One of the things that I find tragic and heart-breaking in working with clients who have experienced trauma is that they often forget who they are. You see, when someone has experienced trauma, especially trauma early in life, often one’s relationship to themselves is fraught with negativity, insecurity, and shame. How we get treated in our early life becomes a template as to how we think and feel about ourselves and how we treat ourselves, whether this is conscious or unconscious.
The TRUTH of Who You Really Are
It is normal to have thoughts or concerns about what other people think of you. What I’ve noticed in working with clients, especially when their early care-givers were misattuned, neglectful or abusive, is how negative their self-concept is.
What we know to be true, is that how you are spoken to, treated and cared for, especially in your early years, sets a template or a foundation for how that child treats and relates to themselves as an adult.
In my case, my parents were both physically abusive and emotionally neglectful. Up until I woke up and started working on myself, I hadn’t realized just how harsh and critical I could be, most especially towards myself. I struggled with perfectionism (a set of mindsets and behavioral survival strategies); intense negative self-talk, like a record that won’t stop playing; and judged myself ruthlessly if I couldn’t live up to others’ standards of who I was supposed to be. While I hate to say this out loud, what was really true is that at my core, I felt unloveable and bad.
My story of self has gratefully transformed over my years living on the planet and here’s what I know now:
The truth of who I am and who you are is essentially GOOD.
Seriously, take a moment to let that land in your mind, heart and body: YOU ARE AN ESSENTIALLY GOOD PERSON AND YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THIS WAY.
You might be sitting there rolling your eyes and blowing me off, but here’s how I know:
- You’re reading this blog post because you were curious about how to be a force for good. That inquiry alone tells me something about your character and desire: you want to do good, be good and have goodness in your life.
- Perhaps you’re looking to begin therapy to change your life for the better. I can categorically say that the folks who want to heal from trauma, mood disorders and early life challenges have the biggest hearts.
- No child has ever been born unworthy or un-loveable, including you.
How To Be A Force For Good: the Practice
The skill you need for how to be a force for good in the world begins with The U-TURN: bringing your attention back home to Self and remembering your essential goodness.
This means that when your attention is outward, worrying about or fearing others’ judgments, you turn your attention back to yourself and remember the truth of who you are. Alternatively, you may be giving too much credence to those seemingly endless self-criticisms that loop in your head. The U-turn in this case is about getting your attention out of your head and returning your attention back to your heart.
Here’s how to remember your essential goodness:
- Intention in action: Place your hand on your heart sending your soft attention and breath into your chest just behind your left lung.
- Breath: Take intentional long and slow inhales and exhales.
- Mind: Remember all the times and actions you have taken to do good and be good:
- Ways you’ve been a loving and kind friend and family member;
- Actions you’ve taken to support your healing path and personal growth;
- Praise and kind feedback you’ve received from friends, family and/or work colleagues;
- How far you have already progressed in healing;
- Contributions you make and have made to your family, friends, and community;
- Achievements in your career, personal growth, financial status, and education;
- Identifying your values and how you have attempted to live in integrity
- Body: As you remember all of the things above and more, begin to notice how your body may be starting to feel differently or is starting to settle.
- Has your heart rate started to slow?
- Has tension begun to release anywhere in your body, even just a little bit?
- Do any sensations in your body feel good or better?
- Have any of those feel good emotions like gratitude, ease, joy or wonder arrived?
Remembering and embodying your Essential Goodness is a sure-fire pathway to being a force for good in the world. Period.
Healing from Trauma
The good news about the above practice is that it also serves you on your healing path. Doing this practice daily, even for just 5 minutes, has the power to erode old stories and patterns of the un-loveable or unworthy self. As a trauma resolution specialist, I’ve seen the heart-breaking realities of how trauma steals a person’s sense of safety, goodness and esteem.
Life after trauma can begin the moment you start pushing back against your old stories.
You CAN heal fully.
I want you to heal because you deserve to feel solid in yourself. The world needs you to heal so that you can share your gifts and talents.
Reach out if you’re ready to heal from trauma and be more of a force for good in the world! To learn more about healing from trauma or PTSD click here and check out info on healing from early trauma here.
There is so much love for you here!