“You are not responsible for the trauma that happened to you, but you are 100% responsible for your healing.”
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed mental health therapist, my column is not to be construed as individual therapeutic advice. If you are struggling with mental health or medical issues, please contact your mental health provider or medical professional.
In my career I have worked with many people who were survivors of abuse, trauma and many who struggled with severe mental illness symptoms.
I’ve worked in various capacities as an advocate, wellness coach, yoga teacher and trainer and have worked to provide people with resources to be well.
As a yoga teacher, particularly as a teacher trained in trauma-informed yoga, we learn our job is not to heal people, it is to hold space for people to heal.
I have taught workshops working with people on empowerment and self-esteem issues.
I believe that most pain in the world ties back to trauma people have experienced. I also believe in taking responsibility for our actions and our free will. So although, as the quote says, our traumas are not our fault, our healing is our responsibility.
Many people are empathetic to others, being able to understand how they are feeling due to a certain experience. Others are true empaths, feeling the pain of others, feeling deep feelings in response to other suffering.
As healers, the ones who hold the space for others to heal, we need to learn how to allow that suffering to flow through us and not to hold onto it.
How can someone who has experienced a deep trauma move from a victim mentality and make a shift to healing? There is often shame attached to being a “victim.” The connotation of somehow being “weak,” or a target.
Maybe there is a dark side of one’s mind that we feel we need to keep in the closet, not talk about — such as fear, lust, envy or anger. Our shadow-side is as much a part of us as humans as our love and light, but many people feel they need to hide that part of themselves. Living beings experience waves of emotion and energy, being affected by everything from our epigenetics and predisposed issues, to our sleep patterns, our diet, how much physical activity we get, if we spend time in meditation, pray or silence. Everyone’s experience is different. Everyone’s ability for resilience changes from moment to moment.
In my opinion, the first thing that needs to happen to heal trauma is to take away shame and stigma from hard topics. The second is we need to create safe havens. When we, as the healers, as the helpers, begin to create a safe space for people to be themselves, we can begin to help the world move toward restoration to wellness.
If someone has been ashamed to speak out, they may need to talk about what they experienced or what parts of themselves, they need to heal. A quote I have seen many times from Mr. Rogers recalls when he was a child and his mother told him when he felt scared to “look for the helpers.”
In this time in the word where we are severely touch deprived, socially starving and most of our human contact is coming through a screen, behind a mask, or on a phone, it is so important that we mindfully and deliberately continue to connect with others.
I can be reached at email@example.com www.lizjones.co.
Liz Jones can be reached atLiz@LizJones.co or through LizJones.co