We’ve all had a few traumatic times in life, some bigger than others. While some people seem highly resilient to traumas, others get dragged into a downward spiral of depression and anger. The different between these two types of people comes down to how pain is managed, utilized, and dealt with both internally and externally.
When a traumatic event occurs in your life, it doesn’t mean your world has to come crashing down around you. In fact, it can often be used as an opportunity for growth and personal evolution. Carl Jung once said “There is no coming to consciousness without pain”, and when we know how to deal with pain and recover from it, we can step into a more full and conscious perspective.
Here are 5 steps to recovering from personal trauma:
1) Allow yourself to feel the pain
Don’t ignore it, don’t act like it isn’t there and don’t push it aside. Feelings are there for a reason and are meant to be embraced, not suppressed. So many people try to ignore the pain, but until you feel it you cannot put it behind you. Close your eyes, go somewhere quiet, and allow it to fully vcome over you. Once you have felt it fully, you can begin to heal. There’s nothing wrong with being sad, but there is something wrong with feeling guilt about being sad.
2) Take the time you need
You don’t have to jump into the chaos of life right away. Everything that needs to be done will still be there for you to do later down the road. It’s really important to give yourself permission to take some time off, and go easy on yourself. When you take time away to process, digest, and heal, you can ensure that you will have a more happier future.
3) Slowly add joy back into your life
When we are traumatized, we are likely to give up on life for awhile. Instead of throwing all your dreams and passions out the window, push yourself to reach for things that have made you happy in the past. Now is a great time to knock a couple items off of your bucket and re-infuse yourself with meaning and purpose.
4) Begin to work towards forgiveness
Whether you need to forgive someone else, a situation, or even yourself, give the pain some time to heal. After you have began to heal from the trauma, working towards forgiveness is the final piece of the puzzle to fully revitalize your soul. Holding on to grudges and anger will only keep you trapped in the pain, and will only make you have to relive the painful memories over and over again. Forgiveness is key. Find it in yourself to forgive and to let go, and you will be amazed at how much of a difference it makes in how you feel.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that what happened is ok, it just means that you’ve made peace with it and you’re not going to let it control your life.
5) Once you are healed, tell your story the way you want to hear it
So many people make their personal tragedies their daily mantra in life. “I’m a victim of abuse,” “I’m an addict,” “No one loves me,” become the common themes of many people’s lives. They take these stories, make them a part of their identity, and trap themselves at a lower vibration because of the way they are choosing to interpret the situation. This form of self-sabotage keeps the scars from fully healing.
Resist the urge to tell your story this way. Instead, tell your story the way YOU want to hear it. This doesn’t mean that you can’t ever share your pain, but make your victories the subjects of your daily conversations, not your defeats. This doesn’t mean you have to lie to yourself, but don’t identify with the victim mentality. Make the focus of your thoughts about the lessons learned and the growth that was experienced instead of about the pain that was endured.
How we choose to react to the pain is the greatest indicator of the effect that it will have on our lives. To recover from pain and trauma, it is wise that we are gentle with ourselves, forgive the situation, add joy to our lives and tell our stories the way we want them to be. The problems of the past can be what drag us down or what propel us to a more fully integrated version of ourselves.
Thanks for reading!