There are a lot of things involved in integration. The main thing required is taking the bits and pieces of our lives and allowing the pieces of our quilts from our story to be sown together. The poem, “Integration” is my own reflection of the pieces of the quilt that I loss when I either changed churches or loss contact with friends along the way.
The “Art of Grieving” background-As my family grieves the loss of a relative who was close to our hearts, I have been forced to take a trip back down memory lane. Part of this trip is walking through the door of grieving. I hope that this poem brings comfort to those of you who are going through grief of any kind. Blessings from on high!!
The ART of Grieving
Grief-it soon becomes your friend.
Opens you up and says “Amen”.
Takes you to places never explored.
Opens up doors previously abhorred.
Resolves the past.
Welcomes the new.
It’s the art of grieving.
Refreshing as dew.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Each one of us have a different path to healing. No two paths are alike. However, our commonality lies in the fact that we are all human, we all struggle, and we all have childhood wounds of some sort that need to be worked out in order for us to heal and grow. Healing is a lifelong journey. Just when you think that you have completed this journey, it can be one random thought or song, or one major trauma or death that causes you to revisit certain areas, and then go in at a deeper level. The poem “The Path to Healing” reflects thoughts on my healing journey. God bless!
Sleep is one of those things that we can’t live without. At one time or another, we’ve all had problems sleeping. But what happens when lack of sleep starts to get the best of you? Read the poem below to find out.
We all love a good night’s sleep. When I picture falling asleep, I think about having just the right amount of flat sheets, a soft comforter, a few pillows surrounding me, just the right temperature in the house, and having sweet dreams. Just thinking about this scene would make all of us stop and long for sleep.
Sleep can be one of the sweetest things in the world, and then on the other side of that coin, it can be that of agony for a person living with PTSD/trauma on a daily basis. There is also no rhyme or reason as to when sleep deprivation will occur.
Breakdown of My Sleep Aspect of Trauma
Five years ago, unbeknownst to me, I entered an extremely toxic work environment. At the time, I had already been dealing with sleep issues as a side effect of the trauma of my divorce, as well as the events immediately preceding and following the divorce. I would describe the events as a crazy Lifetime movie. Unfortunately, this movie was my life. Although I was already having problems staying and falling asleep, nothing could compare to the level of sleep problems that occurred as a by-product of working at this company for nine months.
People living with PTSD/trauma often face two issues when it comes to sleep: falling asleep and staying asleep. I had and have both. During the time that I worked at this company, I would try to fall asleep around 10 pm. From 10:00 pm to 3:00 a.m, I would fall asleep for a few minutes, wake up with my teeth and whole body tense and clenched tight, and the cycle would start all over again.
Breakdown Part Two
I am going to keep it real here. The first couple of times that this happens, you find yourself trying to stay positive and you start telling yourself not to overly think about. “Don’t be concerned about the time.” However, when you have done this 5 or more times within five hours, and realize that you have only had a total of maybe one hour of sleep, and you have to get up pretty soon for work, the positivity can wear off real fast. I had to wake up at 6:00 a.m. to get ready for work, which if we all do the math, we know that this isn’t enough time for restful adequate sleep.
The toxic job, along with this vicious cycle of sleep caused major life-threatening thyroid problems, along with an overactive adrenal gland.
God granted me grace by allowing me to be let go from this toxic environment. It gave me time to heal and try to breathe again.
Sleep Aspect: What’s Going On Now
I still have issues with my sleep patterns due to trauma. They are not as frequent as they were, but they are still a problem. Last week took me clearly by surprise.
I had been suffering with sinus and allergy issues since August, and last week these issues came to a head. And guess what came with it? Sleep deprivation from trauma. I had two nights with four nights of sleep.
Then, I had one night with five nights of sleep. Just as I thought I was turning the corner, the following night was an all-nighter with only one hour of sleep at best. I nodded off for ten minutes at a time, woke up, and then stayed up for hours, with my body attempting sleep several more times.
