Taking the toughest step to beat trauma

I’ve got some good and bad news for everyone dealing with trauma. (And we all have some trauma in our past.) Beating the lasting effects of trauma can be one of the greatest challenges in life. For some people, this challenge is so difficult that they’ll never get beyond their past trauma. I’ve worked with countless people whose personal trauma follows them like a dark cloud over their heads.   

  • The bad news is that no other person can defeat the effects of trauma in your life for you.  I wish I had the power to defeat the impact of trauma you’ve experienced in life, but this is a challenge you must go through personally. 
  • The good news is that you don’t have to deal with the effects of trauma alone. Some people can stand with you to help you beat the trauma of your past. 

With the rest of this article, I want to show you the people that can help you beat the dark cloud of trauma and start to walk under sunny skies again. 

Get someone to support you

Trauma can be caused by various events such as abuse, violence, or a natural disaster, affecting your mental health and overall well-being. Nevertheless, it is possible to move past trauma and find happiness again with the proper tools and a few people to support you.

Lois Wagner faced some of the most physical and emotional trauma of any woman I’ve ever met. A friend in business personally betrayed her. And worse than the emotional trauma, she was also brutally attacked and molested.  

Through all these devastating experiences, she learned how to move beyond her trauma. She now helps others understand the power of forgiveness to overcome personal trauma.

Find someone to look to

Often people get stuck in their trauma because it’s so big and hurtful that they don’t know how to move beyond it.  It’s essential to find someone that you can look up to.  Ideally, this person has gone through something similar to you or worse.  Because they have worked through their trauma, they can also act as a guide to help you work through yours.  

You don’t need a personal relationship with this person. They serve as your example of how to move beyond your past. 

Acknowledging your past and its impact on your present life is vital in breaking trauma’s hold on your life. It will be tough to confront your painful past and the emotions that come with it. Lois learned that doing the challenging work of confronting her past was the only way to break its grip on her.

Letting go of the person that hurt you

If anything I said up to this point sounds hard… hold on tight.  Because it only gets more difficult from here. Your past trauma will continue to grip you until you let it go.  And the only way to completely let go of your past is to forgive the one that hurt you.  

You read that correctly… I said FORGIVE!  

Forgiveness is never easy, especially when someone has done you great harm!  Lois discovered that clinging to anger and resentment only had negative physical and emotional consequences on her.  Holding on to her anger did nothing to hurt the man that attacked her. That’s when she decided to attend his parole hearing and offer him forgiveness for his vicious attack. 

Forgiveness doesn’t condone the trauma, nor does it come because the offender deserves it.  If for no other reason, forgive like Lois because it is the only way to beat the brutal trauma of your past. 

Forgiveness might not be easy, but it is essential in beating trauma.  Remember there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to overcoming trauma, and everyone’s journey toward healing differs. But every path forward in overcoming trauma will require some form of forgiveness.  If you’re still unsure how to forgive someone who has done the unthinkable, look to my recent interview with Lois as an example, or read my article on Freely Forgiven or Unforgiven II.

Further reading

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