One of the most difficult lessons in acceptance lies in the fact that we encounter situations that may not have been our fault (like a car crash) but which have consequences that require us to do painful, difficult work (like physiotherapy for injuries) in order to get through the experience and ultimately overcome it.
Any lack of acceptance of this fact will leave one stranded and stuck in one’s own life journey, asking why me? and protesting that this isn’t fair. Of course, this attitude doesn’t accomplish anything except to prolong and potentially exacerbate the problem at hand.
The work we are required to do in life never ends; in fact, life has a funny way of finding something for us to do if we have too much stagnant time on our hands. But one can easily find ways to avoid doing the work, especially when it comes to healing one’s own soul from past hurts. This is the most important work we can do for ourselves and the potential for growth, renewal, and reward is exhilarating.
Yet all too often we resist. Because it doesn’t seem fair that we should have to do the work, and perhaps because we fear both how hard it will be, and also how much responsibility for our life we will be claiming as our own. After all, if we believe we can’t heal ourselves, then it’s not our own fault that we’re unhappy, right?
It is terrifying to accept full responsibility for our physical and spiritual lives, and many people are devotedly determined to avoid that responsibility. By claiming responsibility for our own lives, we have the potential to create our own present and future selves in ways that, when we were stuck in our pasts, we could not have imagined. Unfortunately, this thrilling truth is overshadowed by our fear of failure, because if we are solely responsible for our own healing and growth, any sense of failure leaves us with nothing to blame but ourselves.
What if I told you – what if I outright promised you – that you have the power to dream yourself into a new state of being simply through faith and doing the work? What if I told you that by surrendering to your own responsibilities you could actually guarantee a better, happier, healthier, more fulfilling and infinitely free life for yourself? And, you can’t fail. You’ll make mistakes and life will still throw things at you that you’ll have to figure out how to handle. But if you are doing the work, you can’t actually fail at all. It’s a win-win situation where what you’re really doing is claiming your soul’s purpose and living for it.
The only thing you have to do is surrender to the fact that you are responsible for your own life’s happiness and achievement. After that, you will be comforted to know that there is little else to surrender yourself to.
I am writing to you as a survivor of abuse of every sort, beginning as early as I can possibly remember. As a result of this, I suffered a multitude of symptoms of various mental disorders – PTSD, social anxiety, eating disorders, depression, self-harm, and extreme dissociation. I experienced constant body memories, a type of somatic pain that could be excruciating, as if the past abuse was happening in the present moment. I came to identify as a multiple, meaning that I knew my soul was fractured into countless pieces due to the trauma I experienced. The wounds and consequences of my past gripped me in an iron fist of pain and fear and a complete lack of personal power or hope.
I thought I was broken and couldn’t be fixed. I could not recall a time when I had ever felt whole and sane and strong. But by taking complete responsibility for working my own healing, by definition I also claimed all the power over it and am now achieving more than I could have ever dreamed possible.
In the last six months especially, I have been freed from almost every debilitating symptom that I used to experience daily. I’ve been doing hard, relentless work, every single day. It’s not an easy road, but it is my road and to give up healing would be to give up my own personal power.
The most instrumental concepts behind my work towards healing can be summed up in two statements: 1) I am not morally responsible for anything that happened during the years of my abuse, due to the young age at which it began and the way I was kept controlled. 2) I am completely responsible (both causally and morally) for my soul’s purpose now.
To me, it is a simple fact that nothing that happened to me throughout my childhood, and even into my adulthood, was my fault. I did not deserve the abuse I suffered. Further, I had no choice and no freedom during that period of my life, being as much a captive as anyone can be. You can’t blame a prisoner of war for things she was forced to do by her captors under threat of death. I did a lot of unpleasant things under force, and those things aren’t my fault either.
Is it fair that these things happened to me, or that the work I have done has been so difficult, even deeply unpleasant? I don’t think in those terms. I might as well ask if it is fair that my heart must continue beating on and on without rest.
The heart beats because it is the work and purpose of the heart’s existence. Likewise, I heal because it is my soul’s purpose to do so, at least in part.
I believe I can achieve a complete transformation of my body, mind and soul — simply because no one else can do it for me. This is my life’s work, and I accept it with grace and gratitude.