In my blog Choosing The More Positive Perspective – How It’s Brought More Joy To My Life I discuss the importance to looking at every situation you come across with a more positive outlook. I still believe and practice each concept I discuss in the blog, however lately, with the help of a good friend of mine; I’ve learned the importance of balance.
A famous saying goes “life is 10% circumstance and 90% response to circumstance”. Terrible things can happen to you throughout your life; deaths, sexual assault, abuse to name a few. When situations like this occur the emotional battle that follows is often unavoidable. The key to getting through these situations is finding the balance of why the situations are both good and bad.
To look at death, sexual assault, or abuse with a balanced perspective can be a bit overwhelming, and for some reading this could make you feel like I just slapped you across the face. Keep reading and hear me out.
I had always dreamt of going to Australia when I was younger. The sun, the sand and everything in between had constantly been calling my name. So I did it. I followed my dreams, I got a working holiday visa and I booked my flight across the world for a yearlong adventure.
As I took off on my journey the excitement of my friends and family grew every time I told them a story or posted a picture. I constantly received tons of messages and comments saying “Wow! You really look like you’re enjoying your time in Australia so far!”. I always said that I was, but that wasn’t the case at all.
I felt stupid, ashamed and worthless. I had a knot in my stomach the size of my fist that never seemed to go away. Yet, I played it up and I pretended I was having the “best experience abroad”.
Little did they know that within the first week of moving to Australia I was sexually assaulted. Waking up one morning with bruises all over me and terrible memories from the night before isn’t the way that anyone wants to begin “the trip of a lifetime”.
Why didn’t you say anything?
There is such a common misconception about sexual assault. It is way more common than most people believe. According to sexassault.ca 1 in 4 North American women will experience sexual assault throughout their lifetime and 15% of sexual assault victims are boys under 16. Yet for some reason when people speak up about their assaults their stories are flipped and they are publicly shamed into thinking that what happened was their fault. The movie Audrie and Daisy on Netflix is a prime example of this.
If you ask the teens and young adults of today how many times they’ve told someone “no”, had them not listen, then just gave up and gave in because it was easier to just get it over with then have the argument. You’d be surprise with how many people have experience it. Excuse my language, but how fucking terrible is that. Why can’t it just be as simple as “no means no”, no hurt feeling and everyone moves on with their day. Maybe it has to do a bit with how we were raised. When I was younger no didn’t always mean no for the simple things in life. I knew I could push my parents boundaries and eventually get my way. Maybe people don’t realize what they’re doing because they’ve developed the mindset that pushing boundaries is the norm.
Unsure of what do to and what to think, I guess you could say I was too scared to say anything.
For many weeks I didn’t want to accept what happened, let alone even talk about it. The majority of the people who I did try to talk about it with didn’t understand and they would say things like “That’s terrible! I’m so sorry that happened to you.” Someone that has experienced something traumatizing doesn’t need to be told that its terrible over and over again. Sometimes, it honestly only makes things seem worse. I would think: I know its terrible. I know I didn’t deserve what happened. I just don’t know where to go from here. How to move on? How to forget? How to forgive?
The assault was constantly in the back of my mind. I don’t think there’s been a day since it’s happened that I haven’t thought about it. It wasn’t until last week that I was able to realize that I could choose to look at the assault that happened over two months ago as a blessing.
Coming to this realization was a break through moment and I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off my chest. I realized that I don’t need to forget what happened. I need to accept it and realize how it’s changed my life for the better in the long run.
With a the suggestion of a friend, I was able to do this by using the theory of the yin-yang symbol.
The Chinese Yin Yang symbol represents the perfect balance between all that is light and all that is dark. I look at the light side as if it symbolizes the positive aspects and the dark as if it symbolizes the negative aspects.
The small circles within each section are able to show that there will always be a bit of negative in everything that is positive and that there will always be a bit of positive in everything that is negative. This is okay. This what gives us balance.
How the assault was bad is pretty self-explanatory. How the assault was good was what I struggled to open my mind to. Before connecting with the symbolization of the Yin Yang I was in a constant battle with myself of trying to only see the positive side of what happened to me. Part of me didn’t want to look at the situation with any positive light. I was filled with anger. I constantly dismissed that this was even possible.
The moment of clarity occurred when I realized that it is perfectly okay for bad things to happen. It’s about sitting back and asking yourself over and over again “Okay, so how is this good?”
The first time I thought of a response I couldn’t come up with one. The second, third, forth, and fifth time was the same. After many attempts I was able to come up with the following sequence:
If I were never sexually assaulted, I wouldn’t have moved to Manly Beach.
If I never moved to Manly, I wouldn’t have found my love for acroyoga and met the incredible group of people who I now refer to as my acrofam.
If I never moved to Manly, I wouldn’t have started reading self-discovery books that teach you how to celebrate your unlimited potential to grow, blossom, and evolve.
If I never borrowed the self-discovery book, I wouldn’t have learned the valuable lessons that it taught me.
If I never learned those lessons, I wouldn’t have grown into the person I am today.
If I never changed my mindset, I wouldn’t have started this blog.
If I never started this blog, I wouldn’t have inspired all those that I have.
It’s hard to admit, but in the end I truly wouldn’t change what happened to me. It still sucks, it was hurtful, and I’m still working on forgiveness. But, with the sequence of events that followed, what I learned from it, and how much I’ve grown as a person since, I wouldn’t take back.
The symbolization of the yin yang can be used for so many different circumstances. I recommend trying to apply it to your own life when you find yourself “stuck” in a tough situation or when you’re struggling to choose peace.
It is important to remember that when difficult situations occur you sometimes lose sight of your choices, but there’s always the opportunity to try to look past your thoughts and see things with a different perspective.
Until next week,
Kristyn Breeze xx