What is post traumatic growth?


Post traumatic growth means waking up and feeling gratitude that one is having this experience we call ‘life’. A deep gratitude for all of it.

It’s a radical and real acceptance of life exactly as it is. I deeply and radically accept everything that has happened to me. It took me so long to do that. I wanted to fight reality, I wanted reality to be different than what it really is. I wanted other people to change. But not anymore.

What does the universe have in store for me today? In the bigger picture, do I have any control? Can I truly, open heartedly embrace whatever arises knowing it all passes only to arise again? Can I embrace this idea of ‘me’ as a real ‘once off’. Like really embrace it no matter what? Can I listen to my inner voice and honour it, live it, at all costs?

No one on this earth can tell me why I am here and what happens when I die. This is for me to realise (or ponder). Only I alone can know. When one has had a near death experience or one has spent many years wanting to die, one begins to really appreciate this ‘once in a lifetime’ gift and possibility of realising a potentiality. A new way of seeing, knowing and being in the world.

A new game. A new joy. A new peace.

Post traumatic growth is about being proud to be holistically healthy. It means that our mind, body and spirit health is of upmost importance to us and our first priority in life. It means that we want to spend our free time with people where there’s an energetic flow of love, we want to work in jobs where we can use our gifts and where we can sense our hearts are in it, we want to put food in our mouths that tastes wholesome, we want to sleep peacefully and soundly, we want to breathe deeply and fill our lungs with fresh air to feel alive, we want to stretch our bodies and muscles so we can be flexible and grounded and we want to spend time in nature because we know deep down this is where we came from, this is where we belong.

Post traumatic growth means we have bore witness to our own suffering. We have sat with our feelings of woundedness and damage, of shame and rage. We’ve opened our hearts to all the different parts of ourselves, we’ve made them all welcome. We begin to sense that despite years of healing we see it now – that there’s a part of us that was and always will be whole, untouched by the ups and downs of the rollercoaster ride of life. The witness, the innocent, the infinite self in us all.

We can safely grieve all that we lost that we wanted that we can never get back. We can wail and moan and cry and scream and howl even like gutturally and it’s totally okay. It’s okay we can give ourselves permission to release it and let it go till it needs to be released and let go of again. When we go into despair and darkness we learn to step aside and watch it. Here is the darkness and despair again. I know how this plays out. I’m going to let it play out because I know it passes. So I’m not going to get attached to it. All feelings arise then fall away even the darkness and despair. I know that now. It’s an opportunity for me to practice mindfulness to see how far I can go in teaching my body and brain to relax into all of life despite having spent 30+ years in the fight or flight response.

We start to really grasp the concept of living in the now. There’s just the now, now and the now and there it is again now. Thinking about the past and the future, making judgements about ourselves or others takes us out of our bodies and out of the here and now. When we start to notice this and we bring ourselves back time and time again we start to really get it. Wow look at the colour of that tree, wow look how beautiful that grandma is smiling, wow how good is this hot cuppa tea, wow smell how amazing that lavender is I just picked, wow listen to how funky and cool this song is on the car radio, wow how good does that bear hug feel. Wow wow wow our senses finally come alive.

We glance across the room at a loved one and they meet us, they see us, they look into our eyes – we have a moment of connection through time and space and we feel it in every cell of our bodies we’re connected – a human connection, love. This is post traumatic growth living in the now always bringing it back to the now, to our breath, to our senses, to being fully present in our body. Then we have the opportunity to truly meet another. Wow.

In post traumatic growth we start to have faith in our ability to meet life. We start to sense concretely, no matter what happens, I’m not giving up. No matter what happens I’m not going to hurt myself. No mater what happens I’m not going to deliberately hurt others. We have faith that whatever life throws at us, we’ll grab it, ride with it (meaning this ‘once off’ version of ‘me’ will continue to exist) we know we can go with it cause we’ve done it before and we can do it again. The fact that we’re alive and breathing is testament and proof of that. We know the more we practice having faith in our ability to meet life exactly as it is the more interesting life will become. We stop wanting to fight reality. We start wanting to dive in.

Post traumatic growth is about having firsthand experiences that yes there is indeed magic in life and it’s unfathomable. It can’t be understood, it can’t be contained, it can’t be bought or sold, it can’t be controlled, it can’t be accumulated, it can’t be named, it can’t be tested, it can’t be explained, it can’t be proven, it can’t be manipulated, it can not die – because it’s magic.

There’s surprises, serendipitous experiences, seeming coincidences, synchronicites and meetings with new people that send our lives spinning on a positively powerful unplanned trajectory. There’s always a new feeling to partake in on the vast spectrum of human experience. Isn’t that what makes us unique as humans – our ability to feel all of it and our ability to feel that we feel, to know that we know.

So I awake each day knowing a little less than I thought I did all the while watching new worlds opening within worlds.

It’s bigger than us and I’ve learnt to bow deeply because, after what I’ve been through, that’s all I know how to do now. A total surrender to life, to my life, my path, my destiny.

I am here to be of service.

This is post traumatic growth.


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