Which kind of person are you in the face of trauma?
Updated: Feb 19
In my opinion, when people experience trauma they fall into one of two categories. The people that deal with it and the people that are victim to it.
I don't think that you stay one or the other forever, I think that people can interchange as they grow and experience more of life.
I think that life is hard. Its a challenge- anyone that tells you otherwise is telling you a fib. I think that as children we grow up with the common misconception that when you get to your 20's and you have a good job life will be easy. But the reality is that life actually quite likes to throw you curve balls. And yes when you compare someone living in the slums in India vs someone living in Sydney by the beach you would absolutely say the person in the slums has the harder life. But I think toughness of life is all relevant to the person and the path that they are on. And although most of you reading this may deal with more "first world problems" they are still problems and challenges to those experiencing them.
Life can also be extremely rewarding should you should you put the effort in to make it that way. Bad things do happen to good people. But its really important to question how you view those things when they happen to you.
Do you still there and think "why me?", "why does this always happen to me?", "what did I do to deserve this?".
When you frame things like this you paint yourself as a victim. And if you want to go through life as a victim then that's fine. But personally I want to go through life with a little bit more control. You can't control everything. But one this you can always control is your response to a situation.
This weeks podcast was a prime example of somebody that's experienced trauma but rather than spend the next, hopefully 80years+, of life feeling like victim, drowning in past resentment, wallowing in self pity, Nikki used her trauma to become the strong determined person she is today. She is not what happened to her, she is what she chose to become.
You can't go back and change the past but you can go back and learn form the experience and use it to make you the woman you are today. We are not defined by our tragedies. We are defined by the choices we make in the face of them. We are defined by how we react when we are challenged.
If life was all rainbows and butterflies how would we know when we are experiencing those wonderful highs?
Whether we choose to focus on the painful or the joyful all that happens to us shapes us and makes us who we are today.
However please don't confuse being strong and using your past experiences to grow, with burying your issues below the surface. I am a true believer that a problem shared is a problem halved and its crucial to talk to people, be it a loved one or professional, about traumatic events to help us move past them. Then we can start to grow through it all. Through the grief, through sadness, through heartache and even through brokenness. Every bone in your body is strong enough to carry your hurt and powerful enough to help you heal.
Trust your resilience.
Choose to be the person that chooses to live life in-spite of what has happened to them.