The (S)Heroes Who Walk Among Us
My (s)heroes are the wise and vulnerable, the capable and loving, imperfect in their perfections, those who acknowledge sorrow and look for joy. They feel their emotions authentically and aren’t afraid to own their stuff and look for solution, give relief and bottom out just to be able to rise to the surface again. They don’t fit into any one box of crayons, their colors shine brightly, sometimes covered in tears and the sweat from hard work but always beautifully human, as flawed as I am and accepting of that. They are the resilient deep thinkers who have been left standing on the edge of the cliff, jagged rocks below and no where to go and still said ‘okay, now what?’
I’m in contact with these people, male and mostly female on a daily basis. They are my trauma informed peers, my clients, the students I mentor, my therapists over the years, my tribe of friends and my best friend. They give me so many gifts every day, that I know they don’t realize or see. They teach me to not take myself so seriously, to look for the positives in people and situations. They teach me that it is okay to be in pain, that it won’t last forever and to accept where I am at. They teach me grace, respect and dignity of self.
I am fortunate that I know a lot of them. That they give of themselves so completely. That day by day, minute by minute I am surrounded with such heart wrenching acceptance of who and what I am, that it eases the traumas I’ve sustained just a little bit more.
My feelings are strong and deep for these people. Today I can say that I have feelings, I know what they are and I can sit with them. I am fiercely protective of where we have been, what we have endured and where we are going. I respect them. I can speak my truth and know that if someone else doesn’t like it or care, that isn’t my problem. Today I am not responsible for how others feel, only for my actions, reactions and what I put into my reclamation and self discovery. I’ve learned to not internalize destructive behaviors of others and not to accept the role of scapegoat. For so long, I lived under the rain cloud of judgement, passivity and stifled my screaming voice. The (s)heroes have taught me that there is freedom in speaking your truth and acting upon it. There is joy in saying no and listening to your heart. There is truth in setting boundaries and taking care of me first, before helping others.
They have taught me gratitude. To remain teachable. To give, even when I think I have nothing left to give. To receive when I think I’m not worthy of good. They taught me language to define the rocky abyss where I’ve been and the path going forward. They taught me that in every field of flowers, there is going to be a weed or two. Focus on the flowers and they choke out the weeds.
Trauma Informed Care means that we look at the whole of you and me. We look at the brain, we look at the heart and we look at the soul. The shattered pieces that we put back together show the scars, but not the scabs. There is healing to be had, it has to be done relationally and throughout the process we ride the waves and hold onto each other. This work is tough stuff, but so worth it. Resiliency is borne of courage. Empathy is borne of sadness. I am worth the effort and so are you. Shame is the delusion that we are not good enough, it’s not the reality of who we are and it is time. It is your time. Find your (s)heroes and celebrate the imperfect, brave stunningly beautiful you!