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What Makes Some Thrive after Trauma While Others Remain Broken?

What makes some people survive, prevail and thrive and yet others become negative victims of trauma?

I'm fascinated by the drive and tenacity of humans who survive and conversely the beliefs that hold people back from thriving. I truly believe that trauma breaks individuals and you can stay broken or you can become deeply aware, deeply grateful and deeply conscious. You can survive and thrive versus surviving and remaining broken, negative and victim oriented.

There's a "no going back" from an "awake" state once you choose to become unstuck in your pain. Settling into long term pain is not an option for survivor-optimists. The trauma allows for reflection and in that intense time the individual chooses to interpret the growth for self compassionate reasons or stay stuck in victim oriented pain. In the grief cycle this can present itself many times. Only the person experiencing it will know when they are willing to move out of the crushing pain and victim mode. Believing you can is part of the process.

Trauma opens you up to being self compassionate and when you stop being a victim, it allows you to accept what has happened without analyzing it as karma or an ill fated life lesson. When you are self compassionate and accept that you are in pain AND you consciously choose not to be negative, that's when moving beyond survival mode starts.

Survival is a start. Thriving is what you aim for so that you are living and taking the trauma and accepting that it happened. It was not fate. It was not karma. You don't deserve pain. You choose not to be a victim. This does not mean you are not in pain nor are you shoving pain away. It means you choose not to let Trauma and Negativity run your life.

Try these ideas to help you move beyond victim mode:

1. Write in a Gratitude Journal every day - list 3 things that went well.

2. Take up listening to Mindful Meditations or Podcasts.

3. Search Victims Services meet up groups to support yourself.

Further reading on this subject:

Dr. Martin Seligman: Learned Optimism | Flourish | Authentic Happiness

Bruce Lipton: Biology of Belief | Spontaneous Evolution | The Wisdom of your Cells

Dr. Christopher Germer: Mindful Self-Compassion and Psychotherapy

Compassionate courage and a belief you can, will set you in the right direction to thriving.

Camilla Joubert

LifeCoach & Author

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