If you have ever been to Arizona, you know that it is a place of many extremes. It seems so fitting to connect those extremes with the many extremes that a person experiencing PTSD goes through.
When I landed in Phoenix it was a 111 degrees and the pilot welcomed us to the surface of the sun. It was dry and hot. I, personally, have never experienced heat like that. I thought back to the many soldiers I've spoken to who attempted to explain the heat in Iraq to me. I thought, hmmm, this must be kind of close. This isn't all that comfortable in shorts, how on earth do they do it in all that gear and a 130 lb pack?
About two hours north of Phoenix is Sedona. Entering Sedona is like entering nature's wonderland. It is a stunningly, beautiful gallery of ancient stonework that hovers over you. You can't help but feel a deep respect for the power of mother nature and her dominance over the people who think they have her down pat. The rocks in Sedona hold years of secrets. They have been weathered by water, wind, and storms, yet they still retain their steadfast beauty and their dominance of the region.
Can we as people find a way to maintain our grace, our steadfast beauty, and our dominance of who we are and what we stand for, all while weathering the storms of our life? The rocks stand in silence staring on over the landscape. They allow the wind to rip through there sending dust off of them, smoothing them, and shaping them. Can we allow our experiences to shape us, to smooth our edges, and to dust us off without losing the center of who we are and why we are here? Depending on where you are in your journey with PTSD, I believe the answers will be different. From my vantage point, having come to a place of healing and being able to share what I've learned, I can tell you that I believe it's possible. However, when you are in the midst of triggers you don't understand, changes that are happening daily, and not being able to quite identify what's happening, it's hard to imagine the possibility of allowing yourself to be shaped, because fear is what is currently shaping you to go into lockdown from the inside out. So the question then is.....how do we arrive at that place of allowing ourselves to "feel" the good without having to feel the bad? What if I told you the light you hold is just on the other side of the darkness you are seeing and feeling?
You just can't see it yet.
Hope matters. It helps to wire the brain for positive outcomes.
Sitting in meditation is a bit like what the rocks in Sedona are doing. They focus forward on their point in the horizon, allowing the wind to pass over them, the rain to drench them, while they focus intently waiting for the sun to rise the next day because they know it will. Do you believe the sun will rise on your horizon tomorrow?