Updated: Aug 30, 2020
I am woman.
How poignant those words are.
Tonight I watched the new movie, ‘I AM WOMAN’ which is about Helen Reddy. I loved it but it was tinged with sadness, for I keenly feel the loss in my own life.
The movie is set mainly in the 60s, 70s and 80s - many years that I have ‘blanks’ for I was living a very different life. I was born in the mid 50s and had been on auto-pilot since I was a small child, but in those years of the movie it was even more so in order to ‘fit in’. I struggled with study, despite getting good grades, because I was constantly fighting off fear - fear that I had taken on as a small child - so every thing I did was exhausting. Back to Helen Reddy and her music … I never really ‘heard’ the words of her songs in those years, despite ‘I Am Woman’ being an anthem to my school Form at high school.
The problem with living with hidden and disassociated trauma, is that the protective barrier you have erected around you stops the good stuff as well. It stops everything. You live on auto-pilot with no energy to stand up for yourself in any way, nor to be able to see the big picture because you are in total survival mode. And no-one notices because you are so clever at hiding behind a mask. You then wait for life to make the decisions for you.
Fast forward a couple of more decades when the outside world thought I was 'successful' until my body finally gives up trying to alert me. My mask was being forcibly broken. Life was making the decisions for me. With no medical cause of illness, I ended up in intense creative counsel therapy with someone who worked similarly to what I now provide for my own clients. She held the space for me so that I could remember in my own time, when I felt safe, and supported me to find a way through.
There are always consequences in dramatic change. I have had many losses in my life and overcoming trauma is definitely a road on which you need support. It takes courage to face the inner pain. But the journey is so worth it as you move towards freedom from the past. I cannot change my past, but I can make the most of my present and my future. I now work in what I consider is my calling - my purpose.
To understand another person is to be willing to hear their story and to really listen, without judgement - for it takes great courage to look at who you really are, to let go of the things that no longer serve you, and to write new, positive stories about who you are and who you are allowing yourself to be … the true you, aligned with your own inner truth.
Each day is a gift. I awake and give thanks every morning, for my life has changed so much because my inner world has changed, and I live with an incredible inner peace and certainty and always hope. Quite incredible in these uncertain times. Our outer world is a reflection of our inner world which is regulated by the self beliefs and unhealed events of our lives. Simple things bring joy - a lorikeet flying down to greet me as I open the back door … a cockatoo earnestly endeavouring to have a ‘conversation’ with me out in the garden … a beautiful iris flower opening up … the trickle of the little stream running into the pond, a butterfly dancing around me, the wonder of the stars every night and the incredible energy of the moon … and so much more. I love what I do - holding space for those who wish to inner heal and find their way through, and I support them to become self empowered in order to fulfill their potential, aligned with their own inner truth. So, now I can truly say, (and sing):
‘I am strong
I am invincible
I am woman’.
I am Karen.
'I Am Woman' Lyrics & music: Helen Reddy and Ray Burton
28 August 2020