As we began this year, we embraced the four [...]
Although it can be as quick as a few minutes, a traumatic event, such as sexual abuse, has harmful ripples that extend out decades and even generations. If the deeper struggles aren’t addressed, brought to light, and healed, each survivor will pass on the proclivity for poor choices and destructive relationships to the next generation. Sadly, I know this firsthand as my family has suffered multiple generations of trauma and sexual assault. Starting with my grandmother, and cascading down to most recently, my beloved daughter, the women in my lineage have been and are survivors.
Expectations, although often helpful, can have a shadow side that can produce unnecessary stress and pain. At the point of creation, an expectation can serve to facilitate our self-growth. Yet, with time an expectation can become unreasonable, and therefore unattainable, causing profound disappointment and difficulty in one’s life. People with a history of trauma like sexual abuse, are especially vulnerable to these swings in perception. We can ruminate over unmet expectations, amplifying our limiting beliefs and lingering pains. Enduring trauma can cause a person to become obsessed with maintaining control in their life. When control eludes us, we can face a debilitating crash that negatively impacts our self-worth.
To better understand the root of our expectations and whether they still may benefit our growth, we must be able to listen to them. To listen to them we must cut through the clutter of noise that surrounds us both internally and externally. This means creating periods of silence and silent reflection into our self-care routines. Explore the following three exercises to better understand how silence is or could be helpful in your journey towards Thriver mindset.
Expectations, we all have them. But how healthy are they really to our wellbeing? We aspire to a life filled with health, joy, and success. We can place lofty goals to spur our self-growth, but what happens to us when we fall short of these big dreams? What was meant to challenge us, can actually cause greater difficulty and disappointment. This can be especially true of survivors of trauma like sexual abuse, who yearn to break free of our limiting beliefs and our lingering pains.
As we enter June, we are entering into a month typically filled with graduations, weddings, and social gatherings. However, in 2020, we are remaining in the era of Covid-19. This pandemic has held a mirror up to expectations and the pain we all face when situations beyond our control prevent us from obtaining this envisioned scenario.
The hard work of the class of 2020 and important transitional milestones aren’t able to be celebrated together. Weddings must be held either virtually or postponed indefinitely. Loved ones remain physically separated and gatherings must stop for the sake of our health.
But this devastating virus is merely a communal amplification of collective grieving unmet expectations. In reality, we all must tackle the ramifications of unexpected situations every day. From illness, job loss, relationship hurdles, accidents, delays or cancellations, to even death – every day we must find ways to make the best out of our situations. When we are unable to navigate this process successfully, anxiety builds and our feeling of self-worth can plummet.