Restructuring Life After Trauma

Just because we’ve gone through most of the layers of healing from past pain or trauma, that doesn’t mean we’ve fully transformed beyond harmful belief systems, escapists tendencies or negative habits. Just because we know what we don’t want and what doesn’t work, that doesn’t suddenly make us ready to see ourselves in a new light or recreate our lives in a healthier way. 

I’m finding myself in one of those holding patterns between how I used to see myself: how I subconsciously repeated past traumas and how I see myself through the eyes of my heart: how I would like to see that reflected in my life based on my empowered sense of self and new found self-respect and self-love. 

I’m aware enough not to repeat the patterns that were so long part of my painful learning process but I’m not sure how to live as this healthier more whole version of me. Just because I’ve worked through the original wound and scars, doesn’t mean I have suddenly embraced this upgrade. So now I’m asking myself, how do I rewire my brain to live without the pain that has motivated me for so long? How do I settle into a space of less internal drama and a life of greater peace? This new expression is so outside of how I’ve lived my life thus far. Like the adage: you can take a thirsty horse to water but you can’t force her to drink, I’m no longer wandering in the desert but I don’t know how to drink, how to fully give to myself and how to accept and receive. 

If you’ve been in a fight or flight mode for an extended period of time, even if you are no longer in the space that caused the initial need to tap into survival mode, even if the danger is removed, that doesn’t mean the fear completely dissolves. How do we rebuild our lives, ourselves, with the scars with the healed traumas? How do we create a healthy life that reflects a version of ourselves that feels so new, even foreign. 

I recently realized how much of my life was based on mere survival, and coping with waves of pain and repeated trauma. This is what I’m currently working on, so all I can do is share my current process. I’ll admit I am much more cautious, I am practicing stronger boundaries and I have a much lower tolerance for people and situations that don’t fill me with peace. I try to talk myself through the moments when my limiting beliefs and low self esteem start to creep back into my mind and my heart. I try to practice greater self-acceptance for all that I am, I give myself more time to rest, I respect my increasing need for quiet and I fantasize about what I really want my life to look like, to feel like.

Certain negative beliefs about myself, no matter how ridiculous they may seem in my rational mind, reflect life long patterns of trauma and lack of self love that even now when I am sitting in the seat of my power and self love it takes constant effort not to let them run me down. And when they do I’ve learned to connect to people that don’t judge me, I allow myself to take time to rest and be in nature and actively seek the things that pull me back to my heart-sense. 

I’m sharing this because in all of my years of healing work, no one has described the purgatory between healing trauma and the life that is created from the frame work of the healed self. It doesn’t just happen. Things that used to seem easy and spontaneous for me in the past I am now reluctant to jump into. I don’t want to make those same mistakes or attract those same kinds of problematic people or situations that sent me back into the fight or flight, the low self esteem, the confusion, the spiritual darkness. 

Here I am, with these beautiful wings, ready to soar but I’m so used to my wounded clipped wings. It’s going to take some time, flapping on the dusty ground and jumping from low lying trees to get used to the power that are in these beauties, but the difference is, this time there is no way in hell I’ll let anyone pluck my feather or clip my wings ever again. And you just wait and watch, one day soon, I’ll be soaring with the sun.