I have to get up at 4:00 for work, and so, when this time came, and I was still awake, I reluctantly resigned to calling in and staying home. What I had to do was to give myself grace and compassion. I had to tell myself that I needed a time-out to rest, get in as many liquids as I could to help my sinus issues, and just relax. Finally, I fell asleep at 5:00 a.m. and slept until close to nine.
I would have liked to sleep until one o’clock. However, that didn’t happen. What did happen is that I literally laid down for part of the day, and sat up part of the day and allowed myself to rest physically, emotionally, and spiritually in Jesus. Sometimes we just have to admit that we are having a bad day, week, month, year, and simply REST!!!
Sleep Aspect Conclusion
Sleep deprivation from trauma is real. I won’t downplay it. However, God is also real, and he can meet us right where we are. When we have these hiccups in our schedule, the devil wants to make us think we are right back where we are. WE ARE NOT!!
Unfortunately sleep issues are a part of living with and healing from trauma on a daily basis, but it doesn’t define us. God does! And guess what? When I couldn’t sleep during the night, I had praise music playing in my head as if I had turned on a radio. Even though my feelings were telling me different, God was telling me that he was with me.
God bless and have a wonderful rest of your week!!!
What are some of the things that you do to help yourself when you are dealing with the sleep aspect of trauma?
Episode 45: Be Still: The Healing Aspect of Living with Trauma Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
00:00 / 00:14:52
Be Still Podcast Outline
Definition of Still
Definition of Know
Dissection of Psalm 46: 10
What Happens With the Combo of Trauma and Constant Busyness
Good afternoon! Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness, episode 45,
Entitled, “Be Still:” The Healing Aspect of Living with Trauma on a Daily Basis”
What does it mean to be still?
Being still means without movement, without speech, calm,
I like to think of stillness as the act of eliminating busyness
In Psalm 46: 10, God tells us, “Be still and know that I am
To know means to be aware of through information and observation. For us to know something or someone, we must
spend time with that person or learning about that topic. If we want to know
God, we must quiet our spirits, stop the striving, distractions, busyness, and
do what is required to be in a relationship with him. If we want to heal from
trauma, we also need a stillness to exist.
This stillness required from healing that helps us to know
about our mind and body connection, can only happen when we purposefully have 2
things: time and space.
When we are busy every minute of the day, we don’t have time
to know our bodies. Our bodies reveal the secrets behind our emotions. Just recently, and recently being about 3
months ago, I started working a full-time job. After a month, I realized that I
needed to tweak my schedule for the weekend. I had to block out 3 hours on my weekend
mornings in order to make sure that I could continue having my time of
stillness. Without stillness, it is hard to gain clarity.
Before working full time, I had more time and space for this
stillness to occur. Now, since my schedule has changed, i must be more
intentional about giving myself margin.
Right before starting work with this job, I had a traumatic
event to occur. Along with learning new things at work, and relearning how to
drive after 30 years, I was exhibiting “ADHD-like” trauma symptoms, and having
a hard time focusing. I knew that it was
only a matter of time till the emotional effects of this event would come out. My
system had to be relaxed enough with stillness, and time and space to go
through the steps of processing everything that had gone down.
The first symptom that was exhibited was that of nausea. I
knew immediately that this was grief. And how was I able to tell that? Four
years ago, when I was living at my previous residence , I became very nauseated
one evening after eating. It was the
worst case ever. I thought that I was
coming down with the flu or some type of virus. It was also during this time
that I had not begun to process any of the traumatic events that had occurred in
the previous 3 years. My system was on
emotional and mental overload.
All of a sudden, before I knew it, I ended up regurgitating 3
to 4 times. In between each time, I felt like I needed to cry very deeply. This
is how I was able to make the connection that nausea for me equals the need for
grief to be released from my body. At
the time, my son asked me about the contents of what I ate that could have made
me so sick. I told him that I realized that it had nothing to do with the food
that I ate.
