We are confronted with myriad images most of which have been airbrushed, altered, sexualized in some way,or tweaked in some way in order to perpetuate a well-crafted cultural “ideal” of beauty. Hollywood and Madison Avenue may be the culprit most of the time, but, historically, this was not always the case. Regardless of who is dictating standards of beauty, what are we to do with the aftermath because it isn’t simply a commercial matter for most of us. It’s personal.
Our lives can be viewed metaphorically as a landscape populated by a thriving city or by ruins. For better or worse, it is up to us to make do with what remains be it clearing away dumped rubbish, repairing old but sound structures, tearing down ruined buildings, or rebuilding boundaries. It is a worthy and necessary endeavor made more meaningful when done in a loving community committed to our success.
While our coping strategies enable us to survive trauma and difficult circumstances, they do not serve us any longer when we are in recovery. They do not, however, lose their power. Sometimes we experience a sense of being “stuck” when we are still “coping” rather than moving forward with a greater sense of freedom.