Life is what we make of it, right?
It has ups, downs, 90-degree shifts, 180-degree shifts, and sometimes even 360-degree shifts.
We end up right back where we started and we do not know how or when it happened, just that it was not where we envisioned ourselves.
Our journeys through life, our healing, our existence is not linear. In fact, those shifts are what make our lives worth living.
We experience so many obstacles throughout life that it is sometimes difficult to believe we can end up in a better place. Every single person goes through trauma, whether it be something that affects them for the rest of their life in a negative way, a positive way, a small way, or a tremendous way, we all go through it and we all need to learn to heal from it.
So then why are we so hard on ourselves when we have a setback? This is the natural course of healing from a trauma, and is OKAY. Remember that; it is OKAY to have a setback.
Setbacks teach us how to navigate our feelings in new ways. Setbacks teach us how to adapt and confront what we are uncomfortable with and what we fear. Setbacks are our friends, not our enemies. Setbacks help us heal.
I just attended a lecture regarding culture and change, and the lecturer said something that really resonated with me, and is key to what I am trying to tell you all: When the winds change, get a different sail.
When things do not go the way you expect, adapt. Adaptation makes us learn and grow.
It allows us to find out what about ourselves is strong and malleable. Structures are built to have slight malleability in order to resist breakage. Fractures occur when rigidity is upheld and flexibility is non-existent. Human beings are meant to bend, not break.
And your trauma does not mean you are broken. It means you are bent, but you can become a new version of yourself. You will never be the same as you were before, but you are now able to become an even better version of what you used to be.
I come from a background of family and domestic violence. My father was an abusive alcoholic, and as a child, I was not able to understand why he was putting my family through the torture and torment.
I thought it was because of hate for us. But as I grew older, and began to look back, I realized it was because of dislike for himself.
In his later life he stopped drinking and became and incredibly loving and supportive parent. I had to learn how to heal from this past trauma. I am still healing; I am still learning.
I learned we do things to others because of what we are feeling internally. I learned I needed to be conscious of my own words and actions because of what I went through as a child.
This is part of the reason why I began working with victims of domestic and sexual violence. To support them in their growth and healing. To advocate for their introspection.
I was bent for so many years because of my childhood trauma, thinking I was broken. I thought my father was broken. We were not broken. We needed the journey of healing to teach us how to unravel.
This is my hope for those that I work with – to see them bud and blossom into more enlightened individuals.
Change, heal, grow, learn… learn who you are. Learn what you need. The beauty of life is to
grow. Not only physically, but mentally and emotionally.
If I can use another analogy, we have four seasons – spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Nature is forced to adapt every single year when the leaves fall from the trees and the flowers perish.
But then we see the beauty bud again – the colours and life are rebirthed. Spring is the beginning of a new life. Where winter ends, spring begins.
But we do not see nature afraid to become new.
This shift happens naturally and organically, and that is how human beings are designed to be as well. However, we get too caught up in the fear of change. But bending
(not breaking) is our purpose. You are not broken.
As Semisonic said: Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. (If you do not know this song, look it up, listen to it, live by it – “Closing Time”.)
To connect with Sarah, check out her Instagram page!