When I told my therapist about what happened, she said, “Yes,
this was definitely physiological.”
Another symptom that occurred recently is where my lips started
to become numb. I knew immediately that
this represented anger that I needed to work through. Once again, if I did not have the time within
the last few years to process some of the trauma, I would not have had a clue of
what was going on. I probably would have
gotten myself all worked up and anxious, perpetuating the problem.
I was then able to go to God and ask him, “What is this
anger about? Is it just this traumatic event, or something else along with it?”.
Having my time of stillness, and space for reflection allowed me to get to the
root of the problem so that I could start healing from, it. That anger had been coming out sideways for about
2 1/2 weeks.
Music is one of my main go-to’s for enabling me to process
trauma , and so when I added more of this into my time and space, I gained even
more wisdom and discernment , along with being able to release the grief from
my system through crying heavily.
Changes are good. However,
changes are only fully embraced once the old has been grieved. All of the “would
haves”, “should haves”, and “not any more’s”. If you are having problems
healing from trauma, ask yourself if you are allowing yourself the time and
space of sitting in God’s stillness. The
pain, loneliness, and loss have to be grieved. I don’t want to mislead you. There
will be pain in this process. There’s no way to go around it. And I promise
you, if there was, everyone would be signing up for it. There is God’s grace,
mercy, and presence there. And it is
very much needed. It is also in this stillness that our mind, body, soul, and
spirit will begin to reveal the answers to our questions. It will help us to
lead the way and or continue our journey to a life of thriving.
First, try starting off with one hour of lying down without
any distractions and see if you can notice the difference of what this new
stillness brings. Initially, it will feel very uncomfortable because you will
want to quickly fill up your time with busyness. However, this quiet time will
begin to declutter your mind and allow you to get to the root of your issues, along
with the help a therapist.
I hope that “Episode 45: ‘Be Still: The Healing Aspect Of
Living With Trauma’” has been beneficial to you in some way. If Healing Our
Brokenness is making a difference in your life, please leave a review, tag a
friend, and give a shout out on social media. God bless! Have a wonderful week!
Background on Recovery: When you are recovering from PTSD/trauma, it requires a lot of in-depth work. This poem depicts just that. You have to regain your sense of self, learn to listen to your body for its story, and be still with patience as God does his work.
Episode 43: The Big “D” Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
00:00 / 00:17:30
Have you ever been divorced? Do you know of someone who has been divorced? When you found out that this person was divorced, did you treat them differently? Today’s podcast is entitled, “The Big “D”, and that “D” stands for divorce. Click above to listen to the latest podcast episode.
It has been said that divorce is worse than death. There was a time when the word divorce was taboo. Older television shows reflect these ideas. When children mentioned that their friends’ parents were getting divorced, they were shushed by their parents, and/or the parents came up with an excuse as to why Johnny or Susan couldn’t play at the neighbors’ house anymore. They were outcasts.
Prior to getting divorced, I heard
someone use the phrases “It’s no big deal.
People get divorced every day.”
This is true. However, what is
also true is that you don’t have people lined up to tell you the real impact
from divorce. Divorce leaves lifelong
effects in every area: financially,
emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, etc. Basically, there is no table left
Grief experienced from divorce can be
draining. With this pain, you must
grieve the loss of the marriage, the loss of the family as a unit, and then
grieve that part of your identity that is being taken away. There is no magic formula for the intensity
of the pain or the amount of time that it will take to heal. My grief so far tends to run in spurts. The grief might be off and on all day for
three weeks, and then there is a month break before it starts up again. I have had other women tell me that theirs
was every day for two hours for the length of anywhere from two to five years.
There are some individuals who have
gotten divorced because of severe abuse that has gone on for years. In Malachi 2:16, we are told, “For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for
one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye
deal not treacherously.” (NASB)
It is possible for God to heal marriages from
any situation, even the ones listed above.
