So you watched The Wisdom of Trauma. Now what?

If I had seen Gabor Mate’s documentary when I was still in that state of unworthiness and emotional numbness, I would have cried for days instead of the few hours I cried that night.

I don’t know how I would have reacted, but I have a feeling it would have involved many days of staying in bed and angry journaling.

So, in the spirit of *I feel you*, if this movie tore through your armor, and if this movie made you look at that armor for what it really is…

If you want to find the wisdom in your trauma, have patience with yourself. You are undoing decades of neurons being wired to react a certain way when your scarcity script is activated (this is just my example, my scarcity mindset is a beast with many faces). Be gentle. Focus on the incremental gains. It’s just like exercising, you won’t get the six-pack after 30 crunches.

Your trauma story is important to you and that’s all that matters. For some people, the story is obvious. They experienced violence, death, separation, abuse, something that is generally seen as catastrophic. But, for a lot of us, the wounds are not obvious. In that case, the pain is a combination of the pain caused by the trauma itself, and the pain caused by the shame that we have about those emotions. “Why do I feel this way if I have had everything I needed?” I was stuck in that loop for most of my adult life. Seeing the shame for what it is, A BIG FAT LIE, gives you the space to finally deal with the root of your trauma. It’s hard to tackle both sources of pain at the same time, so addressing that shame is an important step that should not be overlooked or rushed.

While these things happened to you, you are not those experiences and you are not a victim. You are a victim when you are not aware of how those old stories and coping mechanisms are getting in the way of your life. The second you start seeing the connection between your trauma and the person you are today, you are no longer a victim. Even if your trauma has led you to believe things and act in ways that are belittling, train your mind to see that each of these revelations are acts of claiming your true self and your inner power.

Find the joy in the present moment! Yes, even if you are recovering from something horrific, you can also hold space in your heart for joy. The joy of treating oneself with kindness and compassion. The joy of seeing how you are choosing differently. The joy of getting to know this new self that is discovering how to break free.

If you can’t afford help, books are the next best resource. Find content online from people who have gone through similar experiences and check out what they have to say about their journey. As you learn from others, you might be tempted to keep diminishing your own experience as a way to bypass the journey. “Oh, this person is now a super successful entrepreneur after recovering from a horrible disease! And here I am, crying because I had too many good things that I squandered! I guess I should not complain and apply to those jobs I feel unqualified for!” NOPE. A better reframe would be “This person has accomplished great things, what can I learn from her mindset and approach? What can I take and apply in my own life?”

Find a way to express yourself. Whether it is writing, singing, dancing, baking, having creative outlets are soothing for the soul. Do it for fun. Do it for you.

May you let the light in, so you can let your own light out. ❤