Although traumatic experiences are never good nor fun, they can shape us into better people later and give us the drive and passion to want to help others who endure the same experiences, or, even better, to prevent others from enduring the same traumas. However, it depends on several factors- whether we’ve healed enough, our overall attitudes, and what we’ve learned from the terrible experiences.
Any traumatic experience a person endures can be used for good later and can be their launch pad to unimaginable heights and unlimited success.
Here are a few scenarios:
1.A 13-year-old girl is a victim of a natural disaster. A horrific tornado hits her neighborhood and kills her family, but she barely survives. She is left lying in the hospital for two months, fighting for her life. Because of this, she develops a strong passion for figuring out weather situations and patterns. She gets the education through training, either self-taught or classroom, then later helps to design a weather warning system that provides much longer warning times and, therefore, more time for people to get to safety. Even better, she thoroughly enjoys it and is excited about doing it!
2. A young, married father is involved in a horrible car accident caused by a drunk driver. The accident kills his wife and six-month-old baby daughter but leaves him in I.C.U. fighting for his life. He develops an interest in learning about intoxicated drivers and the effects of driving under the influence, then using it to warn others. Later, he helps many people and builds his success by speaking publicly about the dangers of driving drunk.
My point is that no matter what you go through in life, you have the delicious opportunity to use it for great results later, and to make a difference in the lives of others.
Sadly, past severe trauma can defeat most people, leaving them to live lives of severe depression and self-defeat. And it’s easy to do when you’ve experience trauma so deep it changed your life. Therefore, in no way would I ever judge the people this has happened to because I understand, and my heart goes out to them.
For quite a few years, my past traumas had me defeated. I battled severe depression and lived a miserable existence because I hadn’t yet discovered what I could do with my past trauma. I hadn’t yet discovered my purpose, my passion, and the thing I would enjoy most. I hadn’t yet found my life’s work and it was because I didn’t yet know how to turn what happened to me into something good. In fact, I didn’t even realize it was possible.
But I’m blessed! I found a way to turn everything bad that happened to me into something good- a way to turn my pain into power. And it made all the difference in my battle.
In fact, it changed my life!
And though I would never discredit therapy or medication in battling any mental illness or psychological injury, I can tell you that I was on anti-depressants and in therapy for a while. And yes, it did help, but only temporarily. For me, it was only a band-aid.
It cured the symptoms, but not the root cause.
Again, I’m in no way advocating against counseling and medications because there is a legitimate need for those therapies and many people would be in big trouble without them. And I’ll be the first to tell you that many benefits come with mental health care.
There are scores of mentally ill people who acquired those illnesses due to psychological injuries caused from adverse childhood and life-experiences. It changes the chemistry of the brain and in many cases, meds and counseling are required.
Before I go on, I’d like to provide a disclaimer here: I can’t speak for anyone else who has battled a mental illness. I can only speak for myself and from my own experiences and outcomes.
And I can tell you that, what helped me more than anything, was when I began using my past traumas for the good and betterment of others. I truly believe that turning any past adversity into good and finding your purpose in it is THE best way to dial down the psychological injuries which cause mental illness. It’s how you use it to live a purposeful life.
This has created many positive experiences. And creating positive experiences to balance out the negative is the best cure of all.
So, find a way to use your trauma for good. Develop an interest in and passion for learning about the very thing that traumatized you and tried to defeat you. Learn about it from all angles. Learn the roots of it, the causes or reasons behind it- everything!
Make it not only your purpose but also your joy to help people who either have been or are going through what you endured.
And that’s how you heal the psychological injuries that caused your mental illness and, ultimately, regain control of your life!
Know that you can use your scars to reach the stars!