A common theme I notice among those recovering from trauma is the ability to share their newfound strength with others who are suffering. For most, it is hard to reconcile with the idea that trauma even happened in the first place, let alone to find purpose in it. Especially for those who have faith beliefs that they could or would be protected from such trauma. So, if you will allow me to preface these thoughts with the acknowledgement that there is no reason sufficient enough to explain why a trauma that has ever happened or will happen would be ok. Having said that, when healing occurs, I notice a beautiful emergence of not only reconciliation with self and the trauma, but also of resilience that is often thought of as shareable. Why in the world would anyone want to share this with others, you ask? Have you ever seen someone go through something so difficult, you could never imagine handling it yourself? Have you ever thought to yourself about someone else’s struggle, “I could never do that. You inspire me with your strength.” We are social creatures, by nature. We learn from one another. Many of us have empathy to a degree that allows a strong sense the emotions of others. We are encouraged by one another, and we are hurt by one another. It is within the realm of possibility that as we pull through some of the most difficult experiences of our lives, we demonstrate to others that it can be done. When we share our struggles unfiltered, it creates authenticity in relationships. And when we can share our strength as we move out of the hurt place, we offer encouragement to those who are present with us.
As I sip on my tea in thoughtful reflection, I am reminded that I am often an observer and even recipient of such strength while I sit aside those who recover from trauma. It is a gift for me to witness the strength that develops when such hurtful incidents of the past are healed and the emotions from that time are expressed and set free.
So today, I invite you to imagine how you can give purpose to your hurtful experiences ~ not because it makes it ok that it happened to you, but as evidence of the resilience that already lies within you.