Survivors typically experience feelings of terror and being overwhelmed. Many experience flashbacks. I find that guided meditation and having a breath prayer helps to reduce anxiety and to center individuals suffering from trauma.
Find a safe place where you are able to pray and experience a guided meditation. Prompts for the guided meditation are included below.
1. Imagine that Jesus or a Holy Presence, who conveys love, acceptance, comfort, and welcome, is by your side. Breathe in the sacredness. It’s all right if you do not sense the presence of the sacred. Breathe in and out slowly, noticing how you breath feels. Rest. Allow yourself to relax.
2. Quietly, softly, you are asked, “What is it you want?” You know this is a spiritual question and you consider what your greatest need is. What do you say?
3. You are asked, “What name for God do you prefer to use?” You answer. What name do you say?
4. Take the name and the phrase and play with them, trying different sequencing of words until there is an easy rhythm and your Breath Prayer resonates with you. Notice how the prayer flows with your breathing.
5. Write down your prayer. Place reminders, post-its, in many places, bathroom mirror, a dot on your watch. Make it a practice to say your prayer as you go through doorways, or when you look at the time, or when you go to your computer, or when you pick up your keys. What makes sense for you?
6. Here are examples of Breath Prayers that my hospice patients formed. “God be with me always.” “Bless me, Lord.” “Jesus, heal me.”
To heal and be transformed, seek the help you need from spirituality, social workers, and other sources. You do not need to be alone, or trapped by the trauma you experienced.