Beauty for ashes
Beauty for Ashes was birthed from my own journey of healing. For many years I carried wounds and painful thoughts from the past that weighed down my heart, hopes, and dreams until I found myself merely existing. Like so many people, I was encouraged by society to be fearless, to be strong and driven; as well as keeping my brokenness locked away from view. I survived with an array of social masks with defences and coping strategies, however this slowly eroded my ability to function.
With the help of a skilled Counsellor, I slowly uncovered deep layers of toxic shame brought about by early trauma which had caused complex post traumatic stress symptoms. I was taught about the impact this had on my brain, body and the nervous system. Gradually, through deep breathing, meditation and prayer; I increased my capacity to sit with the discomfort of these sensations. This significantly improved my quality of life.
“To find the beauty, I needed to first be willing to journey through the grief and sorrow that I had tried so hard to block out of my mind.”
The slow uncovering of my past took time and patience. I discovered the precious value of a safe counselling relationship- to have someone validate my story. The Counsellor moved at a pace I was comfortable with, collaborating with me along the way; ensuring our work together kept me within my window of tolerance of emotions. On this journey, I also discovered that if I have a traumatised brain and body, it can be difficult to experience compassion for self and others.
This work proved pivotal in enabling me to re-build a much healthier sense of self. I could not only function better and be able to have healthy relationships, but also through inner child work; alongside working with creative interventions, I developed a deep sense of self compassion and gradually learned to love myself.
As a professional counsellor and survivor of trauma and abuse, I believe there is hope for healing. I know from personal experience that you can work through even the most painful difficulties, and that there is indeed beauty to be found behind every mark of pain.
‘There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.’
- MAYA ANGELOU