For my fellow folk constantly working through sexual violence of some kind. We are a group aren’t we? I feel that in my truth is the truth that I haven’t really been doing much. Although I’ve been doing much because I always seem to be busy. But really, what is “much”? I’m trying to find a way to reach out to a support system and while I seem to be failing most of the time, I don’t know that patience within my process is my strong point. Probably not. A part of me says that I must get up and fight and continue. Another part of me is simply exhausted and wants to sleep. Sleep forever. Would that be so bad? “Snaps out of it”. I have so much work to do! I can’t just forfeit!
SO here’s how I’m coping. Here are 5 ways that I’ve been tender with myself in the face of sexual violence.
- Take a Bath. Wash it Away.
I’ve always held strong faith in the powers of detox baths. Maybe because that was a “get rid of cold” staple in my house growing up. But seriously, taking a long and nice bath, pray over the water, pray in the water, add baking soda, epsom salts, a few drops of essential oils and apple cider vinegar. Relax.
Smudging always brings me a sense of peace. Maybe it’s because when I smudge I feel tied to my ancestors, to ceremony, to ancient practices and ways of being. Smudging is burning herbs for the smoke. When I do this, I pray, I sing, I cry, I give myself space and time to just be.
- Yoga/Body Movement
Moving my body after a traumatic incident is what brings me back to center and reminds me that I am still here, still present and able to move forward with my life, with myself in tact. Whether that is my personal yoga practice or taking class, I always make time to move my body and sweat. Sweating is healing.
- Do Something Just For You
Whether that is sitting in your favorite comfy chair or just drinking a cup of coffee, do something solely for you. Ground yourself in that act. This makes me happy, fuck the rest of anything that does not in this moment. It’s about me and my comfort for right now.
- Speak..Let Yourself Be Loved
I have a real issue with allowing myself to be loved. I isolate myself into this small spot where I am permanently alone and that’s not healthy after trauma. Let yourself be loved. Ask folks to check up on you. Set your boundaries. Affirm what is is that you need. Speak up. Don’t stay silent. Allow yourself the air and time to be whole and hurt at the same time.