The Exchange I Make With Life
"Life costs, but life is a choice." I wrote these words this morning, as I rocked inside myself with the trauma I am currently navigating. Life costs. Not just provisionally, but emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually. It asks that we meet it, show up, be involved, exchange energy with the energy it presents us with. Meaning, when we have choice within how/what we exchange with life, especially in the demands of things uncontrollable, we have privilege.
At present, I hold this privilege to choose how I extend myself to meet life, through the provisional, emotional, physical, and spiritual means available to me. It's laboured, afflictive, and tiring right now on all fronts, but the fact that I have the privilege to discern what type of exchange I lay out before the demands I face feels like a fucking gift this morning. For eighteen plus years I lacked that option; the ability to pull back in even the darkest hours and know that regardless of the unfairness of the circumstance, it remains my conscious decision to exchange this part of me in this moment. Now, in my present reality, that option feels like grace.
Grace that becomes interwoven into what I call my “50/50”. My 50/50 is the utilization of healing I have been privilege to found within myself. A declaration to the broken, oceanic, agony that will never cease nor be erased, and the new freedom that offers me space in present life. In other words, the balance between the residual impacts of my complex trauma and the development of actual life versus sustained survival. My choice to acknowledge both, hold both, feel both, be conscious of both, when able. My exchange with life will forevermore be preceded by the costs of the abuse.
It's far from easy, but I do get to establish some breath within the natural demands of “normal” life because I am looking at it from this privileged angle. My residual impacts demand a lot of me, and often that exchange alone feels like it's too much to bear. However, when adding in the natural demands of life, partnership, friendship, academia, adulthood, etc...it can seem overwhelming. The foundation of healing I have been able to partner with has unquestionably provided me with the means to shift that overwhelm by modifying my life in ways to meet it. The first step of that, of all that I do, is to feel. Feel the overwhelm, feel the agony, mourn the losses. My life is effusive online, but it’s far more logical in person. I think that’s because internally I am an ocean, so externally I am quite reserved. Balance! Haha
I intimately believe how you choose to exchange with the demands of your residual impacts and with the natural demands of life. I believe it when you lack that option.