Trauma seems like a big scary word.

But life hands it out like candy. If you look back on your life, I bet you can recall a timeframe that felt like your were surviving more than you were living. Or maybe there was a single event that knocked you off your feet for a bit.

The three definitions:

  1. Acute Trauma is one big event.
  2. Chronic Trauma is repeated or prolonged.
  3. Complex Trauma is exposure to multiple, separate traumatic events.

In short, trauma comes in all shapes and sizes – and it’s all relative to the person experiencing it. I had brain cancer and didn’t know if I would make it this far nor do I make many future plans because of this event. On the other hand, my husband is a firefighter and sees more dead people and tragedy in a month than most will see in their life. Both of us are thriving, but these traumas pick at us and if we’re not careful, can bring us down.

In a way, I think we’re all dealing with varied degrees of PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder. It can show up as plainly as a panic attack, or as discrete as a negative self talk. When we look back on the triggers, we can usually find the root cause. Maybe your trauma is not life and death like I mentioned above, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel like it.

And friends, when you locate your trauma, don’t brush it back under the rug.

Look at it from every which way and define it. Decide how your trauma is going to show up in your life from now on.

Will it hold you back from achieving big things? Or will it give you an edge to handle even greater things.

Will it be what tears you down? Or will it be what builds you up?

Will it be the curse of your life? Or will it be the experience that brought you into a truer, better version of yourself.

Take a moment, right now.

Think about the trauma that comes to mind first.

  • When was the experience?
  • What did it feel like at the time?
  • What does it feel like now?
  • What have you learned from it?
  • How can this lesson help you now?
  • How will you respond to the triggers that bring you down?

Instead of viewing your trauma as an experience that damaged you, think of it as an experience that made you better. It didn’t get you. You’re still here. What can take someone down who keeps getting back up? Nothing.

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