What defines you has nothing to do with your trauma. Sit and think about that for a minute. I bet you’re not aware that you’ve allowed your trauma to be what defines you.
You believe you have healed trauma in your life, but that probably isn’t so true. Due to your unhealed trauma, you don’t know how to identify yourself.
If you want to say you’ve truly healed trauma, you have to learn how to identify yourself apart from the trauma you endured. Your trauma is what happened to you, but you are not your trauma.
If you have healed trauma, then you have let go of that trauma being a huge part of your identity. Don’t stop reading now.
Your trauma had a huge impact on your life. It changed many things for you. However, it is NEVER what defines you.
Trauma didn’t change you at the soul level. You may feel as though it did, but you are wrong about that.
Your True Soul Identity
You cannot change your true soul. What you can do is return to that beautiful soul that you were born with when you are healing trauma. Now, let me explain why I say you are not your trauma, and how it is not what defines you. I hope you are willing to open yourself up to that belief.
In order to explain this, I am going to use myself and my healed trauma as an example. This will help you see that what defines your soul is not your trauma.
Eleven years ago, I was hit by a drunk driver. I won’t go into details about that, but just know that I had life-threatening injuries that I am still physically recovering from today.
For several years, the trauma of that wreck was what defined me. It shaped virtually every aspect of my life.
Healing trauma is what I thought I was doing, but I was quite wrong. My attempts at healing trauma were to tell anybody and everybody about my surviving that wreck.
If I’m really honest, I even got “high” from the attention and admiration I got from telling the story of my wreck. Whenever I met somebody new, I very quickly dumped my trauma on them.
Nobody ever said, “You are not your trauma.” So, my brain said your wreck and road to recovery is who you are.
I don’t regret those years of using my wreck to get attention. That was simply part of the process I needed to go through on my healing trauma journey.
Journey of Healing Trauma
What I began to realize was that my trauma simply allowed me to return to my true soul. That trauma was never actually a part of my soul identity.
Returning to your true soul is no easy task. If you are willing to do the work to return to your true soul identity, then you learn that your trauma is not what defines you.
I chose to do that hard work. Allowing my trauma to define me left me angry and exhausted. I certainly didn’t need any more anger or exhaustion.
Doing the work to return to my true soul identity allowed me to see that I am brave, determined, strong and compassionate. Now, you might be wondering how being compassionate relates to my wreck.
Let me explain because that compassion was a huge part of my healing trauma journey. For about four or five years, I had so much anger towards the drunk driver who hit me.
Often, I had thoughts that were pretty nasty towards the man. Anger towards him flooded my mind on a daily basis. Many would say, that was rightfully so.
However, part of my healing journey was to release that anger towards him. It was preventing me from healing.
The man who hit me was seventy-six years old. After my wreck, I found out that he had hit many other people while drunk.
As I grew up with an alcoholic father, I had to realize the pain this man had to have been in emotionally. Alcoholism is simply a cover up for depression, self-hatred, and piles of Not Good Enough Stuff.
What I mean about Not Good Enough Stuff are the feelings of never being good enough. Click here to read more about that if you want to learn more.
When I was able to look at the man as somebody who had struggled to love himself for seventy-six years, I truly had compassion for him. He still hurt me in many ways and that is not ok.
However, he was such a lost soul that he wasn’t even able to acknowledge all the pain he caused me. Keep in mind that healing trauma means that you don’t have to have an apology from the person who caused it.
You Are Not Your Trauma
About a year ago, I had a huge realization that I had healed trauma from my wreck. I had met a new friend and we had spent time together on several occasions.
She saw a post I had shared on Facebook about my wreck on the anniversary date. The next time I saw her, she commented that she had no idea what all I had been through.
I just smiled. That smile was the smile of healed trauma. No longer did I need to tell my story of trauma to every person I encountered.
My trauma was never truly my identity. That is why I say “you are not your trauma.” I allowed that friend to learn my true soul identity.
She later learned about my healed trauma from the wreck, but the initial feelings of sympathy weren’t needed. That my friends, is the biggest sign of healed trauma.
Those feelings of sympathy were what fueled the start of my relationships for many years. That is never a healthy way to begin a friendship or romantic relationship.
Again, trauma is not who you are. It is simply a part of your process in returning to your true soul identity.
If you are not sure who you are at the soul level, that is perfectly ok. You just need to read my post 2 Ways to Answer, “Who Am I.”
Your Trauma is Valid
Please understand that I am not demeaning your trauma. Whatever your trauma is or was, it is valid and important.
What I am explaining is that it should not be what defines you. My realization from my new friend allowed me to see that I had truly healed trauma from my wreck. It no longer defined my entire being and existence.
