I’d be willing to bet you’ve gone through some things. Some not great things. Am I right?
I’m sure whatever that something was, or is, it’s led to a lot of pain. Maybe it’s led to confusion or issues within yourself. You might feel isolated and alone.
But you’re not alone. Most of us have had some kind of traumatic experience in our lives. Some way we were “messed up”.
Maybe your parents were alcoholics or druggies. There might have been abuse. The abuse could have been emotional, physical, or sexual. All of which happen more you might realize.
It’s possible that you didn’t have any abuse per say, and just lived with bad humans. Humans that didn’t care about you and didn’t care what happened to you.
Whatever the case, we all have a story. Just like the one you have. The thing that’s hurt you, but in turn, has helped make you who you are today.
You’re Not Alone
Shame is usually a friend to trauma. It says “This was your fault” or implies you weren’t enough or brought it on yourself.
You may not like to talk about it for fear of what others might think. Like you’re somehow “less” because of what happened to you. It happened TO you, not BECAUSE of you.
Did you know 70% (or more) adults in the U.S. have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives? And still you might think no one would understand. Funny how that works huh?
70% is more than half. It’s almost 3/4ths. That means MOST people are f*cked up. Most people. Not some people. Not just a percentage of people, but most people. That’s a lot of people. And it’s a lot of people that can relate to exactly how you feel.
The circumstances might vary from person to person, but the pain is very relatable.
To Hell with the Shame
For a long time the culture has sent the message not to talk about it. “It’s gross. It’s awful. No one will understand.”
But the culture (thank God) is changing. And the more people talking about these issues, the more you might notice you’re not alone at all. And that it’s not your fault.
I like to think we’ve all been given certain challenges for a reason. There are theories that say before birth, you get to choose the challenge you go through. You pick the challenge, maybe the family, maybe you know which lessons you need to learn. And once you’re born, you forget it all. But your life leads you to those challenges anyway.
I personally think we all have certain lessons to learn in our lifetime. Challenges to overcome, people we’re supposed to help.
Our trauma stories are the catalyst to learning those lessons. What would you learn without any challenges? Really. Think it over. If life was perfect and nothing was ever hard, you’d never learn about others, about pain, about strength, about love and life. Interesting thought.
What Happened to You Isn’t Okay
I’m not saying what happened was okay. It wasn’t.
I hate the cruelty and neglect in this world. I think every person deserves to feel like they’re loved, and they should feel like they have purpose in this world.
And when bad things happen to you, it can leave you feeling like you don’t deserve love. Like you aren’t enough. Like you’ll never be good for anything or for anyone. And that’s just not true.
You have value. You are the only you in this world. You deserve love. You deserve happiness. You deserve a good life.
Good lives aren’t reserved only for the holy. You were born deserving a good life. You were born deserving to be happy. It’s your birthright. You might just have to fight for it a little. And you can. Because you’re strong.
It’s easy to get stuck in the bad feelings that accompany trauma. How badly it’s effected you and your life. How it shouldn’t have happened. How you wish it hadn’t happened at all.
But those thoughts change nothing. What’s done is done. And you can use your story as a crutch and walk around emotionally crippled. You absolutely can. It hurts and it’s hard as hell.
Or you can use the lessons. You can heal what’s hurt and you can overcome. You can use your story to help others. To show them how strong they are for living through what they lived through.
It’s easy to say that, but it’s a lot harder to do it. I won’t lie and tell you it’ll be easy. But I will tell you it’ll be worth it. It hurts but it’s a different kind of hurt. You replace that small, constant hurt that never leaves you with a sharp pain for just a bit. And then the hurts begin to ease and you begin to heal.
Once you start looking for ways to heal, they’ll almost magically appear. Here are a few places to get started:
- Counseling – Talking to a professional can really help sort your head out. Counselors still get a bad rep. As if it makes you a crazy person to go talk to a counselor. When really, they’ve been trained for years about trauma and how the brain works and overcoming pain. Not only that, they’re a neutral, unbiased person that’ll keep your secrets. All of them. They won’t judge you. They’ve heard the most painful stories, the bottom of the barrel, the worst of the worst. They will listen and they’ll help if you let them.
- Spiritual Healing – Doing a quick google search near you will give you a ton of options. And there are many methods of spiritual healing. I’ve experimented with a lot of them. I haven’t found one that hasn’t helped in some way. So I don’t think there’s a wrong way to do it. I’d say experiment and see what works the best for you. I have a few recommendations for people I’ve used. They do work virtually if you’re not near them. My favorite spiritual healers are Linda West, who can be found here: Linda West – psychic/medium | Facebook , and Rebekah O’Dell, and Brianna McCleave. Both of them can be found here Meditation Yoga Reiki Wellness | Spirit Grove Healing Sanctuary | United States . I’ve done some work with all three of them and they’re amazing.
- Books – A google search for your flavor of trauma will bring up a ton of options. Start reading. And if you don’t like to read, try out audible. A few of my favorites are: Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins, The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk, Adult Children of Alcoholics by Janet G. Woititz, and any and everything by Brene Brown. These are just a few I have in my room right now. The list of books is endless.
- Podcasts – This might be more your speed if you don’t like reading. Some podcast hosts have guest speakers that talk about healing trauma or getting stronger or living better lives. A few of my favorites are: Unlocking Us, The School of Greatness, Ever Forward Radio, Wellness Force, Under the Skin, and the Rich Roll Podcast.
- Get Happy – Find things and people that make yourself happy. Surround yourself with positive messages. What you watch, what you read or listen to, who you hang out with, all these things make a profound impact on your life. If you want a better life, surround yourself with better things.
Life is Short
You can spend your life complaining about what happened to you. You can allow it to control you. You’ll be defeated by this thing, and it’ll effect every part of your life.
Or you can accept that it happened. And then decide to move forward from it. Take a good look at what you’ve lived through. It takes strength to live through the horrors of the world. Even if you didn’t want to deal with those horrors. Even if you have some wounds because of them. You’re still here.
Life isn’t about getting to the end without any scars. It’s about the journey. Scars are inevitable. They’re just proof that you lived.
You can choose to be happy even if life wasn’t easy. That might sound like some “my little pony, sunshine and rainbows” nonsense to you right now. But really take the time to ask yourself why it’s not possible.
Because it’s hard? Because you’d have to stop complaining about the shit life you’ve had? Do you want solutions, or do you want to complain about it? That’s really the question here. Because there are always solutions. Always.
You don’t get to pick where you start in this world (that we know of), but you damn sure get to decide where you’re gunna end up.
This is your life. And you get to decide how you want to live it.
Remember you’re not alone. And remember life is full of possibilities and people that have no doubt survived worse. You can move forward. You deserve a good life. You deserve to be happy.
Look for the solutions and they’ll find you. I believe in you, even if I don’t know you. I don’t need to know you to know what you’re capable of. And you’re capable of great things. One step at a time.
Have a magical day.