“Be honest … Do you ever feel like your dedication and mission to love people with unresolved trauma is akin to loving the unlovable?“
I was stunned by the question, and I thought for sure he would edit my almost indignant response out of the broadcast.
When I watched the recording, I realize the look on my face was almost one of disgust as I responded. “ABSOLUTELY NOT! I don’t see people who have experienced trauma as unlovable at all! Can they do unlovable things? Yes! But aren’t we all capable of that?”
I guess it was kind of a “mama bear” response. The truth is … my response actually surprised me. But I stand by my response unapologetically. Admittedly, maybe the expression that accompanied it could have been modified!)
Later, he said he did not edit it out, because he loved the passion behind it.
His second question went that very direction: “Where does your undeniable passion for people with trauma come from?”
Thankfully, that response came out much softer!
“Perhaps it’s because my own trauma went unresolved for so many years. I didn’t even know it was trauma. (Most people don’t).
But it steals our life from us. It feels like it diminishes who we are at the core. And we live in quiet desperation.”
Yes, I am unashamed of my passion for people who have experienced trauma. According to the new broadened definition of trauma, the vast majority of us have experienced it.
What is the new broadened definition?
Any experience that has affected us in any way that diminishes who we are, dullens our gifts and talents, and makes life more difficult than it would have otherwise been.
It definitely leaves a mark.
Throughout the broadcast, we reviewed the reasons for my passion, and I am sharing them here this week.
Why am I sharing it here? I am hoping that you (if you have experienced trauma), or those you love who have experienced trauma will develop the same kind of passion. To heal. To resurrect life in you!
And then to pass it on!
1. THEY ARE RARELY UNDERSTOOD AND ARE OFTEN MISUNDERSTOOD.
People with unresolved trauma have different ways of processing life. Those ways do not always makes sense.
Therefore, those with unresolved trauma are often misunderstood.
Often people with unresolved trauma develop addictions. Whether alcoholism, porn addiction, eating addiction, or any other process or chemical substance use, it looks like addiction.
There is no doubt that the processes that they use to medicate the painful reality become addiction.
Do they still need recovery? Do they still need the 12 steps?
Yes, they need recovery. And I believe that every single one of us, whether addicted or not, needs the 12 steps. If not for addiction, for hurts, habits, and hang-ups.
But this is where they are often misunderstood. Because traditional addiction recovery alone only results and going from one addiction to another, often called cross addiction. They may stop drinking, but begin smoking pot. They may get clean from smoking pot, and turn to food addiction (and gain 50 pounds).
It looks like they are just lazy, irresponsible addicts sometimes. The truth is, the painful reality of the buried trauma will always be reaching for something else. Some new method or substance to numb the pain.
In addition to needing to medicate their painful reality, they process the world through a very different processor than others.
For example in a new relationship, they will suck up every ounce of love given to them. Until. Until… Until that moment when something you do or say triggers them.
Then they will push the exact same love that you were pouring out on them and push it away like some kind of a loaded gun. It seems they have gone cold and have become an ice man or an ice woman. When they are simply processing love as danger due to the unresolved trauma.
I care when I see the havoc they create. Their unpredictability is sometimes subtle, or sometimes quite obvious and loud.
Are they the horrible human beings that they can seem to be at moments? Absolutely not!
They are wonderful human beings, needing to medicate painful realities of unresolved trauma. They are trying to do life with a broken processor, although they have great gifts and talents within.
There is great delight in helping them resolve the trauma. Helping them to return to rational processing. And helping them to finally experience success in addiction recovery.
It’s hard work but seeing the great results in them is worth every step of the journey.
It is so refreshing to see their progress! To see them live again!
2. THEY HAVE UNIQUE TALENTS AND GIFTS THAT THE WORLD NEEDS.
I have never met a person with trauma who does not have powerful and unique giftings and talents.
On the broadcast, I was asked why I believe that their giftings and talents are so unique, so cutting edge, and so powerful?
I believe it’s a very spiritual process.
At moments of trauma, most of us take our gifts and talents, and pack them away and stow for safety, down as deep as they can possibly be stuffed.
I have worked for years with celebrities. I often hear the same comments from them as well as their fans:
- My edge is gone
- I just don’t “have it” anymore
- It all just slipped away somehow
- I will never be the same again
- I will never get “it” back
I nod with a gentle smile when I hear it. Whether from a celebrity, or from a dad who no longer cares about his language around his kids.
I know some things they don’t know. I believe somethings they don’t believe.
That is this … those gifts and talents are deep within, locked away in a vault.
The broadcast host asked me, “Isn’t it heartbreaking to see that? And to know that if they ever reach in and pull them out that they may have deteriorated? Or that times have changed and they are no longer relevant?“
I understood the question totally.
But I believe something very spiritual happens when those gifts and talents are locked away. I don’t believe they disintegrate. I don’t believe they become irrelevant.
