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Own Your Story

Humans are story telling creatures. We understand through story. Stories hold our attention. We tell ourselves stories all the time about what is happening to us and what our lives mean. I prefer to write my own narratives, rather than having them written for me.

When a person experiences trauma, they often accept a story that makes them feel unsafe, not valuable, and ineffective. We don't mean to accept these stories; they are often the best we can come up with considering the information we have.

Healing from trauma means first recognizing the stories we tell ourselves.

There's something wrong with me
I should have done something
I'm all alone

Once we've identified the story we've been telling, we can identify the story we'd like to tell ourselves instead.

My worth isn't tied to bad things that happened to me
I can be safely vulnerable
I am good at discerning

Unfortunately just identifying this new truth isn't enough to make yourself believe it.

Before it can sink all the way in, you have to grieve the injury that caused the lie, which means supporting your mind and body as it processes the emotions and physical sensations that came with your experiences. And none of this can be done safely alone. Humans are wired for connection, meaning we thrive in community and feel at risk when we're entirely on our own. If you really want to heal, the first thing you have to do is open yourself up to a safe connection (like a competent professional counselor or trusted friend).

Trying to process your trauma by solely reading a book or isolating yourself is not only dangerous, but also ineffective. Utilizing just a trusted friend or pastor isn't necessarily enough either, as most people are not trauma informed, nor are they trained in the healing process.

Want to actually heal? Hire yourself a competent professional counselor today.

For more inspiration on learning and writing your own personal narrative, consider reading my book Love Well, a story of an ordinary person being loved in extraordinary ways.

Photo: Unsplash Gaston Blaquier

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