When baby elephants arrive at the circus, a strong rope is tied around their neck with the other end tied to a pole. The baby elephant will attempt to walk away quickly discovering the rope is too strong. The elephant will struggle in vain to twist and pull and break free of the rope. Over time, the elephant is “broken down” to believe they do not have the strength or the power to break free of the rope. The elephant just stops fighting and learns to live with the rope tied around its neck, tethered to a pole.
Any sane person who sees the image of an elephant tethered by a little rope sees the power and strength of the elephant. Sadly, the elephant is the only one who can’t see how amazingly powerful they truly are.
I find abuse survivors to be very similar to these elephants. We are tethered by an invisible rope to the traumatic experience. In healing, we discover we are the only ones who can untie the ropes the hold us back.
I spent close to two decades tied to that imaginary rope.
I reached a point where I was no longer willing to bear this burden. Slowly, with great compassion, I began to untie my rope. One breath at a time, one thought at a time, I began dismantling my entire belief system. The knot began to loosen, I made peace with questions for which I will never receive answers. I gave up wondering what might have been, and, if only.
Day-by-Day, the knot loosened. I began to experience a freedom that was completely new to me. This feeling of freedom is very much grounded in strength. By slowly untying that rope with great compassion, I discovered how incredibly strong I am.