Creating Treasures from Trauma
That title caught your eye, didn’t it?
No, I’m not making light of anyone’s personal traumas. However, I invite you to look into the gifts that trauma or painful situations bring.
When an animal has passed on, it’s hide is used to create a drum. Shamanic drums, for example, are created from hides that have been blessed (and a prayer or chant of gratitude is given to the animal, as well as to the other materials involved).
The animal’s passing, whether intentional or not, created a beautiful instrument that would be used in spiritual and healing rituals. When I envision this, I see the animal’s essence connecting to the divine and creating a healing vibration, felt physically and spiritually.
Consider the oyster. When an irritant works its way inside the shell, the oyster will protect itself by secreting layers of nacre onto the irritant. It takes a while, it’s a process, but the end result is a beautiful pearl.
But what about humanity? Where can we find the treasures from our own traumas?
Personally, I can tell you that traumatic situations are not easy, nor comfortable. Your life has been turned upside down and you don’t know which way you are going. You feel lost, scared, and all you can see around you is a dark tunnel in which you feel every painful emotion like a knife in the heart...and you have no idea when it will stop.
You lose your balance. You’ve lost all sense of purpose. You can’t even see your next step. You shout at the powers that be, “WHY!??!!” Your soul seems to be lost in a constant scream of despair.
You wonder what you will do now. Sometimes you stumble blindly, sometimes you fall. Sometimes you are able to pick yourself back up. (And when you can’t, someone usually shows up to help you.)
But then, when you least expect it, a little sliver of light appears. It gradually (over time) grows larger and larger. You find that you had the strength to stand after all. Then, you realize that there are moments appearing that spark a little joy.
Teachers (in all forms) appear. They could be humans, or animals, or even Divine beings. Additionally, teachers appear in the form of art, books and music.
In fact, you could be sitting at a coffee shop and overhear a particularly enlightening conversation or phrase that is just what you needed to hear at that moment.
What are the treasures, then?
Ahhh, here’s the beauty of alchemy. I learned to turn: fear into courage
anger into calmness
self doubt into empowerment
sadness into joy
rejection into self-love
despair into faith
It didn’t happen overnight. It took years, actually. Many years.
However, the most prized treasure I received was the ability to be grateful for every moment I lived in that dark underbelly of the beast. Gratitude for every baby step I took, for every slip and fall, and gratitude for the strength that I found inside me.
I even found gratitude for every abuse heaped upon me and every awful thing said or done to me. Gratitude even toward those strangers who thought that I deserved to be treated less than the extraordinary being that I AM.
No matter what you may be going through at this time, know that treasures abound, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
What is in YOUR treasure box?