Have you ever realised that your most traumatic life experiences just might be the greatest gifts you’ve ever received?
How we feel about the ‘bad things’ that have happened in our lives has the power to make or break us in ways that are far reaching and sometimes life altering.
When we feel victimised by what life has handed us, we relinquish our power to fully recover and see the gifts in the event. When we can eventually come to terms with what’s happened and even manage to feel grateful for it, we increase our capacity to bounce back from future crises as well as life’s daily hassles.
Trauma and crisis make us humble, compassionate, grateful and resilient.
The birth of my son more than 13 years ago would rank right up there as one of the most traumatic experiences of my life and yet, it was clearly one of my most treasured gifts because once it was all over…he was alive and healthy, I was alive and fairly healthy considering what I’d endured, and most importantly, I’d become a mother.
Not only that, I’d been humbled and brought into a truer alignment with my soul’s path. Experiencing that very difficult birth allowed me to disassemble much of what I’d previously thought about who I was and how my life was supposed to be and then bit by bit, to create a more authentic and richer version of myself.
And you know, even though I’ve gotten over the grief, regret and strong sense of failure I felt for a few years (yes years), after the event, this strong memory still has the power to get me fired up.
What makes me cross is that as a society we persist in the belief that all trauma is bad, to be regretted and that if crappy things have happened in a person’s life it somehow means they are faulty or deficient.
One of my very wise and resilient clients who has experienced a difficult marriage separation in the last year says to herself and her children:
“This is just something that’s happening to you it’s not who YOU are.”
I love this because it’s so true and so simple to understand.
We don’t need to identify with or be fully defined by the challenging episodes in our lives. And until we’re ready to see and feel the blessing in what’s occurred, it’s perfectly acceptable and even desirable to express how we feel with honesty and courage.
So here’s what I’d recommend for turning your perspective of loss, failure or resentment over what’s happened into feelings of inner strength, optimism and gratitude:
Step one: Honour the emotions that are there and feel them. Try not to attach any judgments to the feelings as classifying emotions as negative or positive is actually pretty flawed and unhelpful.
We feel what we feel, that’s all. None of it is wrong or bad.
Step two: Talk, write, sing, dance, cry, draw and paint about how you feel until a feeling of peace and acceptance washes over you and the feelings soften a little (even if only temporarily).
Step three: Look for just one blessing in the event and write it down or tell someone about it.
Step four: Take yourself into a meditative state – just sit down, close your eyes and bring your attention to within the centre of your being – and see yourself being an objective observer of what has happened. Then try seeing all of the other players in the event and how each of them has had their own experience and received their own gifts.
Ask within yourself to be shown the deeper significance of this experience and hold an intention of wonder and curiosity about what you might discover.
We’re not here to avoid trauma and crisis at any cost because to be quite honest, we can’t. Plus, there is a greater mystery in motion that is completely out of our control. And when we realise that our challenges and crises make us rather than break us, may we bless them all and revel in their divine beauty.
For some personal attention with coming to terms with a difficult time in your life, contact me for a chat and book an in-person, telephone or Skype session with me sometime. Read more here about how I work…
Blessings abound, Tricia