The Hero Within

Monday, October 1st, 2018

When we talk about trauma it's usually referring to post traumatic stress disorder, being triggered, or other ways that trauma can be devastating. Would you believe there can ever be anything positive to be gained from a traumatic experience? It sounds crazy, yet look at the icons we revere in our culture, from Nelson Mandela to Eminem to Batman. The wisest world leaders, the most super of heroes, the strongest warriors and fearless leaders usually have one thing in common: the tragic backstory. Because only those who have overcome unspeakable horrors can unleash truly mastered potential.

Trauma undoubtedly leads to struggles that many may never know. It can be debilitating. But there can also be growth and achievements beyond what may have been possible before overcoming the worst of the worst. Some of the most beautiful things in this world were born out of the healing and resiliency of post traumatic experience. Art, music, performances and stories that we can connect with on a deep human level often achieve such profound impacts because they were born from the experiences of healing, overcoming adversity, and surviving.

People who have been pushed past their limits and rebuilt themselves from nothing are the ones who know the truth in their strength. These are the people who know what is worth fighting for and are willing to make a stand. These are the people who bring compassion and empathy like no other. The ones with clarity to know what matters in life and what is just noise.

Trauma is something we have either experienced already or have a strong chance of experiencing at some point in our life. But trauma, like any terrible thing in our lives, is easier to face when we are supported and uplifted by people who can relate in some way to what we are facing. In order to heal we need to get meaning out of our suffering, and before being able to move on we need a better place to go. By seeing ways overcoming a traumatic experience can make us stronger, wiser, more resilient, and able to connect on a deeper level with people we can all find the hero within ourselves. After all, we can all be heroes even if just for one day.


This column was written by counsellor Brooke-Anne Willis and first appeared in the New Hamburg Independent:

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