As a child, I did many of these connect the dots in elementary school. I actually loved this activity and little did I know how valuable this simple activity is and would be to me later as an adult.
To start, I need to say that I’m not a licensed therapist. I am a writer who had a medical social work career, but more important than what I learned in school or on the job, I share what I learn on my journey of life. So take what serves you and reach out to a professional if you need to, please. You are worth it!
The scar of personal trauma can leave one easily triggered/jumpy/sensitive. You don’t even know the wound is there until…
While I use the word trauma, please know that it might also be “bumps” in the road – one bump too many. Or one might have a desire and knowing it’s time to turn inward to process, release and heal past events.
I think some signs are, when life get challenging, assuming the worst. Like one’s brain has been wired to go directly to red alert, panic. It’s as if their resilience has already been used up in this life. Or you can see in a certain look in the eyes and feel their aura retreating.
When one wants to ask, why me? or say, enough! it’s often hitting a sore spot. A spot that was wounded a long time ago and has never been the same. It has never completely healed although I feel most would say they, got over it. It might also be why one has repeated traumas. In the weirdest way, it’s a calling to heal on a deeper level and, truly release the trauma. Usually though, one doesn’t know this and the trauma’s just keep stacking up. One might feel it’s their density or like a magnet to hardships and challenging situations. You do have the power to change this. One can get to the source. As long as one has a desire to understand and heal, it will happen.
So here’s an exercise I recommend. Think of the current situation. The feelings. Place a dot on the right side (not left) of a piece of paper. This activity needs to be done in reverse. Write down three words that best summarize how you feel. Yes, you can write more. You can start with emotions like anger or sadness but then get to feelings like: nervousness, abandonment or issues with security/safety/trust.
You can also write down the dynamics. I often find that it takes writing down the details for our eyes to help our brain make a connection. Visual healing. Just thinking about the problem isn’t enough.
Sometimes the dynamics repeat (and now you’ll better see that) but often they don’t. The people or situation may change but the overall feeling and lesson will not. I think it’s the Universe’s way of trying to explain, in a different way, since over the course of our life we just don’t understand yet.
So once you have your words (feelings/dynamics) noted, then go back. Feel the energy of the situation. The vibration. Close your eyes and just breathe. When have you felt this way before? Try to be open and then see what pops in your mind. Some might say never or remember an event that seems insignificant. Well… it might just be significant. You might also need time. The answer will surface when you are ready to understand. You just can’t rush it and it’s for your own protection. Try coming back to it later.
For others, they will be able to connect the dots. From your current age all the way back to childhood. You’ll see a theme or consistent lesson.
Childhood/source ← teen years ← early adult years ← middle adult years ← Start/present
Then think… how have you attempted to solve the problem, change and/or heal? Now, with what you know and the resources you have (which is more than you realize), what needs to be done? You might or might not feel ready to make the needed changes. Or you might not know what to do… yet. This is okay. Acknowledgment is the first step. It’s an a-ha moment. Don’t forget this moment.
If you get to the root, the source of the trauma and lesson, you might dig up some suppressed feelings. Find a healthy way to release them and yes, scream therapy or a day in bed might be what you need. Journaling and walking are also great ways to release. You might not feel very forgiving in the moment and that’s okay. Negative events that have happened in your life (weather you consider them traumatic or not) can take years of intense personal work and/or counseling to clear. Know that there is no rush, standard or one right way. Patience, time and honoring your body and needs are necessary in the healing process.
I will tell you though, one will know. They will know when they have cleared the issue when it’s no longer a trigger. Or when they find themselves in the midst of a challenging situation and not panicking. Not thinking the worst. They are able to cope and deal with the situation with grace and ease. They will be amazed at their own transformation and strength. That is why this work is worth it. Each person is an amazing being and should not suffer, carry a burden, or feel they need to run away. You are not a victim of life. Pain can be healed and cleared. Life is too short to stay stuck in the past or ill equipped in the present. Life is to be good… feel good, not traumatic.