The new is not like the old; to change your life is to choose what is new, different and unfamiliar to you.
Healing from abuse is one of life’s most rewarding tasks – perhaps the most rewarding. You are entering completely new territory, learning how to feel without rejecting yourself or what you feel. A lot of the understandable defensiveness you have built up around what you think your feelings mean about you, you will be letting go of… So it’s probably a whole new way of being that you will be invited to grow into…
It starts with your acknowledgement of the deep emotional pain, so often held secret and hidden, that comes with abuse. A pain you might have been carrying for a very long time. And consider the ongoing consequences – problems with relationships, with jobs or career, with yourself. There is so much room for progress on this healing journey! That’s what makes it so exciting: the promise of change and improvement that steadily comes into view, especially so if your journey is guided with support.
I would go as far as to say that such guidance is essential for healing. It can come in the shape of a trusted counsellor, the support of a wise friend, a book of insight, an online course, and, without doubt, the inspiration that is given from the Spirit within. But how many of us are aware of this inspiration? How many of us follow it, realising its importance and the value it gives to our lives?
It can take time to recognise and trust this inner inspiration, the gentle guiding of the Spirit. One of the effects of abuse is that it makes us mistrust this inner guidance, often to the point of ignoring it altogether. Abuse leaves us mistrusting our judgement and the instincts that let us know what is good for us and what is not.
My book, Healing from Abuse, is intended to be a guide to understanding yourself, a guide to healing your feelings and beliefs, and a guide to reconnect you to the innate wisdom that dwells inside every one of us.
You might share the teachings of this book with your therapist, if you have one. It offers tools for practical use, for creating change in the physical, emotional, mental and soul fields. You won’t find these tools listed in an index but found, instead, peppered throughout the entire text, organically woven through the chapters.
It’s not an easy business to heal. Nor is the process a fast one. But positive results can show up when least expected; they can arise quickly, spontaneously, no matter who you are, no matter how hopeless you might feel. The processes work for young and old, rich and poor, clever or not – a person can only take one step at a time, and that is all that is ever required. Healing is a certainty if you wish it with all your heart and you are willing to take the steps, one at a time. Baby steps have their right place on this journey, as well as occasional giant strides.
Carla van Raay migrated to Australia in 1950 from the Netherlands. She was a Catholic nun till age 31; left and became a sex worker: both life choices based on early sexual abuse. Her memoir God’s Callgirl became a best seller in several countries. Carla has resided in Western Australia since 1980 as teacher, author and spiritual mentor. She is a mother and grandmother.
Healing from Abuse – A Practical Spiritual Guide is published by Changemakers Books, ISBN: 978-1-78535-267-6 (Paperback) £11.99 $18.95, EISBN: 978-1-78535-268-3 (e-book) £3.99 $5.99.