“Literally everyone’s screwed up, so pick your favorite train wreck and roll.” ~ Hannah Marbach
You’ve probably heard the saying, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” beautiful words based on what Nietzsche wrote in one of his books (Twilight of the Idols). Life always makes me feel like I’m going nowhere. before, above.
According to Nietzsche, suffering can be seen as an opportunity to build strength. No matter what pain, illness or trauma you experience, intention get stronger for it—As long as you get the chance to grow.
But what if you miss that opportunity? What if suffering and emotional trauma don’t give us strength, but instead weaken us?
I lost my father to suicide over 20 years ago. His illness and death left a mark on me. Even now, there are days when I feel insecure, inadequate, and weak. This usually happens when I’m overly stressed.
On days like these, we forget that all we need to do is relax. To deal with that anxiety, I activate survival mechanisms and then feel even more stressed. I keep people at a distance and worry desperately about all sorts of things.
When it comes to work, I’ve become a stickler for “safe” jobs. For example, working for a client I don’t really like (I’m a content writer).
I want to do something truly creative, something that comes from my heart. Like writing this article or writing another book. Or reach out to people to collaborate on a project.
It’s scary though! So when you’re stressed out, put all that aside and choose safety.
Self defense or self destruction?
Doesn’t that mean trauma stops us from growing?
What do you notice when you see how most of us adults react after experiencing childhood trauma?
It protects us more. It enhances our survival mode. our wall. Because living fully means living without fear.
Not without fear. It means ‘fearless’ in the sense of not being ruled by fear. Because fear is always there. Fear is part of existence.
Experiencing trauma, especially at a young age, develops a sensitive stress system and is more likely to become a self-protective adult.
Nobel laureate in physiology Eric Kandel studied the topic by observing the reaction of slugs after being struck on the tail. He found that if the first slap was the strongest, they would retreat faster, even if subsequent slaps were softer.
However, if the initial slap is gentle, the retreat will slow down. Therefore, the initial hard slap trauma causes the slugs to respond more violently to neutral stimuli (softer slaps).
Humans exhibit similar hypersensitivity. Childhood trauma can lead to more intense reactions to certain situations in adulthood. You may have trouble coping with rejection, worry about what others think of you, or be less likely to trust others or yourself.
You can do all the work, read all the self-growth and self-help books, do all the inner child therapy in the world, and mend the cracks in the vase that houses your soul.
But you will forever be in this hurt little you entering your most unexpected phase.
Your self-defense mechanisms have become so powerful that you cannot see them digging your own grave. youUniqueness.
accept the trauma
You don’t have to do it this way. Not if we recognize that it is not the rift that makes us vulnerable.
It is our desire to be crack-free and trauma-free. We tend to ignore cracks and don’t want to see or show these imperfections in our pretty vases.
Then one day something bad happens again and everything falls apart. You pick up the shards and try to glue them together with clear glue so others don’t notice they’re broken.
But it doesn’t help. The original strength of the vase, home of your soul, has been lost. It is perpetually sensitive and needs protection.
What if we do the opposite? What if we used gold instead of glue so that no one would notice?
A beautiful and eye-catching gold that not only gives the vase incredible strength, but also makes the crack the most beautiful and unique part of the entire structure.
This is called Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold. It teaches us to celebrate our flaws and imperfections rather than hide them. Broken parts increase the value of pottery.
This perspective not only frees us from the constraints we place on ourselves. Always wanting to be perfect, avoiding things that cause fear, and never being who you really are. increase.
Perhaps, in order for us to truly shine, live a colorful and connected life, we need to embrace trauma and rifts. And it can take a long time to get to that point and feel like you can let go of the pain, the broken pieces, and the stories.
But when you do, you’ll find that what’s left is shining brighter than ever.
You can use your story to help others deal with theirs.
That’s when trauma can actually make all stronger than us.