• Daniel Kephart

Trauma: A Reflective Piece

Today's piece is by guest author Sierra Medina. While a departure from our usual style of pieces, it provides a valuable opportunity for individual reflection during these difficult times. The visuals in this piece are also creations from Medina.

We’re all traumatized, can’t you see it? This is where I found myself at age thirteen. Undoubtedly the unraveling started well before, but considering that I was already emotionally orphaned, the physical loss of my parents wasn’t much of a catalyst for introspection. Can you conjure up how you feel in that moment when, try as you might to squeak past without a noise, the slower you crack open the door the louder the screeching becomes? That’s an accurate portrayal of my attempt to live life without confronting my inner buildup. Try as I might to live like I was whole, my heart betrayed me. I screeched. Quiet at first until every confrontation and every relationship was the undoing of my tell-tale heart.

Commence the soul fracking.

Years have passed. I questioned the maintenance of my New York Times subscription as I meticulously mulled over the question: Why do we allow dichotomies to color our view? Why does wearing masks make us seethe but not the desperate utterance caught in my brother’s throat, “I can’t breathe?”

We’ve inherited our hand-me-down hurt and wear it like it’s what fits us best, when we know in our hearts Goodwill wouldn’t even accept this mess. Yet astoundingly there is more diligence ascribed to shrouding problems than solving them. Looking everywhere. Looking everywhere but within.

We are all traumatized.

We all have trust issues etched into our hearts like commandments on stone tablets. Because we give them control. We rarely let go, rarely rise and let our faith make us whole. Instead of taking up our mat, we trace our steps back to the bed they say we made, so we lay in it. Blankets over our heads blind us, but you know, at least we’re safe.

We needlessly impoverish ourselves when we forsake freedom to remain unaware, isolated, without a taste. We were made for wedding feasts, not drive-thru, TV dinners, wash, rinse, and repeat. Humble yourself, wash somebody’s feet. I wish we were the home of the brave, but we’re far too busy digging our own mental graves.

We could all be healed, can you dream it? Love-lacing thoughts and actions like coffee co-mingled with cream. An undeniable change, what was once destitute filthy rags can become gleaming white. If we would take the time to sit still and call out our brokenness by name. It’s daunting to sit with our thoughts. Yet ignorance costs us our true peace.

Staying maimed is too expensive a price. Let’s entertain our potential. Commit to digging up what we’ve left buried. Commit to nurturing what is planted.

When will the rain end?

Darkness feels like burial.

Or, are you planted?

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