The other day, I was listening to a podcast by Brendon Burchard and he was talking about relationships. One thing he said really caught my attention, and that was that we should all remember that our partner is a trauma survivor -- that each of us is in some way, a trauma survivor.
In the past couple of episodes, I've talked about Passion Assassins and how to counteract them. What Brendon shared about each of us being a survivor of trauma strikes me as being another way to counteract Passionate Assassins. Counteracting Passion Assassins is all about rewriting the stories that we have told ourselves based on our past mistakes, and creating a new internal identity.
Rather than feeling like you've been damaged or diminished in some way by the challenges that life has thrown at you (and by "diminished", I mean if it has made you feel smaller emotionally, mentally, spiritually), what if we could take those challenges and write a story based on us as a fighter, a warrior, a conqueror, a survivor?
Think of a survival reality show where they plunk someone down into the middle of an uncomfortable, uncertain, maybe even dangerous environment. And then the audience gets to watch how they react, how they manage -- do they show strength and courage, compassion, grit? Do they thrive through the scenario or do they crumble? They're always rewarded at the end, but the biggest reward is the self-respect and the self knowledge that they gain as they're going through that situation. What they learn about themselves is the prize.
Your life is kind of like that. You have been plunked down into some awful situations. You have been presented by life with some challenges, some uncomfortable, uncertain, maybe even dangerous challenges. Which ones did you thrive through and which ones are you still battling?
- Did you persevere through single parenthood?
- Did you persevere through two-person parenthood? (Having done both, I can tell you is sometimes harder).
- Did you persevere through getting laid off or getting a new job and having to get used to a new boss?
- Did you persevere through adopting some new skillsets or getting a degree in order to stay relevant in your industry?
- Did you persevere through having a sick child or having a health concern of your own?
- Did you persevere through a difficult breakup or even a divorce?
- Did you persevere through tough times in your marriage and you're still making it work?
- Did you thrive through starting a business or closing a business?
- Did you persevere through financial distress or even a bankruptcy?
Take a few minutes to reflect on your life and realize all the many things that you have survived, all the many challenges that you have persevered through, all the many situations that you have overcome. Which ones did you thrive through? Which ones are you still battling?
And of the ones that you're still battling, it's time to change your thinking about them. It's time to extract the knowledge or the learning in them, which is your reward for making it through that situation.
And that act alone of extracting the gold, extracting the learning or the growth in the situations that you've made it through, turns you into a survivor.
So imagine your life as a survival reality series, where every challenge that has happened to you, every situation that you have overcome is an episode. And the episode doesn't end until you extract the learning from the challenge. Extracting that learning turns you into a survivor. And that is how you begin to heal from past traumas. You stop thinking in terms of being damaged by your past traumas, and you start thinking in terms of being a warrior who has beaten, who has overcome the challenge.
I hope that helps. I hope that that makes you realize that if you're carrying around guilt or frustration or regret over things that have happened in your life, or situations that you feel like you could have handled them better, think of yourself as a survivor of that situation. Extract the learning from it, forgive yourself for whatever part you played, and consider yourself a survivor of that situation -- a fighter, a warrior, a conqueror of that situation.
See in the next episode!