Traumas. We all have them, we all are affected by them. But we don’t have to be – we can take back our power and free ourselves from the hold it has on us.

First, identify your feelings; trace them to their source. Identify the trauma that first made you feel this way, the event that first made you afraid, unsafe, angry, ashamed, etc. Try to do this objectively – step back from yourself and look at the trauma from an outside point of view. This keeps you safe from the trauma – you’re not reliving the memory, you’re watching it happen to your past self. Your past self is the person you no longer are, the young naïve person who didn’t know what you know now. Be forgiving to this person; be compassionate and understanding, you didn’t know.

Next, you want to analyze what happened – what made you feel this way? Why? Remember, you were young and inexperienced, be understanding. Recognize who, what, and why you were hurt. Forgive yourself for the decisions you made. If you regret them, analyze why. Realize that you made these decisions for a reason, and that reason is valid and real. It could have felt right at the time, or you could have had no other choice, whatever the situation, forgive yourself. Forgive yourself, the event, and those involved in the event. Realize that you were young, naïve, and these things are in the past. They can no longer hurt you. You don’t need to carry regret, shame, fear, or anything else – you are free from these traumas. Yes, they happened, but they cannot, and will not control you any longer.

Forgive. Forgive, forgive, forgive. Yourself, those who hurt you, the uncontrollable circumstances that led you there, the controllable things that led you there – forgive them all. You cannot control others thoughts, feelings, or actions. You can control your reaction to them.

Express gratitude. While it may be hard at first, recognize that the experience taught you something. Understand that there is a lesson in everything; an opportunity for you to learn and grow stronger and wiser. Be grateful for this lesson, experience, event. The saying, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is very true and real. Recognize that this trauma may have hurt you, but you are still here! You are alive and well. Learn from the experience, and be grateful for the lesson – you are stronger, wiser, and better than you were before.

After working through something like this, it is essential to rest and recharge yourself. Nature is an excellent way to heal after this event. Being alone in nature’s quiet gives you the opportunity to further process your thoughts and emotions. Another great way to rest and recharge is being creative; drawing, painting, writing, creating music, ceramics, really anything that you can create with your own two hands. Don’t be afraid to get creative with this, pun intended. Don’t limit yourself to the things suggested above, anything that you can make or do with your hands is extremely therapeutic, and also helps process thoughts and emotions. More traditional ways of self-care are great as well; naps, watching movies, shower/bath, yoga, talking with friends – do whatever you feel needs to be done in order to recharge yourself.

Rest is honestly the most important part of this process; if you work through a rough memory or trauma, you have to reassure yourself about your place in this world and the love that you have for yourself. If you neglect to rest after this event, you’ve wasted some time. Speaking from personal experience, you cannot work through serious trauma and then just pick back up where you left off. You’ll feel drained and exhausted, and will eventually crash – physically, mentally, emotionally, you will crash. The whole point of working through trauma is to take back your power and recreate the safety and love you feel in this world, and if you neglect to care for yourself afterward, you really haven’t accomplished what you set out to do.

Traumas are experienced by everyone, and we often experience new ones all throughout our lives. I hope these words have helped guide you in releasing yourself from the hold they have on you.

Love and light to you all,

Samantha Phillips

@earthly_women on Instagram

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