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  • Writer's pictureMarc-Henri Sandoz

Rebirth and recreation (reconceiving trauma, last part)

Updated: Mar 26, 2022

recovery and rebirth

August 18, 2019, Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, last days of a memorable trip. How could I have imagined, 15 months ago when I woke up without a leg, that I was going to find myself there, kayaking in this unforgettable landscape. My heart is full of gratitude.

This place has a legend: once the dragon stopped here and hit the country with his tail. He left only chaos behind, but this chaos has created the conditions for the unfolding of a great beauty.

I feel inspired by this story. In my life too the dragon passed and hit me withhis tail, leaving behind chaos and desolation. But with time this chaos begins to reveal as a place where a kind of beauty and a new life can develop.

It reminds me of a dream that had struck me a great deal, a few weeks before I learned that I had cancer. I'm in a glass tower, and a huge black dragon, beautiful and scary, is flying towards me. I know he wants to break the glass wall behind which I stand, and take me with him. It's a nightmare but it's as fascinating as it is scary and I wake up not knowing what to think about it, but with the certainty that it is sending me a very important message. I now believe that my inner world felt what was going to happent. It warned me in its own way, to help me get through the ordeal and make it an opportunity to grow and learn.

I worked throughout this year to welcome and integrate everything that crossed my path: terror, disgust, discouragement, grief, mourning, anguish, disappointment, shame. I know myself better, I love myself better, I treat myself better. Other things have illuminated this path, sometimes unexpectedly: love, friendship, support, hope, joy, healing, beautiful encounters, the renewal of my spirituality, the awakening to new dimensions of my existence, deeper perception of the Great Mystery. I discovered unsuspected resources, courage, deep wounds, reconciliation with parts of myself that I did not know, and a new sense of dignity.

I am now at a key stage in the process of integrating the trauma I have experienced. This process, I started it very consciously 15 months ago, I reported about it in several articles of this blog. This stage is where it becomes possible to "reconceive the trauma as a new birth and a resurrection", to follow the pattern I borrowed from E. Tick in his work with war veterans suffering from PTSD, and which dictated the structure of these articles.

I do not deny the horror, I felt its breath on my face many times. But I discovered peace and joy in the eye of the storm. I know now that I have a life in front of me. Short or long, it is full of possibilities and space. I feel growing in me a new energy and freedom to commit myself to it, and I feel grateful.

And I have the intuition and hope that I still have many years to continue this work and continue to discover new territories.

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