Releasing the Rage: Growing Through the Pains of PTSD

 
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“Live life as if everything were rigged in your favor.” -Rumi

These words struck me this morning as I was listening to a podcast - stirring something deep inside of me. And part of me began to rage with fury.

Rigged in our favor? Really? With ALL.the.things that feel so unfair, unjust and downright painful in the world ... how could this be the truth??

Within seconds, the sights, smells and sounds of being in Room Two took over my body - filling my veins with cement and my heart with anger and fear. I was right back there. Heart racing. Sweating. Thinking of all those beautiful souls who never got to ride out of 8 South. Whose rooms I walked by, but couldn't bear to really see. 

Rigged in their favor? Bullshit.

I could feel the anger pulsing through my veins. The crushing weight of all.the.things that have been thrown our way - personally + collectively, as a people. The resentment surged through my body - my face got hot.

I was ready to fight - it's a place I know well.  

And thankfully, it's a place I’ve learned to navigate.

With patience. And compassion.

Over these last four years, I've learned how to SHIFT back into my body - slowly, over time.

I've learned how to ride the wave.

{Cue The Compassionate Observer}

As our family calendar came back into focus, I noticed the heart on 11/21 - marking the 4th anniversary of M's surgery. It's just a few weeks away.

And here she was  - sitting right in front of me - with a mask on and tubes plugged into a machine. Grounding myself in gratitude - I found myself thankful that it's just a nebulizer - just pneumonia.

As I wove the strands of her hair together into a braid, I came back into my body.

As much as this quote enraged me, I knew deep down, it's everything.

Freedom comes when we live life with a deep KNOWING that the Universe has our back. Even when things don’t make sense. Even if they never will.

Making that leap shifts us from a place of victimhood to a place of empowerment.

Our beliefs form the lens through which we view the world. Up until that point, I believed - so deeply - that if I just try hard enough, I could control all the things.

Including protecting my daughter from death.

If I had just tried harder during my pregnancy, her heart wouldn’t have had that hole...

If I had just stayed by her bedside that night, she wouldn’t have gone into heart failure...

If I had just...

When the reality is - death is part of life. And though we may think that we can control all the things, there is so much we cannot.

But this.

We ALWAYS have a choice in how we see the world - and what we believe.

Our beliefs are intricately connected to our emotions, thoughts and actions.

 We see what we believe.

Choosing to see the world as ‘out to get me’ leaves me exhausted, depleted, resentful and so angry.

And, I know - I write this from a place of privilege.  

We can be mad that things happen. And angry - furious even. And resentful. It’s part of being human. It's necessary. These powerful emotions can be the catalyst for meaningful change. We need to mobilize. Take action. Speak our Truth. 

But we can't do that from a place of powerlessness. Staying there too long keeps us stuck. It stops us from FULLY LIVING our life and seeing the magic that is within each of us.

Control the Controllables - words that have stayed with me. Words I have to remind myself of - often.

That moment in Room Two changed me. It cracked me wide open - and through it, I've grown stronger. I've stepped into life with more passion and purpose. I've let go of deeply held beliefs that were stopping me from truly LIVING. 

I'm awake now. I'm whole. 

And, I'm home. 

~

This is it. This is our one life.

How do you want to spend your time? What would it mean for you to make this shift - to believe the Universe has your back -  to live as though everything were rigged in your favor?

Because, what’s the alternative?

~

Samantha Livingstone is an Olympic Gold Medalist, transformational speaker, high performance coach and mama of four.  She inspires and empowers others to cultivate the courage, resilience and perseverance needed to let go of perfection and other limiting beliefs so they can live their dream. Samantha candidly shares her battles with her inner critic, depression, perfection, PTSD and parenting as a working mother because she believes in the transformative power of story – and the strength that comes from knowing we are not alone. She is on a mission to pay forward all that she’s learned to help others find joy and live free.  

A mama of heart warrior and mama of twins, Samantha and her husband, Rob, live in the Berkshires with their four girls.  

You can learn more about Samantha at www.samanthalivingstone.com