How To Not Let Your Traumas Steal Your Life From You?
Life is complex but so are we, human beings, in both our design and manifestation. We think. We feel. We react. Moreover, we're the carriers of the footprints of our experiences from the past, some of which can be quite traumatizing. We call them traumas. And sometimes, these traumas can be so big and intense that over time we might start losing ourselves in them.
What is trauma?
Trauma is the lasting emotional response that often results from living through a deeply distressing or disturbing event. Experiencing a traumatic event can harm a person's sense of safety, sense of self, and ability to regulate emotions and negative relationships.
If you would like to read more on what trauma is and how to cope with it, please, check out this article on Everyday Health or seek professional help.
Now when we have covered what trauma is, I want to pay your attention that the purpose of this article isn't to "cure" your trauma, rather to give a perspective on how, through shifting your mindset, you can help yourself, despite your traumas, feel more balanced and resourceful to go after the life you want.
How our traumas limit our life experience?
I'm convinced that everyone strives for a happy and successful life. Yes, everyone has their own definition of what happiness and success is for them, but I assure you whatever that definition is, in order to get there you need to understand this simple truth about life.
Life, for the most part, is a pursuit of human assets rather than consideration for human traumas.
This is why when we are so traumatized we feel like this world is just not built for us. That we don't fit anywhere. That life is so harsh on us and so unfair.
As I already said, life, for the most part, is a pursuit of human assets (abilities and skills of an individual, especially those acquired through investment in education and training, that enhance potential income earning) rather than a consideration for human traumas.
But what does it mean? Does it mean that your traumas don't matter and no one cares? The answer is yes and no. Your traumas matter but not all the time and not to everyone.
Imagine you're running an IT company. Would you hire someone just because you feel sorry for what they've been through (their traumas) or would you hire someone for their assets, what value and skills they can bring to your company's table? The answer is obvious.
If you have a dream, a great vision, it's natural that you would want to gravitate towards people who have the assets to enrich your value, who can give you something, be it an inspiration or a service, or a certain vibe even. And logically you would want to be that kind of person in return, to be a giver and add to someone else's value as well.
But when your traumas get control of your life and consume you, life suddenly becomes so hostile to you.
5 signs that your traumas rule your life
You think for other people more than you think for yourself
Your decisions are based on your assumption of what others will think of it
You project your own scenarios (emotions, fears, insecurities) onto others
You're forced to build your life around your traumas, meaning you are more considerate of your traumas' needs than of your own needs
You have more traumas than skills
If you found yourself on this list, then it's more likely you're allowing your traumas to take control of your life more often that you should. Unfortunately, trauma isn't something you can just switch off. Moreover, there're traumas that might take your whole life to heal, but it doesn't mean that until then you can't live your life the way you want to live it.
Here is how to use your mindset to deal with it
Number One. You're not your trauma
Separating yourself from your trauma(s) can take some time but to really see how you're not your trauma is the first and very important step here.
You are not your trauma. Your trauma is just like a bruise on the knee of a kid, it doesn't define who you are. It just something that happened to you and left an imprint on you.
Sometimes people assign their achievements to their traumas by believing that their traumas help them achieve things. Some believe that depression helps them to create deep and touching art, others might find some use in having eating disorder claiming that it helps them to stay in shape. But all this is a lie, because you are not your trauma. And you don't need to suffer in order to achieve something in your life.
Number two. There's a time and a place for everything
Now, once you see how you're not your trauma, what's next? As I already said before, trauma isn't something you can just brush away. It also takes time to heal. But it doesn't mean you can't have a balanced co-existence with your traumas meanwhile you are taking your steps to healing them.
There's a time and a place for everything, and though it may sound wierd but scheduling time for your traumas can significantly help you to live your life fully and grow. It can be scheduling a therapy session, or taking a day off once in a while when you feel your worst and just allowing yourself to feel it without it affecting other parts of your life.
Life, for most part, is a pursuit of human assets rather than a consideration for human traumas. And if your traumas take all your time, stripping you of the ability to learn and develop new skills (human assets), you will find living extremely hard.
This is in no way a call to ignoring your traumas, or pretending you have none. On the contrary, this approach, especially after you really see how you're not your traumas, can help you to take better care of your psychological needs without losing your chance at living the life you want.
When you're too sucked into your traumatic experiences from the past and instead of trying to heal your traumas you start living in them, that's a problem. Instead, changing your understanding of what your traumas are, and learning to separate yourself from them, looking for who you are aside from your traumas, will increase the quality of your life as well as the quality of your mental health.
And life might no longer seem so hostile and harsh to you anymore.