I believe they multiply. I believe they intensify. I believe they become sharper, better, more relevant, more polished than ever. I believe they become more awesome as time goes on.
Some of the greatest joys in my career is helping people resurrect the vault, and finding in its place a treasure chest.
A literal treasure chest of gifts, talents and other powerful things!
It’s almost always an exercise where the person has no vocabulary for what they experience.
That is what drives me. That makes me passionate. That makes me committed to the process!
The world needs those gifts, talents, creative strategies, inventions, screenplay, books, songs and skills that are within them.
3. TOO FEW PROFESSIONALS REALLY UNDERSTAND AND ARE TRAINED TO HELP HEAL AND RESTORE PEOPLE OF TRAUMA.
By the time they get to me, people have already been “run through the mill.”
- Read books
- Tried workshops
- Been told to “get over it”
- Attended exorcisms
- Been prayed over (which I always hope was at least helpful)
- Heard there was nothing wrong with them
- Been overmedicated
- Participated in adventure / survival retreats
- Sat in sweat lodges
- Done Medicine Journeys
And other bizarre experiences like being doused with blood of various animals.
I’m all for creative ideas … when they are effective. I don’t even mind that some of them “just did not work.”
What I am always sad to hear is how people have been through things to heal their trauma that actually retraumatized them.
When I was healing from my trauma, little was truly known about trauma healing and restoration. When I realized that what I had experienced was called “trauma” … I was determined to figure out a way to escape its dark cloud that lurked above me for over 20 years.
I studied with Masters, I read research, I tried everything that science pointed to, including brain retraining.
Although there are many good training programs available for professionals who desire to specialize in trauma work, many of them fail to teach the practical steps for walking people through trauma healing.
I am honored when they get to me, but saddened by their stops along the way to get to me. However, I am very grateful to the many Coaches and therapists who have validated and offered support to them.
It is why I am also passionate about training Coaches, Master Coaches, Trauma Coaches and Executive Coaches.
Hopefully we will all be able to work together to make sure that every person who has experienced trauma gets the help and restoration they need and deserve!
4. THOSE WHO LOVE THEM DIE SLOW DEATHS WATCHING THE ONE THEY LOVE TRY TO LIVE WITH A CHAMPION TRAPPED INSIDE THEM.
I take no joy in watching the deep pain and sadness of those who love people with unresolved trauma.
They do everything they know to do. They can still see the champion within their loved one. They do everything they know to do the call them forth. All while they are watching the one they love die a very slow emotional and spiritual death.
So I’m passionate not only for the one locked inside, but also for those who love them.
As I look back on the people that loved me when I was drowning in unresolved trauma, I see what my process did to them.
They loved me the best they could. They believed in me. I saw them reaching for me. I heard them calling me. But I was paralyzed where I was.
Almost always, when you help someone heal from their trauma, that’s only one of many who receive healing and resurrection in heart and spirit … when they see the one they love step into their healing.
Many times when the healing occurs, and we do the relationship reconnection, there have been months, years, decades of cold, desperate separation of hearts.
There’s nothing more rewarding in my practice than seeing the one who has loved faithfully welcome back their prodigal with a robe, a ring, and love that could conquer the world.
I want that for your loved one. For the spouses. For your young children. For your adult children. For your dear friends.
It is a reunion unmatched by anything!
5. THEY BECOME THE GREATEST CHAMPIONS FOR OTHERS WITH TRAUMA.
Finally, I know one fact that is absolutely indisputable.
People who heal from their trauma become the greatest advocate and supporters to people of trauma on earth.
Although many choose to become trauma coaches, even those who don’t have an uncanny ability to pick people with unresolved trauma out of a crowd.
They are drawn to them like magnets and they befriend them. They cheer them on to their greatness.
Often there’s not one word of trauma spoken.
Yet somehow after spending time together, some kind of trauma healing begins.
In recent months, I completed some trauma healing with a young man. He was doing well in his restoration and we were only checking in once monthly. But two weeks into the month he called me and asked for an appointment.
He came in and told me he had joined the baseball team at his church. There was a young man he was drawn to, and he wasn’t sure why.
I told him that sometimes such a magnetic draw could be about one person healed from trauma being very sensitive to another’s trauma,
He asked me if it would be appropriate for him to share his story with his new friend. I told him to start at a high-level, and if the story resonated, or his friend had questions, to continue the conversation. But to be very sensitive.
Less than a week other, I had a new client on my schedule and I walked out to find the new client sitting with my client. Before we ever left the waiting room, the new client said, “It’s like we are twins and have the same story. Can you help me too?”
Proof that those who heal their trauma are so gifted at identifying and encouraging others.
This is why I am passionate about helping people with trauma.
I’m certainly not saying every human being should be a trauma coach.
But I do hope you will become as passionate as I am about helping people with trauma.
Support them, pointing them to a book or a workshop. Be their friend.
Most importantly, validate their trauma, and make sure they know that they deserve the awesome life that comes with trauma recovery!