In order to heal and evolve we have to learn to focus and to get rid of distractions that aren’t leading to our growth and contributing to our better health – physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. A key to this is to listen and learn. We are surrounded by great “teachers” and learning and growth opportunities but we have to open our ears and eyes to the messages they carry and to not be so critical. Trauma can cause us to be overly critical, hostile, hypersensitive, excluding, and isolating.
Start tuning in to what your “teachers” are telling you.
Everyone has words of wisdom and most everyone wants to impart their wisdom onto others. We all just want to be listened to – to be heard.
I practice listening to my young students and boy do they have powerful things to say. I was once tutoring math and my 15-year-old student said, “My aunt’s crazy … she’s getting married to a man she’s only known for a few months. I don’t ever want to be that desperate for a man like that. I want to be independent first. I want to travel the world. I want to be a fashion designer.”
This young lady was terrible in math, I mean she didn’t know how to multiply but was merely socially-promoted into Algebra. I did most of the Algebra problems for her so we didn’t have to sit there for a week (I know, bad of me), but in other ways, more important ways, this young lady was smarter – more wise – than me.
Wow, did I become alert and way beyond Algebra-Alert. This happened shortly after my divorce to a sociopath. And wait: A 15-year-old has her act together more than me! I might need to fix something within me.
And it’s a misnomer that we shouldn’t listen to the smoker who tells us about the ill-effects of smoking: They know this better than any non-smoker does; they have direct and first-hand knowledge. Our “teachers” are everywhere: Even my doggie tells me to just slow down on our walks … breathe, and pay attention to the trees, bushes, squirrels, and butterflies.
Learn … Take Classes.
As soon as we stop listening, learning, growing, evolving we wither away. My 75-year-old neighbor’s wife died after 50 years of marriage. He was her caretaker for the last ten-years of their marriage. Bill mourned and introspected for almost 2 years and then signed up for Ballroom Dancing classes. He struggled with coordination. He is a Vietnam War Vet who was exposed to Agent Orange and as a result, he’s had several triple-bypass surgeries. One year into his Ballroom Dance classes he found another love: A 68-year old lady whose husband died a year previous after their 40 years of marriage.
After I divorced and was left financially and psychologically devastated by the sociopath, Bill tried to be kind toward me and get me to take Ballroom Dance classes with him. I couldn’t go; I was too traumatized. I could barely move; I was physically and emotionally sick.
But Bill planted the seed that sprouted two years later: Get moving; get learning; get back out there.
This example applies to a more recreational pursuit but the same concept should be applied toward classes/workshops/conferences that grow and enhance our health and well-being, job, skill-set, and career.
If you’re drawn to religion or spiritualism, then explore different spiritual/religious organizations.
Here is where it gets tricky: You may not like everyone or agree with everything an organization is saying and doing. This may or may not be due to past trauma, fear, anxiety, or stress. But we should search for at least a comfortable fit.
A part of our healing is to not find perfection, but to find our own focus, to push ourselves along, and to create our own learning and growth within a larger group or organization.
Learning to rise above the more insignificant matters of contention that may arise in relationships and within groups is part of learning and growing beyond our trauma and primal reaction to fight or flight (ah-hum, burning our bridges). I am not referring to ignoring and bypassing predatory or sociopath issues but to *not* get caught in the trappings of the more personality issues and day-to-day organizational squabbles.
When we rise above the more insignificant issues instead of “throwing out the baby with the bathwater” and ultimately retreating into our own isolation, we can then introduce and integrate our own insights – in a kind, not PTSD and reactionary way – into this already established structure. But because of our own personality issues (due to trauma & abuse – or perhaps not), we seek perfection and burn bridges with people, places, classes, and organization that may help us move forward. Or, at the least, if we should happen to stumble, again, into and upon really bad people, places, and things we can better learn discernment and where to navigate to next.
What am I trying to say?
Find your passion, your calling and *focus* on developing everything you can in the area where your interests and dreams lie. The petty drama that no doubt enters into any relationship or group – whether that be in the classes you take, mystery schools you enter, or spiritual/religious organizations you join is insignificant to why you are there … to push yourself forward and to reintegrate yourself amongst a healthier social-structure that is focused on learning and growth.
Note: Yes, I just threw “mystery school” into this post. I plan on writing a article on the positive aspects to mystery schools. Just a brief statement for now: Mystery schools are *not* evil cults – despite the creepy-spin that has been put on them by society and people who really don’t know what they are. Mystery schools are about developing F-O-C-U-S – a focused mind and life – controlling our emotions, and strengthening our sense of loyalty (unlike a sociopath), perseverance (unlike a sociopath), service work (empathy), and group-spirit (real love, not lust). I believe mystery schools are especially important for the lost and floundering male of our current society and world.
When you do your own work first – studying and learning in the area of your passion – you can then bring your own knowledge to the forefront of these groups and institutions. Things will not be perfect in whatever group/class/organization you join, but this is *not* about perfection of the external structure: It’s about our own focus and learning, and this is best done through finding “teachers” that can help us along.
We tend to want to isolate ourselves after trauma. We don’t trust the world. We’re too critical about new and interesting opportunities that may help us grow outward and upward.
Once you’ve had time to ‘mourn’ your losses and to introspect, we must push ourselves back out there to find our “teachers” who will help us grow. These teachers and learning opportunities are everywhere: We just have to listen, stop being so critical and judgmental, and look for open-doors and learning opportunities everywhere we go.
Yes, we can and should do a lot of studying on our own but there comes a time in our life when we may want to merge our independent-growth with a group-growth. This may not be for everyone and that’s okay; but if you should feel at the “end of your isolation rope” (as I feel) and have the urge to explore outward … then we have learning and growing opportunities available; we just have to be willing to open our ears and eyes to them.
The battle of a traumatized person is to not be overly-critical and hyper-sensitive to our own detriment but to avoid isolation and to welcome-in our “teachers.”
I’m posting a schedule below of really great, donation-based, Winter School Classes offered in Oceanside, CA, 2222 Mission Avenue, 92058 from February 10-17, 2019. The classes range from art, to music, to the bible, to health and nutrition, to math and science, and to a whole day of astrology. I used to be close-minded about Astrology until I opened my eyes to see and my ears to listen to the “teachers” around me: Astrology is Science and Geometry – Math.
Lynna, Author of “My Sociopath,” On Sale At Amazon and Barnes & Noble