Re: What does it mean to become grounded and have a good sense of self?
Date: March 22, 2009 11:10PM
After spending much of my adult life trying to recover from a very harsh upbringing with great emotional, spiritual, and physical traumas, I've concluded that one does not need to have been ripped apart in the claws of a cult to know and understand the desperation of that seeming insatiable need for peace, and direction in life..at all levels.
My first encounter with a sense of feeling grounded happened when a friend inadvertently pointed out to me that my life's experiences had made me a radically introspective person, with little interest in anything but me, my recovery, and my own self-insulated custom developed world view. I began to wonder if, in trying to find grounding from inside my personally secured prison of confusion, mistrust, issues, and muted anger, I was actually just reaching into a blazing fire for that ice cold drink. My personal search for a sense of self, and to feel like I'm standing on firm and safe ground..in all aspects of my life, have evolved from a thought that maybe I've given my nemesis, the brutal inner turmoil, too much authority over my mind and my will. I began to treat that restlessness and discontent as I would an outside intruder instead of like the only inner driving force I had access to. The really hard part for me in the beginning of that process was when I felt like I was literally rejecting my own self, my own identity, and my own purpose. I felt like I'd chosen to deliberately break my own heart in some ways just to get myself out of my inner world of great discontent, turmoil, and terrible distrust of others and myself. I really should have sought out therapy, but I didn't ,and although I didn't think it would ever happen, I somehow managed to get my feet walking on a totally different path. The newness of that path was both repulsive and exciting to me, and once I found a balance on that path of recovery, I began to change from the inside too.
I don't think my change has been bad. I like people now, I like life, and I no longer wonder what it would be like to live inside someone else's life or identity, and I no longer wish I could. I no longer accept a single lie my abusive past made to look like the truth. I just wanted to know if there was a me, and if that me could learn to like this life with what ever identity I had..with whatever faults, weaknesses, or vulnerabilities I might have. That curiosity led me to stumble on my way to finding an inner grounding, and has led me to develop a sense of self that I am secure in, and I am grateful to have. I kept a gratitude journal for months at one stage, and it really helped me to begin to see how much more I had to be grateful for than to be sad and sorry about.
I feel content and grounded today, even when I have no idea what's coming around the corner. I used to be terrified of that feeling. I used to be so tormented by needing and fearing what I needed at the same time, I'd wonder if there was an actual personal identity or strength anywhere in me at all. I was so distrusting of everyone, and yet so vulnerable to the very types of people I so vigilantly tried to protect myself from. I felt as though I was the biggest joke of a human being God ever set loose on this earth..I was a mess. I often read the stories posted on this message board, and I so deeply identify and empathize with so many of those stories.
IMO, it takes something different for each of us to find our answers, or make us able to receive the answers we seek during the inner strife. In my case, it is my Christian faith that is my answer, and what gives me spiritual and emotional grounding. The more I grow in my faith, the less fearful I am, and the less I feel a need for carnal approval.
It seems that there is no single answer to the question asked on this thread..It seems to be an unwritten rule that we each require our own unique code to unlock humanity's collective doors of understanding and experience, and the journey seems to center on finding that code. There ain't a guru anywhere on this planet who holds the 'master code' for that sacred door, even though a ridiculous number of them claim they do. I'm pretty certain that inner grounding and a sense of self can't be bought in any form, and can't be sold even to the most hungry seeker. If someone claims they've got these two assets for sale, then all they've got is a bridge and ocean front property on the moon...so run for your life..and make sure you didn't drop your check book or wallet anywhere either.