Alright guys, I want to write about how to react to trauma. Yes, I am about to go there. It’s about to get raw, thick, and deep.
Trauma sucks. But let’s not stay there. Trauma is what it is, and you are what you are. The two are in itself two separate concepts. You see, the moment you allow your past trauma to define who you are, that is the moment you breathe life into something that is dead- the past. You cannot breathe both life and death- you can only move in one direction. It’s not that I am down-playing trauma or the difficulties of life, it’s just that once again, you can only move in one direction, and if we stay somewhere that is not moving us forward, then are we really living at all?
Throughout my life, I have been through multiple cases of trauma that have shook me, and unfortunately shaped me in some ways. Some traumatic events and seasons have been difficult, some have caused nightmares, PTSD, anxiety, fear, and confusion about my worth and purpose. I say this to say that I can relate to the feelings that come out of trauma. They are valid and expected. But once again, if we stay in a place of being shook, then we can never move forward.
Do you realize character is built through perseverance? That how you react to trauma and difficult challenges in life build your inner character? Your challenges have purpose. You may not understand the “why” to any of the trauma you experience, but you can use your walk through trauma as a way to help others who need help in the future. You can learn and grow from any situation, any experience, and any time you wonder, “how can I get through this?” Your walk could be the very thing that gives someone hope. It is also the key to where your life goes from here.
So how do we react to trauma and the “coming out” season after?
First of all , let’s address that going through trauma is tough. Cry when you need to cry, grieve when you need to grieve, allow yourself the freedom to be hurt. This allows you to analyze the situation and recognize that it is, what it is. You can start to move forward by addressing the hurt. For some people, this part is easy. For some people, it is harder. Either is fine, allow yourself the freedom to grieve and to address the hurt.
Now, we move forward. If we stay “stuck”, then we aren’t progressing, growing, or helping ourselves or anyone. Being complacent is essentially worse than not having the capability at all to move forward, because at this point, we have chosen not to move. Being complacent means you have the opportunity to grow, but you are choosing not to.
The point to where you choose to “stay” in a place of fear, anxiety, and bad mindsets, you are giving a “yes” to steps backward and a “no” to your steps forward. This can be difficult to read, because, yes trauma is hard. But you were not built to be a victim for the rest of your life. You are built to overcome anything. Remember that your walk through trauma will shape you, and can potentially make you the strongest “you” that you have ever been! Your challenges have purpose, and you have purpose.
Your story of how you come out of trauma will shape you, my friend. Be easy on yourself, at times you may find yourself going back and forth, realizing that the grieving is not always a one-time deal. The concept is not to rush the healing and progression, but to understand that you are made to move forward and be strengthened. You are made to succeed. And you are made to come out of trauma, stronger than you have ever been. The goal is to take steps every day to try and move in a forward direction.
Be encouraged, react to trauma in ways that will breathe life into your hurt. Once you feel that you have grieved, or you need a break from grieving, take baby steps to take your mindset into a place where you can see where strength can be built again. Some of these things have helped me in my own walk of dealing with the aftermath of trauma:
- Surround yourself with those that love you most!
- Do things that you love doing!
- Meditate (Why do so many people disregard this one?? I mean this gives you time to think, and analyze carefully, instead of reacting out of impulse or sweep your hurt under a rug!) MEDITATING IS AWESOME, DO IT.
- Exercise. This doesn’t mean that you have to turn into a body builder. It just means move in a way that is fun for you. Find something that makes you feel great and gives your body strength!
- Counseling. Seek people that can guide you into healthy thinking and can support encouragement back into your life.
In conclusion, remember that your walk through trauma has purpose. Give it purpose! Be easy on yourself, but also know where you want to be. You got this! Stay encouraged, and remember, trauma is separate from you. It can happen to you, but you, my friend, are built to overcome and to be successful! Trauma is something that you may go through at times, but it is not meant to overtake you.
I truly hope that this perspective gives all those dealing with the aftermath of trauma encouragement.