Finding your way out of the darkness that is trauma can be a difficult road to follow. With every few steps forward we find ourselves being pulled backward a step or two, it is like the past is not yet done with us even though we have decided that we are done with it. I have come to accept the nature of the journey I am on and I know that each time I fall half a step backward, I move forward more than I’ve fallen.

As each day passes, each moment I breathe, see the world around me and allow my being to live fully in those moments, I am defeating my past. I move forward. I free my soul of its burden.

Each tear I shed increases my inner strength, even though at the time it feels dark, lonely and depressing, I know it is nature’s way of healing a damaged spirit and with time, I will once again smile, feel the sun on my skin and the gentle caress of the breeze through my hair.

As my eyes open to the world around me, as I recognize the pain in others and as we share that knowing glance, my heart grows. And with it my soul. I am learning, I am growing and I am constantly moving forward as time itself moves forward. In the eyes of others my transformation may seem painfully slow and they rush to hurry me along, to conform to their expectations, but along this journey I have learned that this is my path, and I walk it as I am. There is no sudden end, no bright light, and no quick fix. I simply walk one step at a time, each breath carrying me ever onward towards my destiny.

I’m learning to shed a life I once lived, a person I once knew. Just as the caterpillar metamorphoses into a butterfly, I’m growing my wings, slowly, carefully and surely. We cannot force a caterpillar to fly, and we can’t rush a butterfly into the air; with all things in life, we must practice patience.

Patience cannot be forced; it must be learned and practiced for one to master it. On many days, I still rush impatiently and create within myself forces at odds with one another. As these forces battle for supremacy, patience sits in the corner waiting for the end to a battle that has no victor. The final outcome will be acceptance and a greater awareness of the need for patience.

Placing my mind at ease can be difficult during these times. Sitting still, following the rhythm of my breath, letting go of thought, letting go of the past that rushes to overwhelm me can seem an insurmountable task. There are moments I will wane, I will cry, I will suffer until I accept that this is what I must do to move forward and find my place of peace.

I want. I want an end to this place of internal suffering. But want acts against patience and so, I must sit, I must practice, and I must find my patience and a place of forgiveness, for it will bring me peace once again.

Humans are social beings and, from the time we are born, lessons are noted and stored in our minds, beliefs are established and we live our lives according to these beliefs. Who we were before a trauma is who we were socially engineered to be. But now doors have been kicked open, beliefs are being challenged daily and slowly, within reason, we can start becoming who we wish to be.

I am human. I am not super human. I do not sit on a pedestal. I sit on the earth, back straight. Head held high, I open my arms to the world around me. I invite peace and with all my might fight its arrival. I am a dichotomy—welcome, go away.

There are many who have travelled this path before me, many who wish to advise me, but the wise ones understand that this is my path. Although it may look similar to theirs, this path is wholly my own and on it, I must walk my own walk. There is no avoiding hurdles, for hidden in each hurdle is a life lesson I have to learn.

My learning is not yet done. My wings have yet to unfurl. My soul has yet to fly.