TRIGGER WARNING – This article mentions executions and bombs, and could be trigger to others.
“Into your darkest corner, you are safe in my love, you are protected. You can trust me to be the source of all your needs. Come sit in the circular temple of my heart, and let yourself be calm.” ~Agapi Stassinopoulos
Six years ago, I was born. We were six years old when we boarded the bus for our trip home. Instantly, the sirens sound.
I felt a knot in my stomach. People started running around. There was a cloud of dust in the air. The panic was palpable. The sirens indicated that it was time for me to find shelter. Sirens are the loud sound that signals the end of life. It was a moment when our short existence here on Earth felt like a pleasant experience.
For almost five years, my father and 12 family members were held in the most dangerous political prison. Since his arrest, I have never been free from the bitter taste and distrust that has accompanied me since.
When my mother reached out to me, I was able to catch a breath. It was almost as if my heart were racing. We finally arrived home and I could see my grandmother running in the yard. Her face was awash with tears.
“I was worried sick,” she said.
We weren’t sure they had made it either. All of us felt temporary relief. We had survived.
It’s hard to think about life without smartphones in the eighties. It was impossible to predict if someone would make it home safely. It was only when someone actually entered the house that you could tell.
All political prisoners were executed by the government for many years. My father survived miraculously, while his entire family died. When I was eight years of age, the war came to an end. It was the sound of sirens that rang out and frightening moments followed. My country’s religious guard used to abuse young girls, humiliating them, beating them, and oppressing them.
As a young child, I was exposed to war in Iran. This experience shaped my adulthood in many different ways. As my body was carrying years of trauma, the feeling of being unsafe never left me. I lived in survival mode for many years.
Being in survival mode meant I had to be constantly in fight, flight or fawn. Anger was my main emotion. It was easy to lash out at others. If things were getting difficult, I would either fight or freeze.
My struggle to get up in the morning was a constant battle for many years. My identity was also a problem. I didn’t know who I was. I loved people. I was a peace-keeper. When things became chaotic around me, I got mad and tried to throw whatever I could at the wall.
It was my only way to feel alive. That was all that made any sense.
My family moved to Germany in my teens. I had experienced a lot up to that point. But now, there was also the pressure of adapting to a different culture. These two worlds collided. German kids weren’t very nice to the foreign girl from Iran. Yet again I found myself in total survival mode.
Years passed. My family immigrated to America, and my American husband (a man wounded from myself) was found in Arizona as an exchange student at twenty-five years old. Our childhood traumas made us instantly connect.
Six years later, I was pregnant. I didn’t know it back then, but becoming a mother was the best thing that ever happened to me.
I was changed by my children’s birth. In symbolic terms, it was the birth of a new me. The process was physically and mentally difficult, and when my first birth didn’t go as planned, I struggled with my post-partum recovery and suffered from depression.
A difficult experience meant that I was experiencing all my emotions and the anger already living within me. As my anger grew louder, it became clear that I was giving birth to a child who would depend on me for survival. That child was my first glimpse of love and I realized that I could have a second chance at a better life.
A life that would allow me to see the true me beneath all of the trauma. It was possible to see my past in a different light. A light of appreciation. It was a light that loved me for the person I have become. It is a celebration of my courage and perseverance.
I didn’t have to hate myself anymore. “It is safe for me to be me,” I declared to myself.
I was able to let go of everything that held me back for many years by becoming a mother. For my daughter, I wanted to stop the suffering. It wasn’t just about me anymore. Healing doesn’t happen overnight, but life conspired to make it happen for me.
After many nights of sleepless nights, I became pregnant again with my second child. However, my job as a corporate executive was not the best. A promotion that I had more than qualifications for was denied to me because I was pregnant.
My husband was also offered an out-of-town position. It was an easy decision. We packed up our stuff and left our jobs.
In my search for something new, and with more flexibility in my work hours, I obtained my real estate license. It was this moment that I began my journey to healing.
Although there is nothing obvious about healing and real property, the key to my new journey was that I relied completely on myself.
I wasn’t going to have a consistent paycheck, PTO, and personal days. It was me who decided how my day looked. My mind was my responsibility. If I didn’t wake myself up in the morning, aside from my children, no one else would.
My orientation day at my new realty office was marked by the introduction of a motivational video. It made me think, Wow, that makes me feel great inside.
It was like a burning fire in my chest that I’d never experienced before.
YouTube quickly became my best friend. Each motivational video collection I came across was devoured. I felt alive. It was the most amazing feeling I have ever felt. My childhood was my best and most challenging time in my life.
I became more conscious of how my emotions and thoughts create my reality. By observing the emotions and reactions of people and situations, I learned how to discern between my trauma and who was really me.
Understanding that my triggers are triggered by a subconscious part, which I need to hear and see, was a realization that has helped me realize that. It was then that I took complete responsibility for my feelings and emotions.
So, let’s say my daughter caused anger in me. I would investigate what was going on inside of me to trigger such an emotion. Was it because I wasn’t heard or seen as a child? Was it because I didn’t feel safe to process my anger in a healthy way?
These thoughts would be my guideline. I’d allow myself to experience my anger, fears and sadness. All would be well. I am safe. I am loved. I am supported.These are my new mantras every day.
There was that six-year old underneath all the anger. She was finally able to see me clearly and I felt able to wrap my arms around her, embracing her in pure love. My childhood made me appreciate it. Brave. Strong. You are worthy of a happy, fulfilling life.
This work isn’t over yet. The work is not over yet. It takes time to heal from trauma, even if you’ve been through it like me. That is perfectly okay.
The subconscious mind contains many layers and this is why it is important to continue working on these issues.
The layers will begin to fall off just like the wounded child. As you listen, see, hold, and see your self, you’ll see your life clearly. This will help you feel safer in your own skin. By bringing those dark aspects of yourself to the light, you’ll start recognizing and addressing your triggers so you won’t feel so emotionally charged all the time.
As you try to visualize a different life for yourself—one less limited and defined by your trauma—you will see what emotions pop up to the surface. You will need you to sit with those emotions so you can identify the harmful self-beliefs that aren’t yours. Believes that limit your value, abilities, and potential. You only have the ability to adopt subconscious ideas from your past experiences.
You will find the most you can unpack the higher you go in your life, and the larger your dreams become. Once you have unpacked all of the lies being told you about yourself, you can begin to find the confidence and strength you need to achieve your goals.
Healing is a journey, don’t rush it. Take time to let your emotions flow and trust the process. Keep going even when things are difficult. Keep one foot ahead of the other. Take it one day at a time. You are now free from the past. Be kind to yourself, and respect your path. It is possible to overcome darkness and find the light. You can do it if I have done it!
About Shokouh Shojai-Hatch
Shokouh ShojaiHatch co-founded everlur, crystal jewelry that allows conscious manifestation and transformation. Shokouh Shojai-Hatch and Saba, her sister, founded everlur to help all beautiful people around the globe who want to overcome traumas and manifest their dreams. Their website, www.everlur.com contains more information about them and their handmade manifestation bracelets. You can follow Shokouh on Instagram to get daily inspiration from her sister and other manifestation tips.
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Tiny Buddha’s first post, From Bombs to bliss: Peeling Back the Layers of Childhood Trauma, appeared originally on Tiny Buddha.