(Published in PsychCentral )

“Facing the fact that we’ve been abused isn’t simple. It’s wrapped up in feelings of being deeply flawed. When we’ve been hurt emotionally, physically, or sexually, we tend to internalize our anger and turn it on ourselves.

“We may feel that we’ve done something wrong to deserve the abuse or feel that we’re marked by the abuse. The shame and guilt that should belong to the abuser is transferred to the victim, giving them a sense of being defective or contaminated. That’s one of the reasons it took me so long to face the truth….

“When I don’t feel like a resilient survivor I use this meditative visualization to take my power back.”

  • Find somewhere quiet to take a moment and focus on your breathing. Other things may be going through your mind, but bring your thoughts back to your breath. Count to five as you slowing inhale and five again as you exhale. If you continue counting, your mind can’t wander;
  • Your body will slowly begin to relax;
  • Become the calm you want to see in your life;
  • Be the calm you expect will never be there;
  • Be the calm you imagine you can’t have;
  • Visualize all the emotions you don’t want to feel — fear, worry, sadness, grief — floating away from your mind, out of your body. Memories of violation and disrespect are going with them;
  • Stillness and relief fall on your shoulders, warming and lighting you up;
  • Wonder enters your mind;
  • Joy comes in and opens up your heart;
  • Tension in your body is unknitting stitch by stitch;
  • Even your most worrisome parts loosen;
  • Embrace the power. You’re in control of this body.  You’ve helped it to feel the way it wants to feel. Cool, calm, and collected. Not afraid or overly alert;
  • Rest assured that you’ll roll with changes because you can — You always have. If anyone’s ready for an apocalypse it’s you. After all, you’ve endured much more than could ever be expected;
  • You are strong;
  • Stay in this awareness, in this present moment as long as you can.
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