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Redefining Trauma: Discovering the Empowering Gifts Within It

Redefining Trauma: Discovering the Empowering Gifts Within It

We all experience trauma at some point in life to smaller or larger degrees. You may or may not know specific traumas first-hand, such as addiction or abuse, yet I am guessing that every one of us is touched by trauma somehow, or someone dear to you has been. What ‘qualifies’ me to passionately attempt to redefine it is, largely, a bucket-load of experiences of it, some studying on it, and an unquenchable thirst for continuing to grow spiritually from it. As an autobiographical and spiritual writer, I have personally reflected that the specific circumstances of what the trauma is, is less pertinent than the rich growth resulting from it. 

Whilst we would never choose to go through traumatic experiences or wish them upon anyone, without the deep lows and inward journeys they can instill on our healing paths, we wouldn’t have the opportunity to grow beyond them in our human experience of survival and evolution. This does not minimize or deny anyone their experience or pain, quite the opposite. Here lies an invitation to inspire the appropriate acknowledgment of trauma, then a new, reframed story of empowerment. Perhaps you empathize with the tragic concepts touched on in these pages and have the same compassion for all who experience them as I do. However, my ultimate hope is you consider a redefinition of the healing journey, however trauma has touched your life. 

I approach the concept of redefining trauma, by embracing these three developmental notions – 

  • Trauma explains the event and the shock state we feel after it, trauma does not define you as a person.
  • The power of language about trauma can connect us with a sense of hope and belonging but if unchecked and collaborative with unhealed aspects of others, it can hinder development.
  • We can use memory as a tool of evolution, instead of a tool for recreation of more trauma or fear-based survival states.

Trauma Does Not Define You as a Person – ‘The word ‘trauma’ originates from the 17th Century Greek meaning, literally, ‘wound’. One certainty within our existence is that wounds happen.  Although, how one specific trauma, such as job loss, affects two people will be different, shaping individual experience and growth. 

The Power of Language – Following traumas we can connect deeply with a sense of belonging by sharing our voices, ‘I have experienced domestic abuse’, for example. These are powerful moments for trauma survivors to adopt the courage and strength to speak out, make sense of the experience, heal, and find new, healthy networks. 

A Ted Talk by journalist, Johann Hari (2015) titled, ‘Everything You Think You Know About Addiction Is Wrong’, introduces research regarding substance abuse that, “the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, it is connection”. I suggest these findings aptly recognise the power of human connection on any healing journey.

The next steps empowering encompass growing beyond any connections based on that traumatic experience, either through language or shared experience. Without denying or discrediting our pain, we raise trauma up into consciousness, then grow beyond it. This embraces deep levels of trust and connection within us, and in turn others who are healing influences. 

If repeatedly identifying with and using language such as, ‘I was abused’, we hold the weight of experiences of being abused but also the weight of unhealed abusive experiences of the whole human race! Yes, a big concept possibly sounding strange at first but simply a matter of frequency… Ever noticed how certain songs bring your vibe down with lyrics of heartache and suffering? This milder example underpins the same premise of frequency and epigenetics. We feel better when we understand experiences, and consciously raise our energy beyond them. 

Dr. Joe Dispenza (2014) explains how epigenetics studies show making changes in human consciousness (using thoughts, feelings, and our environments) produces changes in the human body. This works positively or negatively depending on what level of consciousness (or what thoughts, feelings, and environments) we choose.  

Using memory as a tool of evolution. Currently, memory is often used unconsciously, recreating traumatic experiences and responses either by engaging with familiarity, or fearful avoidance of situations altogether. Example: we eat a poisonous mushroom, are inevitably violently sick, and naturally don’t eat those mushrooms again. If we identify the mushroom itself as the trauma, rather than our ability to navigate avoiding that particular mushroom, we maintain a trauma response. 

Alternatively, using memory to evolve keeps us safe from danger but also keeps us developing. In the example, the mushroom caused trauma, but we don’t have to defensively avoid all mushrooms and those environments, nor would we blindly keep eating them! We evolve from the memory of events but most importantly, the meaning of our power in subsequently navigating differently. An interpersonal example: not avoiding all relationships because of previous abuse, nor entering new relationships and ignoring red flags. We create memory of the past and present, yet memory also serves us to learn and grow.

However, trauma has touched you, I send you all the healing, love, and compassion you deserve. I also invite you to redefine your experiences as tools to grow from and create the life of your fullest potential and most fulfilling dreams.

About the Author

Women Thrive Magazine Article Author - Stella Grace Allen

Name: Stella Grace Allen

Professional Title: Holistic Therapist and Writer

Bio: Stella Grace Allen has been teaching and later practising Reiki since 2016. She is a qualified Aromatherapist, Massage Therapist, Astrologer, Intuitive Tarot Card Reader, and Writer. She loves working with people of all ages and backgrounds and prior to her career in Holistic Therapies, she worked supporting young people in community services for 15 years.


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Media platform spotlighting and celebrating entrepreneurial women and their achievements. Creating a platform where every woman can be seen and heard. We are disrupting the media industry by democratising media channels for women. If you have a business or an idea and you would like to rise and thrive, you are in the right place.
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