How to Retake Your Power after Personal Suffering ticle

When we are going through any pain or traumatic event, it’s usually hard to look at things from a different perspective. Yet when we do, relief comes.  The healing process is multifaceted and can take time, especially if we don’t take responsibility for our current actions and responses.  This is the first step to reclaiming your power after trauma. 

Healing doesn’t mean the pain never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives. ~ Karen Salmansohn

What is Trauma?

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration individual suffering isn’t easily defined.  It states that,  “…trauma results from an event, series of events, or set of circumstances experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening with lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.”  That is a mouth full, and yet sadly, many of us have had one or more traumatic event occur during our childhood

This is a disturbing and staggering statistic, and it indicates the amount of personal suffering around us is significant.  This shows that countless of us have been disempowered by actions of others and also indicates that many still allow the trauma to make them feel helpless and incapable of overcoming their situation.  

There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds. ~ Laurell K. Hamilton

What is Empowerment?

Empowerment is the reward of successful action. Doing and power go together, since without the power to sustain your vision through difficulties and resistance, your dream or goals will wither away. This isn’t ego empowerment, which is driven by the demands of me and mine which disguises the underlying fear.

Here are the ways you can feel when you are reacting to life from a fear based perspective: 

  • You’re overly influenced by the voices around you because you don’t trust yourself.
  • You’re often exhausted from most work you try to do and bad sleep patterns.
  • You pick and choose which parts of the circumstances to respond to; the rest is denied or ignored.
  • You’re full of doubt or inner turmoil.

Personal empowerment involving trauma means that you develop confidence and strength to overcome and live authentically. You can feel empowered and at peace once you have taken responsibility for your actions. Here is how peace feels:

  • You feel centered.
  • You are rested and alert at the same time.
  • You tune in to your emotional state and are being authentic.
  • You feel attuned to the situation around you and are aware.
  • You notice signs of confusion and conflict in yourself and confront them head on.

Reclaiming your power is a process but it doesn’t have to take a long time to accomplish.  You need a bit of courage to move out of your comfort zone and persistence.  Here are the steps you can take to empower yourself. 

The process of spotting fear and refusing to obey it is the source of all true empowerment. ~ Martha Beck

How You Tell Your Story of Trauma

The first step is to create boundaries about how you tell your story.  Not everyone needs to know what suffering you have endured.  You get to determine who you share your story with and when they get to learn more about you.  How much you share is also completely up to you. Asserting boundaries by letting them know that you do not want to share details is a form of good self-care.

For most people the details of the trauma is not really necessary for empathy and compassion to be shown.  And, just because they are family doesn’t mean they have to be told unless you want to share the pain with them. 

Since empowerment involves considering options and choices, managing how your story is told is an excellent place to begin.

Owning the right to how your story unfolds from your perspective is not about shame or blame.  It is about showing your strength and empowerment.  For many people this requires a reframing of the story of trauma in ways that allow for growth and moving forward instead of focusing on the past. As time passes we gain perspective.  We realize that we are no longer children and can respond differently as an adult to childhood suffering.   We have to take responsibility for our current choices and actions instead of blaming past events. 

Staying silent is like a slow growing cancer to the soul. There is nothing intelligent about not standing up for yourself. You may not win every battle. However, everyone will at least know what you stood for – You.  ~ Shannon L. Alder

Be Patient with Yourself

Time allows growth and perspective.  As we move from one phase of life to another we can gain perception of our development.  We can see that we have made strides in overcoming past suffering.  But other times negative thoughts may try to invade our thinking and keep us in the past pain.  This is where we have to be compassionate to ourselves.  We have to speak to ourselves like we would a loved one: that it’s okay to be human.  Although the suffering is an event that took place in the past, the essence of trauma is the residual impact it leaves behind on the emotional system.

It is normal to feel that “I should be over this by now, it happened a long time ago.” This is where we need to combat shame and understand that the emotional impact of trauma that was imposed upon us was not our fault.  Therefore, however long it takes us to overcome is how long it takes.  Allowing shame to come in, only keeps us trapped in the past.  We must focus on the present moment and be mindful that we can choose to feel better. 

Give yourself time to heal from a challenge you’ve been dealt. Letting go of hurt doesn’t happen overnight. It happens in slow, small steps forward. Plus a few steps backwards at times. Be gentle and patient with yourself. ~ Karen Salmansohn

Realize that you’re Not Alone

Childhood victimization rate is up to a staggering 66% in the United States.  Although the healthcare community wants to help these children, most of these young victims don’t ever get any form of treatment.  The few that do are woefully underserved due to the child’s fear of disclosing the truth, usually about a loved one.  Therefore these children grow up with unresolved issues which still need to be addressed.

Although childhood trauma is well documented, we need to realize that many people don’t know how to deal with survivors and react in unexpected ways.  It takes strength to reach out for help.  You aren’t the victimized child anymore.  You’re a survivor who isn’t alone, and asking for guidance in your healing process is an act of empowerment. 

You are not alone in the struggles of life. Entire cosmos is with you. It evolves through the way you face and overcome challenges of life. Use everything in your advantage.  ~ Amit Ray

As you become more mindful of your life and become aware, you can empower yourself.  If you would like to receive more informative and mindful articles right into your mailbox fill this out now.

Do you need support in reclaiming your power?  Do you want a strategy to help you overcome your suffering and make authentic connections?  If so please, contact me and we can put together an action plan for you to be authentically you and for you to create the vision you have for your life.  

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