It's a long and lonely path from trauma to recovery. Trauma resides in our bodies and we must learn how to "shake it off." In oder to heal, we must ask for the support of our family and friends, as well as the guidance of professionals, when inclined. In the wake of tragedy, we must learn to live life anew; and, if we're amongst the most fortunate, to find our way from PTSD to PTG (post-traumatic growth).
Experiencing grief or loss causes pain. We feel it in our bodies; it effects our thinking; it unhinges us emotionally; and, changes our behaviors. There's no getting around it. We must feel the pain to begin to heal. We may never heal completely and we are forever changed. But, life can and will go on. And, if we know how, we'll find a silver lining, as Rumi hinted: "the wound is where the light comes in."
The French philosopher and ordained Jesuit priest, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, said: "we are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." There is extraordinary joy in discovering your spiritual self. Once you trust the Universe, you will find that everything you need is already inside you. That's amazing; and, quite comforting too!
Learn how to discover and fall in love with your authentic self. Learn that you are enough! And, that, before you are truly capable of loving others, you must be willing to learn to love yourself! Then, learn how to develop a self-love practice so that you can awaken compassion and kindness for yourself. "When we truly love ourselves, everything else in our life works." (Louise L Hay, You Can Heal Your Life).
"One of the best antidotes to bitterness is forgiveness ... It is more of a gift to ourselves and permission to let go and disentangle ... It is a true act of mercy for ourselves," insists Mariah Fenton Gladis in her groundbreaking book,Tales of a Wounded Healer. Learn how developing a forgiveness practice, that ultimately enables you to forgive the unforgivable, is the greatest gift ... to yourself. Forgive your self and others!
When you learn to live in gratitude by developing a daily gratitude practice, you will discover, as did Dr. Lisa Firestone, psychology expert and author of The Healing Power of Gratitude, that "gratitude is perhaps the most important key to finding success and happiness in the modern day." "It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful." (Brother David Steindl-Rast, Benedictine monk)
If we want our relationships to last, to bring joy to those we love, and fulfillment to ourselves, we must be prepared to work at the relationships we value. That requires taking responsibility, self-examination, willingness to compromise, and not sweating the small stuff. Like plants, if left unattended, relationships wilt and die.
When we feel our life is no longer aligned with our priorities, goals, hopes, and dreams, we get to "start over." We can decide to rebalance and re-prioritize our our activities, as well as the amount of time and energy that we exert to each. By so doing, we can create the life we choose, with the appropriate focus on ourselves, family, work, and play.
Change is a constant. Yet, many of us resist it. Most of us know what's "best" for us. Yet, we may resist doing that very thing. Or, if we don't know what's best, we can readily find out. If we encounter mental blocks or negative behavior patterns that are holding us back, we can overcome them. It all begins with taking responsibility.
It's truly amazing! We have the power to change the narrative in our heads. By reframing or restructuring our thoughts, by choosing to change our perspectives, we can actually change our lives. Practicing kind, loving, positive self-talk can transform our fears. Encouraging beliefs support courageous actions. By being mindful of the stories we are telling ourselves and catching ourselves in the moment, we can change those stories, and, quite literally, reshape our world.
Imagine living your life with the awe, wonder, and excitement of a newborn infant. Effortless mindfulness and other reawakening practices can help us live deeper and fuller lives, in the NOW! Mindful walking and shinrin-yoku (nature immersion) can heighten all of our senses so that we are able to appreciate all that surrounds us. These practices can be used anytime, anywhere. They are good for our health and emotional well-being; and, good for our hearts and souls, too.
As children, in search of unconditional love, we bend ourselves to act in a way that we believe will get us the love that we yearn for. Our obsession with what others think of us often persists into our adulthood. So, we don't stop to ask ourselves ... what is it that our authentic self wants? What are our skills? What are our passions? What are our dreams? What would a meaningful life look like, in our view?! How can we successfully pursue our life purpose?