Now, let’s get back to you and your trauma. Hopefully, the use of myself and the trauma I healed gave you some insight into healing trauma you have experienced.
Think about the biggest trauma you have experienced. Have you told yourself that it made you into the person you are today?
Well, that is not true at all. You were always the amazing person you are today. What happened is that your trauma left you lost.
When we are lost, we have forgotten who we are at the soul level, or you may have never known who you are at that soul level.
Being lost probably has nothing to do with your trauma. Most people are lost and don’t know their true soul identities.
Healed trauma simply allows you the ability to return to that beautiful soul you left behind at some point in your life. That point might have even been before your trauma.
For me, I had strayed from my true soul identity many years prior to the trauma of my wreck. Thankfully, my wreck occurred and left me at a crossroads.
Healed Trauma Versus Healing Trauma
Was I going to have healed trauma from my wreck and my childhood or was I going to continue to avoid healing trauma?
Where are you in your trauma healing process? How will you answer those two questions? Whatever your answer is, you are making a conscious decision.
You may argue that with me, but I’m fine with that. Healing is never a subconscious process. If it were, then everybody would be able to say that they have healed trauma in their lives. We all know that is just not true.
If we could subconsciously heal ourselves, then we would do that. You have to be an active participant in healing trauma. Active participation only results from a conscious decision.
Trauma That Occurred Over and Over
Now, I want to discuss how trauma is not always a one-time event. Sadly, trauma often occurs over and over for many years.
For most, that repeated trauma begins in childhood. That is the reason you believe trauma is your identity.
When we have repeated trauma, especially in childhood, we come to believe that is our identity. I was guilty of that for many years, even before my wreck.
My identity was a child who grew up with an alcoholic father and an emotionally-detached mother. I fought hard in every way to prove to others that I was nothing like either of my parents.
Thankfully, that is actually true, but just as the trauma with my wreck, it was never a part of my true soul identity.
Again, the trauma you have endured is NOT your identity. Stop and read that again!
The Process of Healed Trauma
The reason that I gave the examples of my wreck and my traumatic childhood is that most people with trauma can relate to either or both of those.
Now, I’m asking you to stop reading again. Take a minute to think about the ways you have let trauma become your identity. Be honest with yourself.
This is not intended to shame you. My intention is for you to be able see what healed trauma looks like.
Also, I hope that for those of you who thought you had healed trauma, might also be reading this. If so, you might be able see that you still have some work to do in healing trauma.
If you’re struggling to see how you allow your trauma to be what defines you, I have a little more insight for you. It’s probably going to go against what you have been taught to believe about your trauma.
Think about the words you use to define yourself in relation to your trauma. The two most commo,n and the ones I used, are victim and survivor.
Before you get angry and tell me that you were a victim and you are a survivor, give me a minute to explain. Yes, you were a victim. Yes, you are a survivor.
I am not taking that away from you. What I am doing is asking you to see that your true soul identity is not that of a victim or a survivor.
When your precious soul entered the world, you were not a victim or survivor at that point. Your soul was already shaped when your trauma happened.
That is why I say your trauma is not your identity. Your trauma occurred. You were the victim of trauma. You are now a survivor of trauma.
However, you cannot say you have healed trauma if you have attached your identity to being a victim or survivor. If you are still identifying as a victim or survivor that does not mean that you are not healing trauma.
Instead, it means that you have not fully arrived to a place of healed trauma. That is perfectly ok. Getting to a place of healed trauma is hard and may take a lot of time.
Identifying Healed Trauma
The reason I am writing this post is that I want you to be able to recognize when you have truly healed trauma. Also, I want you to understand you are not your trauma.
Now, for the last time, I will again say, trauma is not a part of your true soul identity. Write that down if you need to. Repeat it as many times as you need. I promise that it’s true.
As for those of you on your journey of healing trauma, the best advice I have is to find a licensed therapist to guide you through the process. If you don’t have a therapist and don’t know how to find a good therapist to help you heal, click here.
If you’ve made it all the way to the end of this post, I want to hear from you. Please comment below about your own healing trauma journey. What are you doing to heal?
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This site is only intended for people who are truly willing to look at themselves with an open mind and have the ability to truly be vulnerable with themselves and others. Please understand that this site is in NO WAY THERAPEUTIC ADVICE. However, this site can be very beneficial in learning the causes of your Not Good Enough Stuff. This site is not intended to provide or replace medical or psychiatric treatment. Mary Beth HIGHLY RECOMMENDS finding a licensed therapist to help you process the information from this site and all that you learn about yourself. Visit Psychology Today to find a licensed therapist in your area.