Brain science is proving that what happened when you were a child affects your daily life as an adult. If you did not receive help to process through trauma, it will affect your self-awareness in adulthood and rob you of knowing that you are in charge of your life.
Here are some trappings of living with (imprints) of trauma:
- Crushing sensations in your chest that you may label as anxiety or depression
- Fear of losing control; always being on alert for danger or rejection
- Nightmares and flashbacks
- Fog that keeps you from staying on task and from engaging fully in what you are doing
- Being unable to open your heart to another human being.
The good news is that it is not irreversible, but is recoverable with seeking truth and self-awareness. So, you can live with a heart fully alive.
Here are some simple way to take charge of your life and build self-awareness:
- Seek creative ways to express yourself (learning a new language, picking up an instrument you’ve stowed away, getting your paint brush out, unpacking the sewing machine, seeking a new sport, or re-engaging in one you used to love) These are all brain changing and stress relieving activities good for you.
- Journal, journal, journal. Listen to what you’re saying and pay attention to how you’re feeling. Try different ways and forms so it isn’t boring.
- Get out in nature and look for things you’ve never noticed before, set and watch the sunrise or sunset, take a long relaxing walk in a park or neighborhood you love.
- Reread books that have brought you pleasure in the past. Watching old movies that made you laugh as a child may bring up happy memories.
- Engage in seeking friendships that you feel valued and empowered in. Stay away from toxic and unhealthy relationships.
- Set up healthy boundaries that will help you implement a flourishing lifestyle. Say no to people or activities that make you feel like your not wanted or you don’t measure up.
- Nourish your mind and body by pampering yourself in soaking bubbles, laughing hard and deep, being waited on and ministered to, or that once in a while treat only you know about. Let your inner child loose to guide you.
Jesus teaches in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to kill, steal, and destroy; I came that they may have life, and might have it abundantly.” Abundant life is living from your heart so you can be your true self.
I highly recommend reading books such as The Body Keeps the Score, Waking the Dead, Life Works Model, Journey to You and other trauma informed care articles. These are excellent sources for breaking the hold of trauma and healing your brain. I’ve found them to be profoundly helpful.
Do you hear the cry to pay attention to what’s happening now? How do you need to process through this within yourself and with your children? Are you paying attention to what is going on in your heart and mind and being watchful of what your children are seeing and hearing? What action steps do you need to take?
Please comment on ways you have recognized trauma in your life. Has this article helped you see ways childhood trauma has influenced your life today?