It’s interesting how natural it is for us to attach meaning to specific dates, on an annual basis. Often times these days are adorned with milestones; wedding dresses, birthday cakes, graduations, and other momentous occasions… They are days to be celebrated! However, sometimes the days we viscerally remember most, are not decorated for us quite as kindly… In these instances the anniversaries don’t bring with them perfectly wrapped gifts, or flowers, or delectable desserts. (Ironically, some of the aforementioned may be just what we need…)
Instead, these traumatic jubilees often arrive with a buffet full of unappealing side dishes; like indigestion, vomit, diarrhea, sleepless nights, anxiety, and even some heart arrhythmia; at least that’s my personal experience… Research shows however, that I am not alone. It’s very common for survivors of distressing events to notice an increase of sadness, anxiety, and intrusive memories, leading up to (and even after), the anniversary of a difficult experience.
Why? Some suggest that it has to do with our natural desire to reflect on how far we have come. This conscious (or even unconscious) choice to assess our progress and growth, can unearth rich insight and awareness; both of the healing we have done, and haven’t done.
When your body and mind remember, the agitation grows. When the fear strikes, be it physical or emotional, and your body kicks into overdrive. This is because you are literally wired to save your own life. The very symptoms that may re-present themselves surrounding anniversaries like these, are palpable examples of how you were able to endure/survive what you have. These physical sensations are the proof of what a legitimate miracle you are.
So what do we do, when a day we never meant to remember, arrives!? For some of us, the natural inclination is to get busy; in hopes that we won’t notice it. Truthfully though… You’ll find yourself in a serious conundrum, when you try to forget whatever it is, that you don’t want to remember… The death of a loved one. The abuse. That bad break up. The real, or even hypothetical war you served in. The way you were abandoned. Like it or not, experiences such as these will mark your life. There is the you that existed before the “unimaginable,” and the you that was being born in the fire of that day; in those moments, as you first began to synthesize, your new reality…
So notice. Where are you living emotionally? Tony Robbins suggests that we all have an “emotional home.” He further asserts that we use our environmental circumstances as a reason, or maybe even an excuse (my words not his), to go there… Where do you hunker down and seek shelter when life gets stormy? Are you using the past (or present) circumstances in your life, as justification for remaining in the “emotional slums?” Seriously, ask yourself. Have you taken out a mortgage on a high rise, in the freaking “ghetto?”
We all have a bed somewhere (and not because it necessarily serves us); where is yours? Is it a bed of fear? Anger? Sadness? Do you even like your home!? Is it warm and comforting? Do you feel protected? Think about the hard times you’ve encountered in your past, and notice where you tend to emotionally linger… Now, hear this. You can move!!
Better yet, you don’t even need first month, last month, and a security deposit to get there! This is great, because you might just want to move right away…
There is of course a price tag, but I believe it is labeled “persistent and consistent.” You must be persistently relentless in your pursuit of self awareness; so you know where you are. Then you need to consistently commit to reroute yourself; to the neighborhood, house, and bed you want to sleep in.
This past week on April 22nd; (the second anniversary of a day that I never wanted remember, I found myself settled in the wrong place. Then I found Tony Robbins words, and I remembered that I didn’t live there anymore. I had truly and mindfully upgraded a while ago… Still, I was using the circumstances of past life experiences (because I was feeling triggered), to rent a room. I think I ended up spending the night, and I know I’ll visit again sometime, but I checked out early the next morning! Moving as a single mom is heavy, but worth all of the lifting… If I can do it, so can you. Giddy up!