“I do not wish tragedy on anyone but ever since that accident, I never fail to tell my wife I love her. I kiss my children every day. Life is richer, fuller and deeper than I have ever experienced. It has more meaning and depth than it ever had before.”
This type of transformation of life after surviving a traumatic experience is very common. The questions that begs to be asked here are: How and why does a traumatic experience cause us to live a more profound life than we previously had? Why don’t we simply choose to live life at its deepest level before a tragedy? Why do we need to have a traumatic experience to wake up to appreciating life to its fullest?
As a human species, we are biologically designed to experience, endure and survive trauma. No different from other living organisms on this planet, we are genetically encoded to let go of and recover from trauma as a way of ridding ourselves of any experience that obstructs or interferes with the natural evolutionary process of the human body.
Resolving past traumas delivers us into the future.
Through the unending cycle of trauma recovery, the human species learns how to adapt to life threatening situations.
This process of adaptation makes the species stronger and wiser to protect it from future traumatic episodes.
If we did not possess this natural evolutionary instinct, we would have died as a species shortly after we were born.
Trauma recovery is as natural and common as trauma itself.
Accepting this sometimes unpleasant fact of life allows us to see trauma in a new light… Only by letting go can we unlock ourselves from the past, be delivered into the future and prepare ourselves for our next evolutionary experience.
Once a trauma befalls us we are forced, whether we like it or not, whether we want to or not, to follow its life-altering path. At times, this process often leads us through episodes of helplessness and hopelessness. It can terrify us by unveiling the fragility, precariousness and vulnerability of our humanity. It exposes us to the rawness of life as a living species on this planet. It tears at the very fabric of our identity and radically redefines our view of life.
However, it is precisely because this experience has burned the bridges of our past ways of thinking, that we are forced into a new way of being in life. The old ways of thinking and relating no longer suffice and a new way of being begins to emerge. We discover that on the other side of this frightening journey we have the potential of emerging into a new life of maturity, compassion and wisdom.