Go Beyond Surviving: The Lie About Abuse By Dr. Lisa Cooney
“You’ll be lucky if you survive it,” the doctors told me after being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
That pissed me off. Lucky to survive it? They didn’t know me. They didn’t know that they had just issued me a challenge that I was determined to prove wrong.
It also pissed me off because a similar message is shared with millions of people around the world regarding abuse: we are told we are lucky to survive. We become “survivors” of abuse; our past stories always defining or limiting us.
That wasn’t good enough for me. Is it good enough for you?
I knew it was a big lie. I knew there was so much more possible than merely surviving abuse. So I committed my life to discovering the path beyond abuse, beyond surviving, to living what I call Radically Alive: a life filled with joy, ease and possibilities.
I overcame my life-threatening illness because I committed to doing everything it took to heal. I invested in doctors, alternative healers and used my own healing modalities on myself daily. It was an intense couple of years and so worth it! I not only survived the illness, I triumphed over it. The doctors were amazed. I was delighted: I had discovered a roadmap for going BEYOND surviving.
That near-death experience brought me face-to-face with more possibilities for living beyond abuse, too. I saw how when we commit to living a life beyond just “surviving” abuse, we:
• Leave behind the lies and limitations of the cage of abuse
• Step into the spacious possibilities of living Radically Alive
• Surf big waves of creativity and passion
• Become a new person – who we really truly be – and create a new life
The alternative to NOT moving forward is to return to the cage of abuse. Do you want that? Me neither! NO WAY!
To support you in this journey, here are→
3 Tips for Going Beyond Surviving And Living Radically Alive
Tip #1: Become Comfortable with Discomfort
Don’t mistake discomfort as a sign that you’re doing anything wrong. Quite the contrary! Discomfort is often a sign you are changing. You are moving beyond your comfort zone and making essential changes to live Radically Alive. It is also a sign that you are creating a richer reality by being the truth of who you truly be.
You’re no longer avoiding or denying the past abuse that occurred. You’re getting really honest with yourself and looking at and working through it.
I am NOT referring to the kind of discomfort that arises when you are repeating an old pattern or choosing something that doesn’t work for you. This is a different kind of discomfort. It is a signpost saying: this doesn’t work for you. Would you like to choose something else instead?!
It can take practice (and getting support) to discern the different textures of discomfort. Yet it’s worth knowing the difference: one version shows you you are heading on the path of Radical Aliveness. The other version shows you you are repeating an old pattern that will keep you locked in the cage of abuse if you keep choosing it.
Given that, isn’t it worth it to hone your discernment muscle?
Tip #2: Go Embrace Something
Whether it’s a pillow or a pet, a friend or a facilitator, hug someone or something! This may sound silly, or overly simplified but there is science behind this tip.
When you hug someone for 20 seconds or more you release “happy- feeling-hormones.” This gives you a feeling of safety and connections. Hugs help you change the circuitry in your system.
So the next time you’re feeling disconnected, or as though everything is bad, don’t turn to drugs, alcohol, food or another unhealthy habit. Hug someone. This helps you see through the lies of the cage of abuse and into new possibilities of aliveness and engagement with your life.
Tip #3: Commit To Your Joy
When we buy the lie that we can only ever survive abuse, there is a tendency to commit more to our sadness, rage, and the destruction of our life. Guess what happens when we do this? We remain locked in the cage of abuse, away from creation of other possibilities.
That’s what makes Tip #3 so essential: when you commit to your joy, you’re committing to a life of Radical Aliveness. It’s like your life is a garden: are you planting seeds of joy or only focusing on pulling weeds all the time?
While yes, it’s definitely important to do the work involved of clearing out the old abuse, it’s also equally important to ask yourself:
“What brings me joy?” and then go and do that!
Is it dancing? Gardening? Cooking? Writing?
Find what brings you joy and go do it! Put your attention on what moves you. This is another scientific way of changing your circuitry. Rather than focusing on the pain of your past, you focus on the joy available to you in the present moment.
Over the past few months I’ve gotten into horseback riding. These gentle and powerful creatures are teaching me so much about connection and trust. I admit, sometimes I resist going out to ride. I tell myself, “Oh, it takes so long to get them ready. I have to go get my horse and brush her, clean her hooves, get her saddle on…”
You may be familiar with this resistance, too. It may stop you from going to the gym or trying a new dance class. Yet this resistance is a load of crap. It’s made up of the lies of the cage.
I’m always so grateful and end up feeling much better when I move through the resistance and get on my horse. That’s me choosing my joy.
What might change for you when you choose and commit to your joy?
Put these 3 tips into practice to go beyond the lie that you can only ever survive abuse. As you get comfortable with the discomfort, embrace your dog, your child, your partner, a friend – something! – and commit to your joy, you will move beyond the cage of abuse and into the space of Radical Aliveness. Isn’t this the space you’ve been seeking?
I am here to tell you living Radically Alive is not a pipedream: it can be your reality, too, when you choose it. I have guided thousands of people on the path beyond abuse and into living a life of ease, joy, passion and possibilities. If we can do this, you can, too.
Season Two Is Here!
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