Updated: Dec 17, 2020
Thailand is home to the world's biggest Golden Buddha. Unlike most statutes that are gilded in gold, this one is made of solid gold. Shining and revered, it now sits in the temple of Wat Traimit and is open for all the world to see. The statue wasn't always a beacon of survival and strength, however. It was made in the 13th or 14th century by Siamese monks. In the 18th century, the Burmese armies were notorious for melting down any gold of the nations they conquered. When the Burmese-Siamese war started in 1767, the Siamese covered the golden statue with terra-cotta and coloured glass to conceal its value.
After the war, the statue was brought back to Wat Traimit, and for a hundred years, it sat under a simplistic, tinned roof monastery. In 1955 the figure had to be moved, and some say that the pulley system dropped the statue, revealing a golden core, others believed that it sat outside and the rain cleansed it. Some say that it was divine that the statue didn't break.
What lesson is to be taken from the clay covered Golden Buddha?
Protected from invasion and hidden to the world, the statue was shielded from the outside until it was ready to reveal its magnificent self.
Does that sound familiar on a personal level?
When Traumatic events threaten our stability, safety and lives, we cover ourselves in proverbial mud for shelter to protect our golden core and keep anxiety, uncertainty and pain at bay. Trauma can make us feel ashamed and guilty about what has happened to us. Chaos, information avalanches and overthinking make us cover ourselves even further. Like the Golden Buddha, there are times for us to move away from the erratic and unpredictable external circumstances and stay safe inside a terra-cotta shell.
While we journal through the intensity of your feelings, we're transforming bit by bit, by our intuition and knowledge gained through the researched-based journals' guidance. When it is time for the soft rain to wash us clean or for some of the terra-cotta pieces to be chiselled away, we can emerge, little by little. When the final words in our journals are written, we will know our purified, authentic selves, and ready to step out of our hiding into the light.
I will never forget that knock on the door at two in the morning. The neighbours called the police to report possible domestic violence. In my night terrors, I dreamt that I was being murdered with no way of escaping. I yearned for freedom but felt embarrassed and small. After explaining to the understanding police officer that I was alright, I realized that I wasn't. The longer I denied that I needed help, the more broken I would become and alienate everyone around me. Seven psychologists later, I found someone who helped me untangle the thoughts of what I perceived as paranoia. She diagnosed me with Complex Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder, and we started to chart a course of healing. I closed my inner self in terra-cotta for four years, until I felt the powerful metamorphosis - solid as gold. I did not need the clay anymore and thanked it for the protection granted when I needed it most. I closed my journal and opened a blank one. From there, I created guided journals for anyone who feels overwhelmed and lost, those who are looking for themselves amidst disorder caused by traumatic life events.
Keep Journaling and Keep Growing.