Sometimes we aren’t sure that we are living in the aftermath of adversity and/or trauma. Trauma enters through the backdoor, very quietly, as a sly thief.
Trauma, as I define it, is a disruption in your body’s energy system that is in conflict with reality. Something (an event) happens, and you interpret it in a way that causes you to suffer. It’s arguing with and resisting reality.
The slow erosion of confidence due to traumatic events can happen to anyone. It happened to me. This blog will cover 3 steps to overcome adversity and thrive.
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Step 1) Become Aware of Your Adversity
The first step is to identify if you’re in a trauma struggle. Have you felt that you’ve shrunk or constricted in some way? Do you recall being more outgoing, social, and connected in the past and feeling more capable, confident and worthy of your desires?
If so, do you recall an event that caused you to be more self-protective and distrustful of others and the world at large? Or perhaps you have sustained repeated disappointments and perpetual shocks due to ongoing trauma, which are symptoms of complex post traumatic stress disorder.
Either way, know thyself. Tune into your heart, into your body. Is it possible that you’re dealing with the negative effects of trauma and adversity? If so, it’s OK and very normal, considering the events of the past three years on our world stage.
Step 2) Stay With and Reconnect to Yourself
If you are isolated, it’s very easy to allow your inner saboteur voices to get the better of you. According to Positive Intelligence’s research, each of us has 10 saboteurs, and the Master Saboteur, the Judge, is brutally abusive. The other 9 saboteurs are equally destructive to your health, relationships and overall happiness.
Though you may be tempted to run away from your feelings of disconnection, stay anyway. It’s very easy to blame the outside world for how you feel, but all of this drama and emotion is being played out within yourself. It originates with you. It’s a disconnection from yourself. The outer world reflects your inner disconnection.
If you grew up in a difficult family setting, not necessarily an obvious abusive situation, but maybe a neglectful one, you learned to attach to parents who didn’t get you in order to survive. You learned to betray your authentic self in order to get your survival needs met. This is totally normal.
Now, as an adult, it’s time to STAY with yourself. Next time you want to clamp down on your feelings, because you suspect they’ll bury you, don’t. Notice where you feel the tension, tightness and stress in your body. Take some deep breaths into that sensation and get curious, “What do you want me to know? How can I help you feel safe?” It really only takes 90 seconds for the feelings to let go of you.
Step 3) Seek Your Tribe
I felt that way when I attended my first Overeaters Anonymous meeting in 2002. I liked how they understood my compulsive overeating ways. I enjoyed the deep introspective conversations.
I felt similarly welcomed to a recent visit to a National Speaker Association meeting. I liked their vibe, attitude, and world view. It felt like weary comfy shoes, but not to be confused with being in our comfort zone, which leads to stagnation. It was more akin to receiving a nice big bear hug, after being on Survivor for a month, competing with individuals who want to vote you off, for a chance to win one million dollars.
I’m beginning to see how we need to heal our hearts within a community. It’s tempting to want to work privately with a coach, especially if we’ve been hurt by people. We want to latch on to an individual, and perhaps it’s totally okay to start there. But eventually to receive those deep-seated support feelings, we need to try out a community.
And though I’ve participated in groups since then, I’ve not wholeheartedly engaged. I’ve been holding back, and the only reason I can think I’d do that, is due to complex PTSD, ongoing feelings of trauma and isolation, from 2018/2019.
First, I had to become aware of this first in order to KNOW I needed to do something about it. Second, I’ve been much more aware of my feelings and allowed ALL of them, to stay with myself no matter what. I have done this through a combination of consistent emotional freedom techniques and healing code work.
It finally feels as though the clouds are lifting. I’m able to receive love and support again. I am grateful that I’m now allowing myself to be seen.
In order to thrive after trauma/adversity, you are the one you need to come home to, pay attention to, nurture, and accept and love. Even though it’s so EASY to believe that we’re a victim to circumstances (I did for a long time), and that our reality is dictated by the tyrants and unfair situations around us, it’s not true.
That is wonderful news because your reality can change. See that you’ve actually been impacted by trauma due to isolating behaviors, constriction and resistance to life.
It is possible to feel your feelings without dying by taking 90 seconds to breathe through them. Lastly, set an intention to find your tribe, those folks who get you and are for you. Life will feel so much better when you feel safe and supported.
Of course I’d be remiss not to offer you an opportunity to meet my tribe. An intimate group of no more than 10 women will be gathering for the 6 month program, Women’s Empowerment Through Difficult Life Transitions, on 10/2/23.