At some point in our lives (and for most of us many points), we will be faced with incredible challenges, obstacles, and even tragedies that will shake us down to our very soul.
These indelible times in our lives are what we call trauma.
Trauma finds itself expressed in various forms: violence, loss, grief... trauma is the difficult spots in our lives when we find ourselves faced with a critical moment: how we will react to the trauma experienced.
First, it’s important to know that most times the trauma we face is not our fault, so we must not fall into the trap of self-loathing or prolonged guilt. These reactions are common so if you feel you are stuck in these reactions, seek professional help. But after we first experience a trauma, we are many times faced with shock: a numbing condition where we have difficulty accessing our emotional state.
Second, we must face the trauma head on and do that with a professional so we can have someone who can see “outside of the situation”. If we can look at our trauma outwardly and as objectively as possible, we can begin to process how we feel and work toward healing.
Third, it’s important we find a support system to provide companionship and accountability as we find healing after trauma. Support groups are an effective means of finding wholeness in a broken situation. Other people who are facing similar situations can many times provide the space we need to feel safe and vulnerable: which is difficult after we experience trauma.
Fourth, we must reframe our existential reactions to life biggest questions. Whether we frame this in religion, spirituality, philosophy or even science; whatever framework we use to figure out life’s biggest questions we need to do that work over time and remember that we can find meaning, purpose, and a sense of groundedness again.
Lastly, fifth, remember that you do matter. You do serve a grand purpose in the universe and your life does have meaning. You are loved and you and only you can do the things only you can do to make the world a better place then it once was. Find the help you need and move through the pain and suffering because when the healing comes; you can help others who will face similar situations and you can make an impact most cannot.
So my hope is that you find love, strength, peace, companionship, and hope in the midst of hate, weakness, chaos, loneliness and despair.