Coping with trauma, what happened in you in response to what happened to you, is a tall order. Especially when you’re determined to cope by trying different ways to heal it rather than hide it.
If you’re one of those trying, I bow to you.
From my own trying came newfound purpose and insight, but nothing that erases the trauma, to be sure — I have found ways to heal that honor what I’ve been through, because it’s become part of who I am now.
On that note, there are a few things I *think* I know about healing:
- Some people survive through community, some in silence, some by creating, some through movement. And what works for each of us will probably change over the course of our lives.
- Practicing mindfulness, emotional awareness, and supportive self-talk helps. Rarely do we heal by accident . We must actively participate in our own getting well.
- Listening to understand — to others and to yourself — acquaints you with root problems and thus real solutions. You can see the sadness behind anger and the light in others. You see your own limitations and strengths. You can make more informed decisions without questioning yourself. You can rebuild your new life on the solid foundation of self-respect and humanity.
- We owe it to ourselves to take responsibility for how we’re cared for.
Perhaps we can benefit from acute adversity.
Perhaps we can become better people — reevaluating our priorities, becoming more compassionate with ourselves and others, etc. — because of what we’ve gone through. We might even, one day far off in the future, be able to look back on our painful experience and call it a gift.
Then again, not every person and story is the same.
“Post traumatic growth” seems to be a real, living breathing thing, so long as it’s not a coverup for not having properly addressed that trauma.
In other words, if it’s genuine, it’s a beautiful thing.
I’m not writing to tell you that you should aim at being a "better person." These quotes about healing from trauma and adversity just shook me, and I wanted to share them with you for that reason alone.
The possibility that you can not just find meaning, but plant meaning into your experiences (the good, the bad and the ugly) fills me with hope. It’s hard work though.
You may not relate to all of these sentiments, but there could be a morsel of truth in these words for you. And in that tiny bit of light you might just see how your life can still be a beautiful thing.
And I don’t mind saying, you deserve everything beautiful that life still has to give.
You deserve everything beautiful that YOU still have to give.
11 Quotes about Healing from Trauma and Moving Through Adversity
1. “Traumatic events, by definition, overwhelm our ability to cope. When the mind becomes flooded with emotion, a circuit breaker is thrown that allows us to survive the experience fairly intact, that is, without becoming psychotic or frying out one of the brain centers. The cost of this blown circuit is emotion frozen within the body. In other words, we often unconsciously stop feeling our trauma partway into it, like a movie that is still going after the sound has been turned off. We cannot heal until we move fully through that trauma, including all the feelings of the event.” — Susan Pease Banitt, The Trauma Tool Kit
2. “There is no timestamp on trauma. There isn’t a formula that you can insert yourself into to get from horror to healed. Be patient. Take up space. Let your journey be the balm.” — Dawn Serra
3. “What we don’t need in the midst of struggle is shame for being human.” — Brené Brown
4. “Your world has fallen apart before. Time and time again and the rest of the world has still kept going despite the fact that you are broken. And after thinking you will never recover, never get up off the floor again, you have, dusted yourself off and carried on. If you have survived your world shattering, over and over again, and you are still here, a bit damaged, a bit broken but still here – you should be proud of yourself. Because that is no small thing.” — Nikita Gill
5. “The big issue for traumatized people is that they don’t own themselves anymore. Any loud sound, anybody insulting them, hurting them, saying bad things, can hijack them away from themselves. And so what we have learned is that what makes you resilient to trauma is to own yourself fully.” — Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk
6. “The key to dealing with pain is not minding that it hurts.” — Ed Latimore (attributed)
7. “To heal is to touch with love that which we previously touched with fear.” — Stephen Levine
8. “Trauma often shatters belief systems and robs people of their sense of meaning. In so doing, it forces people to put the pieces back together… rebuilding beautifully those parts of their lives and life stories that they could never have torn down voluntarily.” — Jonathan Haidt, The Happiness Hypothesis
9. “I am better off healed than I ever was unbroken.” — Beth Moore
10. “In general, the ability to make sense of tragedy and then find benefit in it is the key that unlocks post traumatic growth.” — Jonathan Haidt, The Happiness Hypothesis
11. “Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.” — Elizabeth Edwards
. . .
Which of these quotes really spoke to you?
Tell me in the comments. I’m curious to know what morsel of truth you could find in them.
P.S. The "Love again. Love again. Love again." art print represents maybe my favorite life mantra post-trauma.