The passing of my husband left me abruptly awake to the future risks and challenges I would face in financial, social, emotional, psychological, and physical areas of life while raising my grandson alone. That wasn’t my only wake-up call.
What I didn’t expect was the very recent Awareness that my life after trauma path, Becoming Unbound, began with one choice.
I didn’t have to make this Choice. I could have said no, and go about living my life with all the challenges in the SAME areas as I would experience raising him. However, I believed this young boy deserved a shot at a life I tried to give my now-adult children; the life I wanted as a child. Their personal life challenges frequently reminded me of the belief I missed my goal of providing a better life for them. I soon discovered raising him was a continuous and challenging reminder of what I made my trauma mean about me which in turn was shaping my world and self-view. There was a reason this all happened simultaneously, but not for the reason I assumed.
Today, I am Aware of that reason. The Universe wasn’t being unkind to send me through the pain of loss (an assumption I previously embraced). Instead, it was a gift to begin my journey to Living Unbound by interrupting my efforts of abandoning myself. Ironically, my efforts of self-abandonment were “rewarded” with the precious gift of Self-Awareness left with me through the responsibility of raising a child.
The years following my choice to raise a child at my age have been spent with daily, intense inner work to make sense of my life and what the Universe asks of me. His presence at this specific time raises my Awareness of the gift of Understanding that the world does not work the way I think it does. The success of my effort to raise him while walking my recovery path depends on my willingness to Understand and face the truths of the past. This is determined by the strength of my Will and Intent.
I now know Understanding brings resolution. To arrive at the Understanding of how my family dysfunction developed and my role in that development, I needed to Understand the dynamics of generational trauma. I needed to make sense of the Me-of-Then and the Me-of-Now. I also needed to understand the implications of the gift of raising my grandson alone.
So I asked myself what’s next? Am I prepared to maintain my Awareness of the unique and common challenges we both face in our core life areas?
Am I prepared to meet the challenges of raising a child alone at my age? Do I have the tools and abilities to see this through to the end? Is this all there is, raising this boy alone while I experience the implications of the attached social, economic, and other issues?
What’s next is to maintain and model a Way-of-Being and living that embraces Awareness, Acknowledgment, Acceptance, and Understanding. This includes paying exquisite attention to my physical and psychological well-being. What’s next includes Sharing my Awareness that this journey is not solely about trauma recovery. It IS about making sense of what I have experienced and changing what I believed it meant about me.
I believe there’s a reason for everything. It’s all connected. But I had to be willing to explore what I was making my past mean about me. So, to find a resolution to my pain I had to Understand the source.
I had to recognize for myself the gift of raising my grandson is not only for me; it’s in Sharing the message that change, growth, and living Unbound are possible if we apply the Will and Intent to Understand the implications of our life lessons.
For me, it’s not about fixing a problem; it’s about seeking to Understand and Share what I have Acknowledged, Accepted, and Applied, ending in sustainable resolution to the problems left by traumatic experiences.
The gift from the Universe is Understanding my trauma was not about me, but ultimately about the growth toward a specific awareness: What we suffer and experience ultimately changes our world and worldview. What we Choose to Accept or reject about our experiences determines our path, no matter the subsequent Choices about what we think, feel or believe about life.
I believe I have proved to myself the world will never work the way I believe or think that it should. Instead, when I set my Intent for Awareness, I can count on receiving the Moreness of Living Life Deliberately Unbound.