What is post traumatic growth? According to the Post Traumatic Growth Research Group, “It is positive change experienced as a result of the struggle with a major life crisis or a traumatic event.”
I think of post traumatic growth as a form of scar tissue. It is tougher, denser and stronger protection for the body after it goes through a trauma. I remember as a kid showing off scars with my friends. I have a scar of my knee from a fall in grade school. I have a scar on my thumb from a jet skiing accident with my childhood best friend. When we show off our scars they come with the realization that we survived something, and we are still here.
The healing process and the scarring of the tissue is also a long and vulnerable process. Scar tissue doesn’t happen overnight. When we first experience a trauma our bodies and/or minds are raw, open and in so much pain. This is the time to tend to the wounds, to soothe, to get support and salve. Last year at this time my business was closed and I left my home due to white supremacy and death threats targeted towards myself and POC Yoga. I was surrounded by people taking care of me. I got bodywork every day. Meals were brought, shifts were taken, I was offered places to stay and people held my hand. I saw my therapist, cried a lot, got angry a lot and was paranoid. I could not see the other side of this trauma. I could not see the part where I could show someone the scar and say, “I lived through this.”
Now, a year later there is still rawness. Anniversaries can reopen wounds, but there has been a lot of healing. I am in a different place emotionally and spiritually than I was a year ago, and a big contributor to my emotional and spiritual growth was going through last year. I am not saying I am glad it happened. The pain that it caused was intense, and I am not in any way trying to silver line a terrible experience. Yet, it did happen. I can not take it back, and since I could not make it go away this year has been about meeting myself fully as I went through it.
Have you experienced post traumatic growth? What does your scar look like? It is still forming? Is it healed? What helped you create your scar tissue? How have intense experiences created growth in your physically, emotionally or spiritually?
Are you in the midst of healing from trauma? Are you in the middle of needing the support and salve that goes along with the healing process? Join me for an Intro to Yoga Therapy on Trauma on Saturday, October 22 from 9-11am where you will learn tools that can soothe and support yourself. There are 4 spots left. I would love to see you there wherever you are on the path of healing.