parts of self. Explore the links below in the “Useful Resources” section to help you further understand the idea of parts and how they can help you grow.



Get curious about parts of you that do maladaptive coping. Explore the reasons behind maladaptive coping behaviors, which often arise to avoid overwhelming emotions. For instance, addictive or obsessive behaviors can create a sense of control by shifting our focus and disconnecting us from our bodies. Acknowledge and appreciate these coping mechanisms for their past efforts, opening the door to new possibilities and growth.

 

Bring parts together in new ways. Instead of separating them, integrate the parts of you that hold pain into beautiful, peaceful, or active settings. Imagine this through your mind’s eye, journal in nature, set intentions with a playlist, do breathwork, or express emotions through art, focusing on emotions typically kept inside.


Schedule downtime. Create a soothing atmosphere to acknowledge your need for healthy solitude and recharge, by using lighting, music, candles, etc. Remember that it's okay not to be "on" all the time.


Set a time limit. Manage negative emotions by allocating a specific time, like 15 minutes, for feelings of sadness, anger, or addiction. Afterward, engage in calming activities such as gentle movement, deep breathing, and positive affirmations.


purple affirmations

Along this ride, rather than merely weathering challenges, consider them as opportunities for understanding and growth. This transformative process isn't just about renewal; it's about weaving together the threads of the past into a tapestry of resilience. This spring, remember, it's not just a to-do list; it's an intentional step towards a more empowered and hopeful future.


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