Awakening to My True Self

by Mark
(Amherst, Massachusetts, USA)

About a year ago, when I began therapy for depression related to the physical and emotional child abuse I suffered, my therapist suggested a class on mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) that was being offered. It is based on the principles of Buddhist meditation but is presented a non-sectarian way. Because of this class I have become very interested in Buddhist psychology and meditation. I no longer feel alone and that I am not the only one looking for deeper meaning in my life.

The initial benefit I noticed from meditation was the decrease in flashbacks and night terrors that I experience. Now they occur on an occasional basis and I am not sure what the triggering events are. I have also come to realise the many ways I have tried to distract myself from the pain of my past and how I have buried my true self deep in my mind. I guess that it was easier to live a lie than risk another beating from my mom or be scorned by the world in general when I tried to express who I really am.

I have often felt like my true nature is beating on the inside of my skull struggling to get out but it does not know the way. Through meditation and mindfulness I am starting to open up again and let out my true nature. It feels agonizingly slow at times, but after being conditioned by the world for the past 30 or so years to hide who I am, I should not expect instant results. After all, the Buddhist path is considered a life-long journey of awakening. I am just glad that I have started to walk the path to discover who I truly am.

A Video Reading by Darlene BarriereNote from Darlene: The volume of contributor submissions has now made it impossible for me to comment personally (especially in great detail) on each and every contribution. If I haven't left you a comment or one that is in-depth, please do not take my lack of a personal response as a slight, or as a statement that your story is somehow unworthy of my time. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, could be further from the truth. If there was a way for me to respond to all of you at length, I would.

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Comments for Awakening to My True Self

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Mar 06, 2009
Mindful meditation...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

During meditation our brains are operating at a frequency that is highly beneficial to our bodies and our minds. I am therefore not at all surprised that you have found a decrease in flashbacks and night terrors. I credit meditation to getting me through some very difficult situations, both "mindful" and "mindless" meditation.

Thank you for sharing your experience with my visitors and me, Mark.

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Sep 20, 2009
Shine on!
by: Mary

Thank you Mark for sharing your wisdom. When you said you feel like your "true nature" is beating at the inside of your skull but doesn't know how to get out, you struck a deep chord with me. The first thing that jumped to mind was a favorite biblical quote of mine from the book of John "the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it".
I too often feel that I have tons of goodness inside of me to share, but I just don't know how to let it out anymore. I went through years of burying the emotions and memories of my being abused sexually when I was a child, and for several years I felt confident and happy and wanted to share my talent (through pottery) with others. But I just simply quit the hobby, same as I always tend to do, I start something good or have a good intent or idea, but I can never see it to completion, something just stops me and I retreat into a tiring depressed person.
You seem to have found the light in the darkness and this is proof that the darkness has not overcome it!
I am not sure what exactly I will do to regain my confidence but after reading your post, I will give meditation a looking into, all I can really say is thank you, thank you, thank you!

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