During a recent trauma-informed course I attended, myself and the other attendees were constantly told:
“Your trauma is not your fault, but it is your responsibility.”
I know this may sound harsh, but bear with me! I believe that this is the most empowering line someone can say to you.
This means that once you learn about your patterns and figure out where they originate from, you can look at them with compassion and then make a conscious choice of changing anything you want to change.
During our healing journey, we may become aware of certain traumatic events that led us to adapt and develop behaviours that were helpful during that time but not so much anymore. You can acknowledge that these patterns come from the past and simultaneously take responsibility for changing them in the future. Let me give you two very common examples:
- You may have become a people pleaser as a result of growing up in a household where your parents didn’t pick up on your emotions and relied on you for emotional support. This is your past and it isn’t your fault. But you can take your future into your own hands and become responsible for learning how to set boundaries and advocate for yourself.
- You may be triggered by disagreements with your partner because when you were growing up every time your caretakers argued it escalated into a fight or they didn’t know how to resolve their conflict in a productive way. This is your past and it isn’t your fault. You are responsible for learning how to self-soothe when you are triggered so your relationships won’t suffer. You can learn to communicate openly with authenticity and vulnerability in order to create intimacy in your relationships.
But how do we make these changes once we become aware of them? We learn to sit with discomfort, we learn to soothe ourselves when difficult feelings arise.
It can be uncomfortable if others are unhappy with us or around us.
It can be uncomfortable to have difficult, honest conversations about our needs or boundaries.
It can be uncomfortable to realise that it is up to us to set boundaries, to learn to say NO, instead of becoming resentful.
Can you sit with that discomfort?
The funny thing is, you will feel uncomfortable no matter what: It is uncomfortable when you don’t speak your truth, but also when you do. It is up to you how you move forward and what patterns you leave behind.
There are great tools and techniques to get you (and your nervous system) through those uncomfortable moments. We are releasing a self-study course as part of The School of Emotions where we will be solely focusing on emotional and nervous system regulation packed with practical somatic tools that can be used anywhere and anytime.
If you feel that you need some support in managing your emotions when in a triggering situation, you can also join us on one of our 30-minute free workshops this December.
We’re here to help you overcome those emotional patterns, handle triggers, and truly find your centre.