Contentment After Trauma
I agree with the premise it’s possible to recover from trauma and emerge stronger than ever.
Stronger because once you’ve swam through bitter waters you can navigate sweet ones with the knowledge you’ve survived an extreme experience. No one has anything on you. You’ve tasted bitter, and made it to sweet — or at least satisfying — and not everyone can say that.
It makes the huge accomplishment of achieving contentment possible.
And living through trauma in the past can bring with it a high degree of empathy for others that feels warming and motivating. A reason for living. A drive to help others swim out of the bitter waters. This also fuels contentment.
I don’t believe life is easy for anybody. “Born to die” is not a warm-and-fuzzy baseline concept. But it is our shared price of entry.
I sometimes envy people who carry the confidence of a lifetime of smooth sailing. But jealousy is a nasty state that ultimately eats its owner.
Instead, I am thankful for my own resilience. I’d like to help others find theirs.
For me the key is learning to control negative thought patterns still dominant since childhood. And being open to recognize when I am repeating a negative pattern so I can break it. This is the tough part and my therapist helps me a lot.
The discovery of old patterns corroding present interactions — especially at work — can be scary and worrisome. But it’s also a breakthrough. It’s exciting to recognize when negative thoughts and interpretations of events, learned long ago, create internal havoc today. To really see. It’s the first step toward stopping the thoughts and reframing them more accurately.
I feel resilient and hopeful when I recognize an old thought pattern and then stop it and force it into another form.
I feel good to be out of bitter waters.
I see contentment as a goal and possibility.