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Survival mode is supposed to be a phase that helps save your life. It is not meant to be how you live.

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So many of us have stayed in survival mode. The scars you wear are evidence of how hard you have fought to save yourself. Be proud of all that you have overcome. Many times, the wars that we have had to fight where not ones of our choosing – especially when we were younger. We had to level up and confront the war, even when we weren’t ready or didn’t know how to respond. We did the best we could under the circumstances. And we survived. But have we healed?

In Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor, said, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” We can’t change what happened to us. But we can change how we respond to it. 

Healing from our trauma allows us to take back our power. We get to choose from that point forward how things are going to go. What we can do in taking back our power becomes limitless. We get to determine what we will do with our experience and how it will shape us going forward. But more so, healing is our responsibility. While we aren’t responsible for what happened to us, we are responsible for healing ourselves. 

Interestingly, researchers have discovered that many people who experience trauma, also experience incredible growth. As in, more than your average person who hasn’t experienced trauma themselves. Called post-traumatic growth, it is defined as “positive psychological change that is experienced as a result of the struggle with highly challenging life circumstances.”

In a recent Scientific American article, they list seven areas of growth seen in people who experience high levels of adversity:

  • Greater appreciation of life
  • Greater appreciation and strengthening of close relationships
  • Increased compassion and altruism
  • The identification of new possibilities or a purpose in life
  • Greater awareness and utilization of personal strengths
  • Enhanced spiritual development
  • Creative growth

While the idea of healing and post-traumatic growth sounds fantastic, it takes time. A lot of time. And it isn’t easy. Sometimes it takes therapy. Working through what wounded you is a gift you can give yourself – a gift you 100% deserve. You were created to live a victorious, extraordinary life.

And if you are struggling right now, know that you are not alone. We all fall sometimes, and it is okay. It’s okay to grieve and be where you are right now – just don’t stay there. In a previous post, I talked about how you can start the healing process. You can read it here.

What change to you choose for yourself?

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