One of the side effects of releasing the stranglehold grip of trauma, is the way your world view changes. You find your breath in forgiveness. All of the ways you forgot to breathe come back to your memory. The way your body feels, changes. You stop visualizing the pain as your guidepost and instead, you shake hands with it. You recognize it, not for the adversary you once believed it to be but instead, you accept it as your greatest cheerleader and teacher. Because who else has been your constant? Who else has lived in every aspect of your being, pushing you through your hardest days and nights, asking for your partnership and release. When we fragment ourselves and split from it, the memory of love fights for survival. Trauma and love are connected in sameness. They each speed up your heartbeat and invite your skin to expose itself, all the way to your nerve endings. They both remind you of your extremes. When you let trauma teach you, when you relive it to let it die, it changes everything and you can never return. You can never go back to the old ways and you automatically hit the reset. You stop working so hard to shape the way people are to the way you think you deserve to be seen. You stop subconsciously trying to convince people you are broken, or flawed or less than and one day you see your smile in the mirror and you stop. You trace the lines around your face and say “welcome old friend”. The ability to feel something that once felt dangerous is transformative. Trauma belongs in my heart. She deserves to be loved. Not a thing to be chased into the night but instead, belonging in the crook of my arms. Held close and loved for her bravery and vulnerability. I am everything I am because I was once so broken I didn’t think I would ever survive. But that’s the thing about survival. It’s only the beginning of your everything.