Awakening to My True Self
(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.
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