At the start of every new year, everyone is looking for something new to explore or accomplish. Every year I start off with a list of things I want to get done. There was always one thing that I never put on the list even though I carried it with me year after year.
But this year I decided it was time to do something different that would change my life forever.
We all have some trauma
Everyone has dealt with some level of trauma in life. Even if we do not acknowledge our trauma, it will follow us and serve as a daily reminder of our past. Trauma can come in many forms. Emotional, physical, sexual, and mental abuse are examples of trauma. Many of us have experienced one or many forms of trauma and never really healed from those events.
Growing up I was taught a lot of things; however, I was never taught how to process and deal with my emotions. I think most people aren’t taught tools to deal with their emotions and thoughts. We are taught to survive but not necessarily taught to live. Living and surviving are two completely different things. If you’re just surviving the experience of life is completely different than when you are living life. Being present in life versus going along for the ride.
My grandmother always used to say, you can run fast but you can never run fast enough from yourself. So much of my unresolved past trauma kept creeping up and I kept trying to run from it. Eventually I got tired of trying to run from myself and sat down and had a real conversation with myself to get on the road toward healing.
Identify your trauma
The first step was admitting I have trauma. Sometimes we try to recreate the past in ways that make it easier for us accept some of the trauma, but no real healing ever happens. The days add up to weeks and the weeks add up to months. Before you know it, years have passed and the pain from the trauma just piles up, but it never goes away.
Implement a plan
The next step was deciding that I wanted to start healing from my trauma, but where do you start? Healing from trauma isn’t something I think of Google as an authority. Bake a cake? Go to Google. Rearrange a room. Go to Google. But I need healing and just doing the work by myself wasn’t going to be enough. I needed to call in the reinforcements. Professionals.
A long time ago I tried therapy and it worked and I knew that I needed to go back and handle all of my unresolved business. I also knew I stopped going to therapy because the sessions started to dig into events that made me uncomfortable. At the time I could not communicate why I felt uncomfortable but I did know it was trauma that was never healed. So this time I knew going back to therapy would be one of the keys to real healing and true peace.
Many people don’t feel comfortable talking to a therapist. They prefer to talk to their friends, family, and spiritual leaders, however, connecting with the right therapist can change the way you see your life and influence how you navigate going forward. A therapist has no skin in the game when it comes to your personal life. Whatever choices you choose to make do not impact your therapist directly. This independence allows a therapist to be neutral and provide feedback without the weight of an emotional connection.
The people around us love us but they are not always the right people when we are trying to look at our lives objectively to make a change. An environment that allows you to be vulnerable and share your feelings without fear of retaliation or judgment is crucial to the process.
Trauma and healing
Trauma and healing do a song and dance. To get to the healing you must explore that trauma to move beyond the emotions that are keeping you in the same place. There are no shortcuts to healing from trauma. Temporary healing comes in many forms and a lot of it can be destructive instead of healing. Placing a Band-Aid on a gushing wound is a temporary fix. The root cause of the problem must be identified to have true healing. I am done with Band-Aids.
This year I challenge you to look deep within yourself to identify those old wounds that have never healed. Put together a plan for healing. Find a therapist or someone you trust to talk about your feelings in a safe environment. Understand that trauma and healing get you closer to life you want. Be consistent in your selfcare routine. Make yourself a priority.
Let this year be different than any other year of your life.
This is your year.
The year you let go of the things that weighted you down so that you can fly.