However, sometimes we make the mistake of thinking that one person can
fix the whole marriage. As individuals,
we can only do our part. We cannot be
the Holy Spirit for others. I am a
planner. I like organizing, analyzing,
and figuring things out. I thought that
if I could just do A, B, and C, things would be fine. If things weren’t getting better, it was
because I hadn’t figured out the right formula yet. Satan led me to believe that I was responsible
for the entire relationship.
He led me down the path of
dishonoring God, and disrespecting myself and children “all in the name of
love”. The best thing that we can do is
pray and ask God for wisdom and discernment, and then in turn get professional
help for ourselves. It is easy to pass
judgment upon others who are considering divorce. However, the truth is, only the individuals
involved in the marriage are aware of the severity of the situation. I stayed in a toxic situation for twenty
years. Thank God for Him getting a hold
of my heart and mind. We can pray the
same thing for others whom we know of that are walking in this path.
We thank you for your word to go to
when we are unsure, and don’t know where to turn. Please help us to help others by sending them
to your word and prayer when it comes to decisions about divorce. We also pray that we would not pass judgment
upon others when they are going through divorce because we don’t know the whole
story. Only you do.
Episode 36: Sharing in Need Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...
00:00 / 00:10:49
Sharing in Need Podcast Outline
Value of Food
Sharing in Need
Good evening! Welcome to Healing Our Brokenness Episode 36. Last week’s episode, Value of Prayer, can be found here.
There is hunger and lack of clean water in
several countries all over the world.
The problem of hunger is so bad that people have lost hope for
themselves and their children. It has
been said that the amount of food that we throw away as waste is enough food to
stop world hunger. The thing about being
good stewards, when it comes to God, is that stewardship is not just about
money, it is for everything that God owns:
“The earth is the LORD’s,
and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.” (Psalms
24:1, NLT) This means our time, talents, our bodies, everything!
When I grew up as a child, we placed value on food, and how we used
it. It wasn’t just because we were poor,
but it was also because we realized just how many people were going without
food, and in such a desperate need. In
this day and age, we think nothing of having our kids throw whole plates of
food in the garbage without blinking an eye.
As Christians, sometimes we get so cozy in our homes, and the
immediate needs of our families, that we forget about our responsibility to
take care of the poor: “Religion that
is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their
affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:27, ESV) It makes some of us uncomfortable to think about
giving away some of what we have. A lot
of times, when it comes to clothing, we have the same few pieces of clothing
that we like to wear over and over again anyway. Having a closet full of clothes gives the
illusion of false self-worth.
After the day
of Pentecost, the Christians were on such a spiritual high from the workings of
the Holy Spirit, that no one was in need: “All
the believers were of one heart and mind, and no one felt that what he owned
was his own; everyone was sharing. And
the apostles preached powerful sermons about the resurrection of the Lord
Jesus, and there was warm fellowship among all the believers,and no
poverty—for all who owned land or houses sold them and brought the money to the
apostles to give to others in need.” (Acts 4:32-37, TLB)
What would be required in order
for us to have this kind of situation going on now? It would require a change of heart and a
change of mind. Then our behavior will
follow: “If my people, which are called by my name,
shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked
ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal
their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14, KJV) God blesses repentance and good stewardship.
Thank you for what we have. We pray that you would move in our hearts to
do more to help others in need. We know
that we cannot outdo you when it comes to giving. Please help us to be mindful and sensitive to
others who are in dire circumstances, and that if we don’t have anything to
give, our hearts will be stirred to pray for those individuals.
In Jesus’ name,
Thank you for listening to Healing Our Brokenness. If the show is making a difference in your life, please refer a friend.
What do you think of when you think of God? Think about Hagar. When she was kicked out by Sarah, to fend for herself and her son, she called God, El Roi, The God who Sees. He saw her distress, and he provided for her and her son. Who is God to you? Ponder this as you read “El Roi”.