“When we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” -Viktor Frankl
Trauma is a very complicated word. What is trauma to you?
Whether you realize it or not we all walk through trauma in our lives. The extent of that trauma is very different for each journey. It could come from childhood, manifest in young adult years or adulthood could provide many different scenarios that one will walk not by choice. There really is no escaping it.
Any trauma holds value. Read that again, any trauma holds value.
It releases lessons for the journey we walk from day to day. While the pain is not what one would choose to walk through, it brings us one step closer to living this life more fully aware in ways we are called to be present.
Personally, my trauma is the core of my work and how I bring it to the table to help others on their life journeys. It isn’t always easy to talk about, walk through and process over and over; but it is necessary.
It doesn’t often feel like it deep down in the darkness, but the choice is ours to walk towards the light and use our trauma in our lives for positive. My experience has been that you do not heal from trauma; you simply come to know yourself in deeper ways to live fully when the wound has you turning towards the pain and awareness.
Walking in trauma is learning to walk in love for yourself as you are showing up in this moment.
The trauma may be with you for as long as you breathe; the hurt will have its good days that teach you a positive you needed to see. And then the tough days that follow which bring you to your knees in ways you wonder if you will make it through. But, in the end, you will learn to hold and cradle the wound in a way so the memory will allow you to nurture the pain, so it doesn’t ever hold you again in the way that you experienced it. You will parent your inner child’s wound.
The scar is a reminder; you can see it as a negative or you can visualize the empowerment is represents for you overcoming, but the choice is yours.
You may have suffered trauma, but you are not defined by the trauma. You are not the trauma. Only you can be the one to choose not to let it control your life, your journey and your sense of soul and self.
You were wounded, but you are not the wound. Your awareness is your power.
We find a sense of healing in our experiences, in our stories without letting them define us in their powerful nature or existence. We make friends with the stories in order to keep going. I found myself at the deepest core within the pain, and I survived. So can you.
There are years in my life where it is dark, difficult to remember; my body never forgot. In those moments, I do my best to honor and listen. I do my best to not react, rather to help heal my body’s memory with love.
Our mind at times protects us from the pain that is too intense to voice; it is guiding us through our journey to not allow it to consume us.
Our body is trying to heal in different ways, at times shouting the memories so that it too can heal. How we respond is going to be the difference between nurture and battle.
We must find a balance. Our mind and our body meet each other daily on the road. We must continually ask ourselves what do I want the map to look like today?
There is no timeline for healing from trauma. I found it helpful to never expect an ending in the healing process. By looking at the situation in this manner, I am less likely to be taken down in my weakness when the pain or a memory overwhelms; I open myself up to that which I still need to learn.
While trauma changes the patterns of our lives that we otherwise wouldn’t choose, healing is taking back our power and creating the change we now choose to embrace as we walk forward.
We are never free from pain, but we can own how we walk through it. We can begin to meet our pain with love and understanding.
And there will be times when you thought you were done telling your story; that is often when it may overwhelm you all over again. It is okay to fall apart at these times when you thought you had released it. Give yourself this moment to grieve. Then begin again.
You are not weak. Healing is messy. When you recognize all of this, you remember you are human. You have come this far. And you have a long way to go.
Andrea creates, builds, and offers her teachings and hands on life tools based on her journey healing her body image after a 14yr battle and life of trauma. Her vision always is to help others live a full life with the journey they are given.