In New Again, Personal Growth, Trauma

Anger.

It’s a big feeling that spurs us into action.

Last night I read about a toddler with inoperable brain cancer sent by a friend.

As I read the post, my heart started beating fast. My face was wrenching. My jaw was tight. The feeling that overwhelmed me was not compassion or empathy. It was escalating anger.

With every sentence my tension grew. I was not in alignment with loving soft tone of the writer. I was straight up mad and the fighter in me came out.

I came at God with my anger, and ultimately my fear. I was passionate. “Why are you doing this? Why are you showing me this? Why did you stir me up AGAIN?”

Then it hit me…

I’m not in the worst seat.

God knew I was wrestling with the new uncertainties presented in my most recent scan.

Those words, “I’m not in the worst seat” rang loud and clear in that moment as I let out all my frustrations and it brought me right back to where my journey began.

Those are the words I thought to myself after seeing a young boy (who had to be close to my own son’s age), being carried out from a pre-opp brain scan. The tech transferred that drowsy little boy into his mother’s arms just a few seats down. I hadn’t even noticed her sitting there.

In that moment I realized I wasn’t in the worst seat, they were. I would sit in my seat 100X if my kids didn’t have to. As this vision played out in my mind again, I also remembered the teenage girl I saw on life support with her parents sitting bedside in the ICU room next to mine. Another reminder that I wasn’t in the worst seat.

All of these thoughts came full circle, back to this toddler and her family. Their seats really suck. And once again, I’m not in the worst seat.

But that thought never makes me feel better.

It pisses me off. I don’t want a f-ing seat! I don’t want anyone to have a f-ing seat!

Keep in mind I’m still praying/talking with God at this point and my anger intensified and I felt trapped in my seat.

I wished I could get out of this seat and never look back. That brain cancer was not something I had to think about. That I didn’t have an actual hole in my brain messing me up. That I didn’t have to answer my kids’ questions about cancer. That my husband didn’t have to entertain thoughts of a worst-case-scenario future.

All because of this f-ing seat.

But we all have a seat.

Our seats represent traumas or experiences that we cannot change.

We’ve all had to sit in a seat we never asked for.

There is no my seat versus their seat like I once thought. There never was. Our seats are personal. They shape us, challenge us, and can even make us better than before.

These “seats” are the biggest challenges AND opportunities of our lives.

We must learn how to sit in our seat–but know we are separate.

We must learn how to live despite our seat–because it’s part of our purpose.

We must learn how to stand up from our seat–and go use our experience for good.

It’s okay to get mad.

Anger is powerful. Anger kills fear. Anger spurs action. When we harness our anger, we can use it to confront what has a hold on us. We can stand up out of our seats!

If I hadn’t gotten angry about that article, about that toddler’s diagnosis, and her family’s future, I would have never worked through my own fears. I would have never prayed so boldly. I would have never found the peace I needed.

I sincerely hope that writing this down helps someone who needs to breakthrough their own fear.

Get mad. Find your passion. Stand up.

Life Practice

  1. Identify the “seat” that angers you and boldly confront all the reasons why.
  2. Identify ways that seat has actually spurred you into action and purpose.
  3. Identify new ways that you can stand up from your seat when fear tries to keep you down.

New Again: Healing Through Perspective

Read the story that changed everything.

To be New Again is to realize and embrace that on the other side of trauma or a life-changing event, you will never be the “old” you again. Experiences change us and that’s okay. In fact, it’s incredibly empowering if you choose to see your growth over your pain. Through every disaster, you can emerge new, even better than before.

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