I was so nervous I almost walked the other direction, out of the building, instead of walking into the Recital Hall for my audition! As my legs somehow moved me forward to the audition room and I fumbled with the door handle, I clung to the thought Mark had wisely planted into my mind, "You have a 0% chance of getting it if you don't audition. If at least you, your chances increase by 50%... simply by being brave enough to try."
It was my turn to audition for the BYU-Idaho performance of "The Messiah." I'm still not entirely sure how, but I was selected as one of the soloists. It was a very special section of the music to me personally. I sang the part announcing the Savior's birth to the shepherds and lead in the heavenly choir that filled the sky that sacred, holy night.
Even now typing this nearly 10 years later, my eyes still fill with tears. That electric moment is forever etched in my mind: an entire orchestra accompanying me, utilizing my full soprano range, and testifying of Christ through music.
3 years ago I was in the middle of the Trauma Egg assignment (I have written about this before; it was the capstone project for my group counseling program). My heart was heavy with the reliving I was constantly experiencing as I dug deeper and deeper into my past. The assignment was to catalog every traumatic event from earliest memory to most recent experiences.
I found out our community was going to be performing "The Messiah" and they were looking for soloists. This time I wasn't nearly as timid because innately I knew that I needed this experience at that challenging time. I was honored to be selected as a soloist again for this same thrilling passage.
As I inhaled the moment during my performance with the same exhilarating combination of orchestral vibrations flooding into my entire soul, my heart opening wide with the music, and love for my Savior filling every cell of my body, something marvelous happened to that heavy trauma. This experience helped to release some of that burden and I felt lighter.
I feel like such a fledgling writing this post tonight because there is still so much to learn and understand. I am right in the middle of further research and will probably be able to come back later and articulate more eloquently or clearly. Yet tonight I need to write this. It is enough to lay this out as simply as possible. Although there are many things that can support the release or resolution of trauma, the actual release is often beyond words. Talking about it cannot touch it. Even an awareness cannot crack it open to free it.
This been true for me throughout the process of releasing and healing. Working with good professionals individually or in group therapy was not a waste of my time. Attending 12-step meetings were also helpful. I didn't understand it at the time like I do now. For me, I did those things to bring clarity, to help me peel back the layers of complexity, and to lay it all out so I could figure out what needed to be accomplished. But the actual changes in me: in my mind, and my heart (and my body too---ie nervous system especially) have not come by talking through it. These changes have come through experiences.
Some experiences have needed to involve my physical body like singing that night or through yoga as I have shared quite a bit about recently. I have told you about other examples when the experience has happened on a Spirit to spirit level as the Holy Ghost has powerfully taught me what is actually True through scriptures, prayer, and journaling. Other times the necessary experience to release the trauma has come in moments when I can simply bask in my Savior's love. We will all need different experiences to release, resolve, and heal. There is no "magic bullet" to heal from trauma. Even within myself, what works for one release may not be what is needed for another release. The important part that I have learned (and continue to still learn) is that I can take my Savior with me into the details of healing. He is the Master Healer and sometimes He will heal me directly. Other times He works through means and will direct me to the experiences that can offer the release. Ultimately, I believe, it is still His healing power. I don't want in any way to make light, but think about when we are baptized. We are cleansed. Is it the water or the fact that we are being obedient to God's commandments that brings about the cleansing power? No. We are cleaned by water, fire, and blood. Although water is a natural cleansing agent, it isn't the actual water completely covering us that does the cleaning. Even though The Spirit acts as a sanctifier as we are baptized by fire, it isn't the fire that cleanses us either. It is Christ, and through His blood, or the Atonement, that we are cleansed. It was the same with the Law of Moses. Redemption didn't come by following the points of the Law with exactness, nor was it the bull/dove/lamb that was sacrificed. I believe releasing trauma and healing also comes by and through (and only in and through) Christ regardless of how it appears on the surface. Everything good come from God and while in mortality we access God through Christ.
I don't need to say anything more about this for now, except to remind you that God knows. He knows you. He not only knows you by name, but He knows the details of your life. He knows your past. He knows what you may not even be aware of inside of yourself yet. He has already given you everything you need (or it will come) to be able to release, resolve, and heal from trauma. So if you feel like you have been walking in circles and are ready to try something different, put your trust in Him or trust in Him more fully. Learn to re-trust Him if trust has been shattered from betrayal trauma. Allow Him to direct you and guide you. Also learn to trust or re-trust your own ability to follow Him and to discern Truth. It's okay if you can't leap from point A to point B in one step and heal from your entire past through one experience alone. It's okay if you mess up or even completely blow it. Keep going! There is always a way forward. And if even these things feel like a leap to the other side of the galaxy, Christ can help you with your first shaky step...and then the next...and the next...He will draw closer to you as you seek to draw closer to Him. We may not be able to release and resolve everything during mortality, but over the course of a lifetime, Christ can work wonders! Christ will help us with all of these details as we allow Him to.