As I have been studying trauma and post traumatic growth over the past several months, I’m learning more and more the importance of the story we tell ourselves.
I remember waking up one day with what I now understand was survivor’s guilt, looking at myself in the mirror and saying to myself “I’m here for a reason, I have to be”.
I had no idea in the next two to three years to come the changes I would undergo, in to parenthood and with my career. But choosing my own life, that there was a future beyond is what allowed me to continue to push forward.
Even now as I look at stories of survivors who have overcome trauma and have created lives out of their hardship, there is a constant effort to retell the narrative. To reframe the trauma, to live life as though it was a gift to give to others.
There are a few ways that reframing our narrative can help us.
1. It allows us to define for ourselves the journey we have taken, it gives us a sense of control and responsibility and agency over our lives, “I have been through this, but in spite of my hardship I’ve overcome”
2. It is the rising of the Phoenix, it is a heroes journey. And we get to write it ourselves. Through the exploration of ourselves and our growth and our seeking, we are able to choose where our life takes us, in spite of everything.
3. We get to look at life in a way that serves us. It is never easy to go through hardship or trauma, it is easy to feel victimized by all of it. And I personally believe there is a time and a place for us to do so. But when we are ready to stand up and move forward, we are able to redefine that journey. Reality is subjective, we can either be disillusioned by our negativity or our hopefulness either way we are right.
Spend some time journaling, going through the life events that you have encountered and the vision you have for going forward. What is holding you back? Are there ways to reframe past experiences to help our future. “Even though I suffered____ it gave me an immense capacity to love and hold empathy for others”.
Let’s grow ❤